On Her Majesty`s Secret Service

The Hero: James Bond; The Bond Girl: Tracy Devicenzo; The Villain: Ernst Stavros Blofeld; Supporting characters: Irma Bunt, Ruby Windsor, Marc Ange Draco Shaun Campbell; Locations covered: London, France, Switzerland. First Publishing: 1963

As Marc-Ange had put it, “On Her Majesty`s Secret Service.” What would Her Majesty think of the crimes committed in her name?

That is one of the questions that Ian Fleming poses in On Her Majesty`s Secret Service. He also poses many questions like why Bond would be on the trail of Blofeld for almost a year. So what? He stopped Largo a year before, mainly with blind luck and a good woman like Domino. But, wouldn`t Blofeld drop off the face of the earth? The answer is no, and he puts every spotlight on himself by contacting the College of Arms.

This possibility is almost outragous. As put in “The Usual Suspects”, “Do you think that he comes this close to being caught and sticks his head out?” Fleming posed the question and the answer is yes. He wrote that Blofeld was intelligent, but yet he wants to be a Count and blows his entire cover.

The real highlight of the book is the love affair between Bond and Tracy, from the opening scene on the beach to the tragic final scene. Tracy would be the type of woman that Bond would marry, because she was the only one to “truly” help him avoid Blofeld`s henchmen. I really felt for Bond when Tracy is murdered at the end, and “You Only Live Twice`s” start.

The start of the novel has Bond chasing the shadow of Blofeld all over Europe, and heading to France, where he meets Tracy, gambles on two long shots, and becomes face to face with another one of Europe`s most dangerous criminals, Marc-Ange Draco, Captain of the Union Corse. Marc-Ange bribes Bond into going out with Tracy. The bribe? The location of where Blofeld is known to be…Swizterland.

Two Months pass from the meeting of Bond and Draco, and he is still involved with Tracy, and has tried everything to find Blofeld. Bond finally tries another long shot, the College of Arms. After an attempt to connect James with Bond Street, 007 finally gets to talk to Sable Basilisk. Basilisk has the only info on Blofeld that is worth while. His lawyer`s address.

With meetings and crash courses about Blofeld`s line of descent, Bond is sent to meet Blofeld in Swizterland, with no weapons, only books and his razor blade. Met in the airport by Irma Bunt, 007 is taken to Piz Gloria in the Swiss Alps, by helicopter. On his first night he is introduced to Blofeld`s “patients” at the club dinner. It seems that Blofeld`s cover is now a man interested in allergies. He creates cures for the patients as well as hypontizing them to do his dirty deeds.

The next event shake up Bond: his first meeting with Blofeld. The meeting goes well for Bond and his research causes another meeting between himself and Blofeld. This time the arrival of Shaun Campbell from Station Z interupts them, and Blofeld dismisses 007 quickly. With Campbell`s arrival, 007 knows that he has to escape at any costs, including Campbell.

Bond`s escape from Piz Gloria is the most exciting part of the novel. Bond`s blind luck and amazing skill on skis are the best part of the chase sequence, which leads Bond into Samaden and to the waiting arms of Tracy, at a Christmas party. Tracy drives Bond safely to Zurich where Bond does what no one ever thought he would… he asks Tracy to marry him.

Tracy accepts and Bond is off to London to see M. The meeting with the Man from Agriculture and Fisheries doesn`t go well. Bond knows that Blofeld could kill everyone in the United Kingdom with his pests. Bond leaves and makes a call to Draco, and soon devises a plan to destroy Blofeld.

The plan suceeds with one problem, Blofeld escapes down the bob-run with Bond right behind him. The climax happens when Blofeld blows up the track with a grenade. Bond, coming away black and blue, gets married on January First and as they are heading for their honeymoon, Tracy is killed by Blofeld in a drive-by shooting. Bond says one of the most chilling lines of all, “Don`t worry…, We have all the time in the world.”

Leave a Reply