Franco was born in Madrid, Spain in 1948 to a Spanish father and an English mother. During the late 1960s, Franco was involved in the hijacking of two British passenger jets, and later operated as a planner for terrorist actions for the Baader-Meinhof Gang, later renamed the Red Army Faction. Throughout his terrorist career, he was involved with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Irish Republic Army, and a network of terrorist groups. In addition, he was connected in two political kidnappings and bomb attacks inspired by him. Eventually, Franco becomes a wanted terrorist in most European countries as well as some in the Middle East, as well as a request for him to be held in the United States.
In the novel's beginning, Franco arrives at an airport, and dons a disguise composed with dark eye contacts, a tailor-made short beard and moustache, and latex frame eye bristles. Under the disguise, he takes a flight on Aer Lingus flight EI 154 from Dublin to London Heathrow Airport. After being briefed about Franco's previous involvements, James Bond is assigned to investigate Dr. Anton Murik who is thought to be connected with Franco supposedly creating a lethal nuclear device. At Murik's Castle in Murcaldy, Bond gradually gains Murik's trust posing as a mercenary-for-hire. Later on, Murik assigns Bond to kill Franco for a sum of money.
When Bond goes into his decorative room at the Murik Castle, he equips a standard VL 22H countersurveillance receiver and headphones via a bug in Murik's study room. There, he listens on a conservation between Murik and Franco discussing their plans. Unfortunately, he is interrupted by Murik's mistress, Mary Jane Mashkin, who comes to check up on Bond. After Mary Jane leaves, Bond plays back the cassette tape only to find it muffled. Nevertheless, Bond learns that Franco and Murik are conducting at least five nuclear terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States under the codename, Operation Meltdown.
Upon learning this information, Bond goes to report this to MI6. With help from Lavender Peacock, Bond tries to escape at night, but is caught after a violent car chase resulting in the two deaths of Murik's men. Via aircraft, Murik transports Bond to Perpignan, France, where he escapes him at the airport. At a fashion show in the Palais des rois de Majorque, Bond kills Franco, who accidentally shoots a gelatin capsule at Mary Jane originally aimed for Lavender, the true heir of the Laird title. Captured again, Bond learns from Murik that the gelatin capsule resulted in a fatal heart attack for Mary Jane.