|No Deals, Mr. Bond||Win, Lose or Die|
Scorpius, first published in 1988, is the seventh 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copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Hodder & Stoughton (the first original Bond novel not to be published by Jonathan Cape) and in the United States by Putnam.
After being connected to the death of a woman in London, Bond is called in by M to aid the investigation. Returning from Hereford, a Sergeant Pearlman tags along by driving Bond back, during which they are attacked and involved in a high-speed chase on an England motorway. Upon safely returning to headquarters, Bond is briefed on the investigation by M and Chief Superintendent Bailey.
The woman, whom Bond does not know, was found dead with Bond's telephone number. She is a member of a cult society known as the "The Meek Ones", operated by a Father Valentine. With additional information from the CIA, the British Secret Service learn that Valentine is an alias for Vladimir Scorpius, an arms dealer for several terrorist organisations.
As the country's general election approaches, by the use of brainwashed cult members, Scorpius has begun a "holy war" against every man, woman, and child. The cult members, thinking themselves to be pure, moral, and unsullied, sacrifice their lives for "the greater good of humanity" believing that by performing this "death task" that they will achieve paradise. Throughout the following days, The Meek Ones commit several acts of terrorism including multiple terrorist bombings and several assassinations of British politicians.
Throughout the horror, Bond meets Harriett Horner, an IRS agent working undercover in England and investigating a credit card company run by Scorpius. The two work together along with Sergeant Pearlman to attempt to track down Scorpius. After an interrogation of a captured cult member, Horner is taken captive by Scorpius' men.
Additionally, Pearlman confesses to Bond that he was secretly giving Scorpius information for the benefit of his daughter who had been brainwashed. Together the two set out for Scorpius' base of operations in South Carolina having Scorpius believe Pearlman was taking Bond captive.
At Scorpius' island, Bond meets up with Horner once again and the two actually marry at the behest of Scorpius. Knowing that the marriage is invalid, Bond agrees to go ahead with it thinking it would buy him time till he can escape. On the night the two decide to escape, Harriett is killed by a water moccasin.
At the same time the FBI is conducting a raid of Scorpius' island, which further angers Bond since her death was in vain. Bond returns back to the island finding Scorpius attempting to flee. After giving chase, Bond successfully gets the upper hand and forces Scorpius to fall from a window into predator filled waters and die in a similar manner to that of Harriet.
Bond then goes to Washington D.C. where he successfully stops a British agent working for the Meek Ones attempting a dual assassination of U.S. President Ronald Regan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.