Blast From The Past

“The Fed Ex letter was delivered at 9:30. Bond signed for the letter and took it back into the sitting room. It was from “J. Suzuki” in New York. He opened it and read:

DEAR DAD–TERRIBLY URGENT
THAT YOU COME TO NEW YORK!
I NEED YOUR HELP! FAIL NOT!
WITH LOVE–JAMES

And with those words, Raymond Benson and James Bond are off, taking readers across the Atlantic into the streets of New York City to look for James Suzuki, Bond`s only known son.

“Bond had fathered the child while suffering from amnesia during a dark period of his life when he lived as a simple fisherman with Kissy on a small island in Japan.”

007 isn`t in New York for very long before he realizes the grim truth about the fate of his son- he`s dead. Enter Special Agent Cheyl Haven, assigned to investigate the mysterious surroundings of James Suzuki`s death. he clues lead them to a safety deposit box at the bank where Suzuki worked, and in turn a familiar looking bag lady, whom Bond is sure he`s seen before. He has, and she turns out to be a blast from his past with murder in mind. She`s rigged the safety deposit box to explode upon opening, and Bond give`s her full chase in a taxi cab:

An empty taxi cab was idling in fromt of a delicatessan about 100 feet west of them. The OFF DUTY light was on; the driver had stepped out and gone inside the deli. Bond sprinted toward it and jumped into the driver`s seat. Chreyl ran to the passenger side. As Bond drove off, the cabdriver ran out of the delicatessen, shouting.

“I`m not sure whay you just did was entirely legal,” Cheryl said.

“They do it in the movies all the time”, Bond said, speeding toward Fifth Avenue.
There`s some really witty humor in this short story. Benson does a nice job peppering action sequences with light humor to make them go by a little faster. I for one, don`t like reading long drawn out action sequences. Those are better left to the movies. Benson`s 007 even gets in some beautiful jabs at the villian, but I can`t quote them here, or it would give away the surprise of who the villian is.

Blast From The Past is like a Black Cat firecracker. Short, and small, but packs a powerful punch. The tale is tight, with no boring sequences or gaps of interest to go through. There are nice shades of “Phantom Of the Opera” sprinkled in, and references to other Bond adventures 007 took. You`ll have to sort of take the story with a grain of salt, and not think too hard about how old Bond must`ve been when he went to Japan way back when. The literary series is 44 years old now, and Benson has to fudge the timeline somewhat to give us such a nice and compact tale. This story is actually so good, i`d like to see it one day expanded into a full fledged novel. My only complaint with the story was the very last part, where Cheryl Haven offers 007 her breast. It was a bit crude, lacked any subtlety, and was really out fo place considering this was a story about Bond`s question for vengance for James Suzuki. Other than that, the story is great and should be added to any serious literary Bond reader`s collection.

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