For Special Services
For Special Services
Author: John Gardner
Cover artist: Bill Botten
Published by: Jonathan Cape
Pages: 256
Release date: September 1982
Alternate title:
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Licence Renewed Icebreaker

For Special Services, first published in 1982, was the second novel by John Gardner featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. Carrying the Glidrose Publications copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Jonathan Cape.

It is the first novel in John Gardner's "SPECTRE Trilogy" with Role of Honour and Nobody Lives Forever the other two.

Plot summaryEdit

Bond teams up with CIA agent Cedar Leiter, daughter of his old friend, Felix Leiter, to investigate one Markus Bismaquer, who is suspected of reviving the criminal organisation SPECTRE, which was believed to have been disbanded years earlier following the death of its leader, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, at the hands of Bond (in You Only Live Twice).

The British Secret Service learns that Bismaquer is an obsessive collector of rare prints, so Bond and Cedar visit the man's huge ranch in Amarillo, Texas posing as art dealers. Disguised as Mr. and Mrs. Penbrunner, Bond and Cedar show Bismaquer the Hogarth prints, and are introduced to his wife Nena.

Bismaquer makes an attempt to purchase the prints, but Bond informs him they are not for sale. Shortly after, Nena agrees to show Bond a guided tour of Rancho Bismaquer. There, she reveals her past in studying art in Paris since she was twelve, and tells Bond that she knows the Hogarth prints are fake.


Bond racing against Luxor.

Bond and Cedar's true identities are soon revealed, but not until Bond holds his own both in an impromptu (and fixed) car race arranged by Bismaquer against his assistant Walter Luxor, and in the bed of Nena. Nena, who has only one breast, quickly wins Bond's heart and his sympathy and Bond is convinced that Marku Bismaquer is the one now being referred to as the new Blofeld.

Bond discovers that the revitalised SPECTRE plans to take over control of NORAD headquarters in order to gain control of America's military space satellite network. His true identity revealed, Bond is captured and brainwashed into believing he is an American general assigned to inspect NORAD. Although he has been set up to be killed in the ensuing attack by SPECTRE forces on the base, Bond regains his personality and his memory. Apparently Bismaquer, who is bisexual, has taken a liking to Bond and sabotaged the hypnosis.

When Bond returns to Bismaquer's ranch, he witnesses Bismaquer being killed by Nena for his extra-marital affairs. Nena then reveals herself to Bond that she was behind the operations, and explains that she is the illegitimate daughter of Ernst Stavro Blofeld and a French prostitute he lived with for a couple of years. She also reveals that she had a price on Bond's head, and by having SPECTRE involved, Bond would be lured into her trap.

When Walter Luxor quickly comes to warn Nena of the incoming authorities, she accidentally shoots him intending to kill Bond just before falling into the crushing grip of her own pet pythons. She is later put out of her misery by Felix Leiter, who arrives on the scene to help rescue his daughter.