Read Scorpius by JohnGardner Online


When the body of a mysterious woman is found to be carrying the phone number of James Bond, Bond is called in by M to help the investigation. But before he can even reach headquarters he is nearly run off the road in a high-speed motorway chase. Someone wants Bond dead. When Bond discovers that the woman was a member of a cult society known as "The Meek Ones", with murky lWhen the body of a mysterious woman is found to be carrying the phone number of James Bond, Bond is called in by M to help the investigation. But before he can even reach headquarters he is nearly run off the road in a high-speed motorway chase. Someone wants Bond dead. When Bond discovers that the woman was a member of a cult society known as "The Meek Ones", with murky links to a wealthy arms dealer. Soon, hideous acts of terrorism begin to roll out across Britain and Bond finds himself in a race against time to track down the faceless criminal behind the horror ......

Title : Scorpius
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780399133473
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 319 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Scorpius Reviews

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2018-11-20 06:15

    Gardner's 7th and now he's really starting to get things right! Even if we're still seeing traces of the movie Bond, the agent we meet in 'Scorpius' feels much more like Fleming's than in the earlier books. He even makes mistakes and owes quite a lot to luck and stamina, more than elegance and 'superhero' stuff. Gardner has also given up on trying to fit an aging Bond into the world and situations where he most often finds himself - instead he chooses not to focus, or even mention his age. Simple and working solution! Megalomanic grand plans and strange motivations and actions by a "super-villain" feels like par for the course and all the other ingredients are in place. Gardner has a tendency to sometimes explain too much, to tell but not show and also to use some odd narrative grips such as "hiding" things from the reader. Not by telling us after the fact, but by, for example, in the midst of a "normal dialogue" add something like "Bond said another five words" - revealing some ingenious plan to the other character, but obviously managing to conceal this from the omniscient third person narrator... The book was such a nice surprise though, so I managed to overlook the few measly points such as these I had (and the fact that there was a part that was quite slow...) and hit this with 4 shining stars! Oh, and Gardner's meta-joke about Bond watching "The Untouchables" on a transatlantic flight featuring "one of his favorite actors playing an Irish policeman" - love it!

  • John Keegan
    2018-12-03 05:04

    Surprisingly good, given some of the weaknesses of the Gardner era, and a bit chilling when considered from the post-9/11 mindset. It's very interesting to read a book from the 1980s, where the notion of radical religion-fueled suicide bombings in the West is something the intelligence community sees as beyond the pale. If written today, I imagine there would be much less shock, and much more world-weariness...

  • Carson
    2018-12-05 00:58

    SCORPIUS - as several of the 007 novels by Gardner before it - starts out with a lot of intrigue and a lot of potential. In my opinion, the villain Scorpius had all the potential in the world to be as impactful a villain as Auric Goldfinger - I envisioned him almost a cross between that famed villain and Wayne Newton's televangelist from the film version of Licence to Kill.That said, while the first three-quarters of the book were set up quite nicely, I found myself somewhat questioning the execution of some of the plot devices in the pages to come. Not that I disagree, but anytime you conjure up the images of Tracy or use Bond's emotions in a plot twist I think there just needs to be more of a reason to do it. Some of what was done would make sense; I just don't know if enough was done to develop that part of the story and make it vital to the storyline the way it all played out.THE SEAN CONNERY REFERENCE made my day.That said, SCORPIUS - overall - was an enjoyable read. 3 out of 5 stars. Could have been 4 easily.

  • Rob Thompson
    2018-12-04 05:04

    John Gardner wrote this, his seventh James Bond novel, a year before the on-screen Bond faced a similar plot in Licence to Kill. These books are always a balancing act. Don't let the story stray too far from the original Fleming story-line, but also try something new. Its interesting to read a 1980s story where suicide bombing features. Especially when its fuelled by religion and takes the Western intelligence agencies by surprise. (view spoiler)[The story sees Bond becomes connected to the death of a woman in London. M asks him to help in the investigation. Returning from Hereford, a Sergeant Pearlman tags along by driving Bond back. An attack follows then a high-speed chase on an English motorway. Upon returning to headquarters, M briefs Bond on the investigation. She is a member of a cult society known as "The Meek Ones", operated by a Father Valentine. With extra information from the CIA, the British Secret Service learn that Valentine is an alias for Vladimir Scorpius. Scorpius is 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". The cult members, thinking themselves to be pure, moral, and unsullied, sacrifice their lives for "the greater good of humanity". They believe that by performing this "death task" that they will achieve paradise. Throughout the novel, The Meek Ones commit several acts of terrorism. This includes several terrorist bombings and assassinations of British politicians.Bond meets Harriett Horner, an IRS agent working undercover in England. She's investigating a credit card company run by Scorpius. The two work together along with Pearlman to attempt to track down Scorpius. After an interrogation of a captured cult member, Horner is taken captive by Scorpius' men. Pearlman confesses to Bond that he was giving Scorpius information for the benefit of his brainwashed daughter. Together the two set out for Scorpius' base of operations in South Carolina. The plan is making Scorpius believe Pearlman was taking Bond captive.At Scorpius' island, Bond meets up with Horner once again. The two 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 until he can escape. On the night the two decide to escape, a water moccasin kills Harriett. 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 to the island, finding Scorpius attempting to flee. After giving chase, Bond gets the upper hand. He forces Scorpius to die in a similar manner to that of Horner's death. (hide spoiler)]So, in summary an enjoyable, but forgettable read. Scorpius had the potential to be as iconic as Auric Goldfinger. Although the story never quite panned out like that. There was a nice nod to Sean Connery in the middle of the tale.Pulpy fun.

  • Wilde Sky
    2018-12-14 03:08

    A British secret agent investigates a religious cult which has sinister undertones.I thought this book was good, it had a decent plot, fast pace and was quite gripping – like the original Bond stories.I’ve read a few books by this author and this is the only one that I’d recommend to people that enjoy the spy genre.

  • Greenockian
    2018-11-23 02:09

    I've tried reading the Ian Fleming Bonds and never got past more than a third of the way. I found this on holiday and really enjoyed it. It's not "literature" and it's not going to get the brain cells moving much faster but it is good fun. Recommended easy holiday reading.

  • Sam Hager
    2018-11-22 23:18

    Bond is on the trail to stop the society of the meek ones, a cult lead by an evil arms dealer. The characters are very interesting. Bond is believable and fits today's headlines. Highly recommended.

  • C.J. Wright
    2018-11-14 04:00

    Enjoyable story, worth a read, especially if you are a James Bond fan.

  • William
    2018-11-30 05:58

    Definitely one of the better 007 novels by Gardner, who seems to have had a good streak with Role of Honour and Scorpius.

  • Michele
    2018-12-13 06:18

    A very modern plot to this one. Chilling reading...

  • John Yelverton
    2018-12-12 03:23

    James Bond takes on a crazy cult, and by the time it's over, he has definitely invoked his license to kill. What was nice about this novel was the constant twists and turns it took which kept the reader guessing right up until the very end.

  • Raegan Butcher
    2018-11-27 01:12

    Another enjoyable Bond romp from Mr. Gardner. Aside from a rather abrupt ending, not a bad showing.

  • Anime Mage
    2018-12-03 04:09

    007: What is my mission?Me: Avoid this book at all cost!007: O.OMe: this book gets 1/5 - absolutely bad.007: Noooooo

  • Bob Garrett
    2018-11-20 05:21

    Successors to popular novel franchises face a dilemma: Stray too far from the original author’s vision, and you risk alienating purists. Adhere it to it too strictly, and fans complain that there’s “nothing new.”This is John Gardner’s seventh James Bond novel, and thus, the seventh time that he’s attempted that particular balancing act. I detected little of Fleming’s direct influence in the first few novels, but Gardner seemed to evoke the source material more and more as he went on. SCORPIUS follows that trend. Although Gardner can seemingly not resist piling on the plot twists, he does keep that to a relative minimum here, and the book’s last half in particular utilizes some common Fleming plot devices. In fact, it’s especially reminiscent of Fleming’s DR. NO novel (the plot of which Fleming himself partly recycled in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE).Therein lies the problem. SCORPIUS is a perfectly enjoyable Bond novel, and Fleming purists might like it at least a little more than some of Gardner’s previous entries, but…in the end, the story just isn’t that memorable. We’ve seen much of this before, and Gardner lacks Fleming’s ability to create colorful and memorable characters. That’s particularly true of the villains, and the eponymous villain here seems oddly lackluster.Mind you, SCORPIUS has its virtues. Gardner has gotten pretty good, for example, at devising topically relevant plots, and I loved his idea of a charismatic villain leading a religious cult of suicide bombers. That actually seems like an idea that Fleming himself might have had, had he lived to 1988, and really, that’s the BEST way to emulate Fleming - not by "copying," but rather by applying his general approach to modern times. I wish that Gardner could provide more such touches, but…as I noted, succeeding Fleming wouldn't be an easy task for anyone. I'll grade SCORPIUS a "B-", and Bond completists such as myself should find it pleasant enough. Others, however, can likely find more satisfying fare elsewhere.

  • Steve Mitchell
    2018-11-30 02:55

    James Bond returns in John Gardner’s seventh contribution to the series. A new religious sect - The Society of the Meek Ones - has formed, and when one of their members turns up floating dead in the river Thames she has about her two very interesting items; a new kind of credit card and a filofax containing a single telephone number. That telephone number is the home phone of James Bond bringing him straight into the chain of command. As the case unravels it becomes apparent that the leader of the new sect - Father Valentine - is none other than Vladimir Scorpius, the reclusive international arms dealer the urgency to get to the bottom of the apparently harmless sect’s intentions grows. Things really begin to take on a new lease of life when members of the sect begin to carry out suicide bombings that target British politicians in the run up to the general election: the beginning of the new order.This is a better book than Gardner’s offerings that immediately preceded it as he does not overdo the twists and turns of who is Bond’s ally and who is his enemy. That said, toward the finale things do start to get unnecessarily silly with convoluted plot twists that only serve to fill out the pages without actually carrying the story along. Gardner also continues to persist in having Bond unable to cope with the death of his wife Tracy, where Fleming’s later books had Bond moving on. One really good moment in the book [SPOILER ALERT] is the revelation that Bond will sit and watch the in-flight movie of The Untouchables even though he has seen it before because he admires the actor that plays the Irish cop; you heard it here first that James Bond is a fan of Sean Connery!

  • Andrew Kunka
    2018-12-08 03:07

    The middle of John Gardner's run of James Bond novels sets into a very predictable formula. As with the previous two novels (at least), Bond is reactive through much of the novel until he's captured by the villain (this is also the second instance where Bond is taken to the southeastern US when captured). In addition, Bond teams up with two partners, one of whom is a double agent. In fact, Gardner relies on the double-agent betrayal in almost all of the first 7 novels, and this makes Bond look like a dupe (and makes one wonder why MI-6 doesn't do something about these incessant leaks).The premise of this novel, though, is one of Gardner's best: Scorpius, a notorious arms dealer, starts a religious cult in order to sell off suicide bombers to the highest bidder and disrupt the U.K. government. The chaos and fear produced by this plot seem genuine--Bond and M are at a loss as to how to deal with such a threat. On its own, this novel holds up well. It only suffers in comparison to other Gardner Bond novels of this period, where the basic plot beats are just too similar.

  • Grant Trevarthen
    2018-11-19 07:19

    Having been a fan of the Bond movies since I was very young, I've set myself a task to read all the Ian Fleming novels, and the more recent adaptations by other authors, 'Scorpius' by John Gardner is such a book. For a very good reason, I was picturing Sean Connery as the Bond that Gardner wanted in his story. The story was credible enough particularly in the times when acts of terrorism occur almost daily somewhere around the globe, and I'm thing in particular the recent events in the Ukraine. The characters add to a sinister plot, and the exploding bodies some group like Hamas or Isis, in their philosophy. I notice that Gardner took the liberty of changing 'Q', to a woman, who was not used as much in this movie. More witty one-liners would've been good. Suffice to say this book deserved it place in the Bond collection.

  • Jerome
    2018-11-22 00:00

    Two words came to mind after finishing this book: Juvenile and pedestrian. It's not among the worst of its ilk, but Gardner does himself no favors with some of the cheeky side references to Bond's favorite actor (Sean Connery, naturally) and the marathon "honeymoon".Given the nature of Scorpius, a megalomaniacal cult leader commanding a legion of former drug addict suicide bombers, and his strange quirks, I would have to wonder whether or not this was originally conceived as a Conan novel that Gardner shoe-horned into the Bond mythos.The whole thing just feels rather shallow and weak, especially when one expects a thrill a chapter in a rollicking adventure. It wasn't the worst novel I've read in a while, but it's nothing particularly memorable neither. I'd recommend readers skip it unless one is a true Bond completist.

  • Michael
    2018-11-16 23:10

    Another James Bond story. This one set in the 80's and thus with plenty of funny dated stuff. Bond has a Sony Walkman cassette recorder! Professional Edition. Whoo hoo! Hah hah. He carries it around to secretly record people, and nobody even suspects he could have such a thing. The villian is known for wearing a solid gold.... digital watch. I did figure out what happened here. Apparently the surviving family of Ian Fleming asked and licensed this writer to continue the series.(No doubt they were loathe to lose the income from a wildly successful brand). He is good, so it's alright. Not like that bum son of Frank Herbert riding the "Dune" stories into the ground. I thought the author was a bit unfair to Hilton Head Island, the villains lair. I've been there, it's a nice place.

  • Mike MacDee
    2018-11-19 23:00

    This was the first Bond novel I ever read (that's right, I didn't read Fleming 'til several years later), and after reading it again in recent years, it's even better than I remember it. The villain is truly vile and his scheme truly heinous, making him one of the most memorable in the canon: an evangelical Jim Jones who's out for profit rather than martyrdom. Like most Gardner Bond novels, it falls apart slightly at the end, but also like most, it's still a wild ride. Couldn't put it down once I started.

  • Andrew
    2018-11-23 04:15

    This book would work O.K. as a thriller..but as a Bond book it just felt pedestrian and by far the weakest of the Gardener Bond books I have read to this point.The premise is interesting enough being that of a arms trader creating a new persona as leader of a religious cult thus supplying suicide bombers...however this book was very slow paced throughout.There was a classic Bond feel to part of the book where Bond meets the villain who then pointlessly recounts their plot but apart from this I didn't really enjoy nor feel this was a must read book....disappointing...

  • Jey Kalimuthu
    2018-12-10 00:22

    Book was interesting and became better as it went along.This was like reading a really good Bond film, but with much more realism.The twists were nice and were not expected and all-in-all a recommendable mystery novel.

  • Jeff Dickison
    2018-12-11 02:10

    A good entry into Gardner's James Bond series. Psychotic cult leader, using drugs and hypnosis, sends members of his group to blow up world leaders. As all Bond books are, the story is basically unbelievable, but fun. Full of action with several plot twists. Recommended to Bond fans.

  • James
    2018-11-27 07:25

    Not a horrible read, but why can't authors create their own characters? Gardner's Bond was more of the Hollywood Hype than Fleming's WWII commando fighting the Cold War.I will not be reading any further contributions to the Bond saga by Mr. Gardner.

  • colleen
    2018-11-14 04:55

    read 04.27.90

  • Paul
    2018-11-28 02:21

    Written in 1988, this 007 novel is a bit dated. The villian is a a bit like Skyfall. Gardner's Bond can be a bit flat.

  • Cookie
    2018-11-29 01:57

    Nicht gerade Gardners bester Bond. Die Hintergründe bleiben am Ende zu unklar, manches Mal hat Bond außerdem extrem viel Glück oder Pech, je nachdem. Durchschnittlich.