Author: Ian Fleming
Publication date: 26th March 1956
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Cover artist: Pat Marriott
After the success of the first three books, Diamonds Are Forever moves away from Russia as an enemy to a story centring on Bond’s attempt to infiltrate a diamond smuggling racket run by “The Spangled Mob”.
Bond acts as a courier, smuggling a set of diamonds inside golf balls. This was a device that Fleming had picked up whilst working in navel intelligence during the Second World War when messages were sent to prisoners of war inside the balls.
What we say
After tackling SMERSH in the first two novels and a former Nazi who has established himself as a wealthy British industrialist in the third, Diamonds Are Forever sees 007 tackle an American gang smuggling diamonds into the United States from Sierra Leone. While the book is full of Ian Fleming’s observations of 1950s America, the villains seem hardly worthy of James Bond.
However, once again 007 is teamed up with Felix Leiter, who is on hand provide local knowledge to both Bond and the reader. And the book memorably features Leiter’s Studillac, a Studebaker coupé fitted with a V8 Cadillac engine. Fleming had encountered a similar model during one of his stays with Ivar Bryce at Black Hole Hollow Farm in Vermont and so appropriated it for his next novel.