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Icebreaker, first published in 1983, was the third 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 and is the first Bond novel to be published in the United States by Putnam, beginning a long-standing association.

Plot summary

After a routine SIS training mission in Finland, Bond decided to pay a visit to his old friend Paula Vacker. When he arrived at her apartment, he was attacked by armed assailants and sustained a shoulder wound. The next day he immediately went back to London to report the occurrence to M. Bond reluctantly finds himself recruited into a dangerous mission involving an equally dangerous and treacherous alliance of agents from the United States (CIA), the Soviet Union (KGB) and Israel (Mossad). The team, dubbed "Icebreaker", waste no time double-crossing each other. Ostensibly their job is to root out the leader of the murderous National Socialist Action Army (NSAA), Count Konrad von Glöda. The Count used to be known as Arne Tudeer, a onetime Nazi SS officer who now perceives himself as the new Adolf Hitler. The National Socialist Action Army is essentially a new wave of fascism as a means to wipe out communist leaders and supporters around the world.

The novel is full of double-crosses and even triple-crosses where the agents and agencies go without sharing their true loyalties with one another. The American agent, for instance, first appears to be a good guy then later in cahoots with von Glöda, and then still even later a good guy once again. Things become even more complicated when the Israeli agent, Rivke, is revealed to be the daughter of von Glöda/Tudeer and her allegiance, although appearing to be legit, in doubt. The Russian agent also double-crosses Bond in hopes of capturing him for KGB interrogation.




  • Bond gets several weeks of driving training from Erik Carlsson as preparation for this arctic assignment.
  • Gardner, on his website, reveals that his publisher originally rejected the title Icebreaker, only to come back to it after rejecting "turkey after turkey" in terms of alternate titles.
  • Icebreaker was released in Finland under a title James Bond - Tehtävä Suomessa (James Bond - Mission in Finland). Part of the book takes place in Finland.

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