Never Dream of Dying

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Never Dream of Dying, first published in 1999, was the seventh novel by Raymond Benson featuring Ian Fleming's secret agent, James Bond (including film novelizations). Carrying the Ian Fleming Publications copyright, it was first published in the United Kingdom by Hodder & Stoughton and in the United States by Putnam.

The story is told primarily from the perspectives of James Bond and René Mathis. Mathis' part of the story centers around trying to find the head of The Union, while Bond's revolves around finding out what The Union is planning.

Plot summary

After an ambush on French Law enforcement forces at a Film Studio, René Mathis is re-assigned to track down some missing explosives but he goes rogue to prove that the CL-20's disappearance was related to The Union. Bond, on the other hand was assigned to investigate Goro Yoshida a Japanese terrorist, but he opts to remain on the Union case. He at first tries to prove that a Corsican millionaire was Le Gérant, the leader of the Union, but he is sidetracked by a development in that all union members receive a tattoo of the organization's logo etched into their eye. Bond is sent to investigate a French optometrist's office where a report of the tattoo had been made on Léon Essinger. Bond then breaks into Essinger's office at a television studio where he acquires a torn picture of Tylyn Mignonne, whom he then interrogates.

At the same time, Mathis encountered a suspicious Blind man at a casino in Monaco. Further investigation led to the discovery of a connection to Olivier Cesari, a man suspected to be The Union's leader. His search leads him to a house in the Corsican countryside, where he is captured and tortured. Back in Paris, Bond is reunited with Marc-Ange Draco who gives Bond information on the whereabouts of René Mathis, and gives Bond further cause to investigate Goro Yoshida. Before investigating Yoshida, Bond travels to Monaco to meet Tylyn at the first day of shooting for Essinger's new movie Pirate Island. While this happens, Yoshida has one of his gang members bomb a restaurant in the United States. While at the filming location in the Mediterranean, Bond discovers that Essinger is serving as a fence for the stolen CL-20 by listing it as a production asset on his film. Bond discovers this and one of the Union workers on set informed Essinger of Bond's identity and he gives the command to have Bond killed. Bond kills or wounds each of his captors and flees the boat in one of the prop boats nearby. He and his tails end up on film when they enter a high speed chase. Bond escapes with colleague Bertrand Collette to Corsica where he receives a letter two weeks late from Rene Mathis. Mathis writes that a local shipping company is tied to the Union and that he thinks it warrants investigation. Bond infiltrates the shipping service's secret entrance by cover of night and learns that The man playing cards at the Casino each Thursday is in fact Le Gérant. He is discovered and must flee the facility via a custom waterspeeder. when he returns to the boat, he finds Collette has been drowned. He works on him for several minutes and brings him to a local hospital where they reveal that he is in for a long, yet full, recovery. When he returns to his hotel room, he is met again with Marc Agne-Draco, who tells him that he has been gathering leads as to where René Mathis has been taken, but the trail went cold at the home of a Mazzere, a kind of psychic in Corsican superstition. Bond uses information from the Mazzere to find where Cesari is hiding and breaks in. Bond is then captured and brought to an underground dungeon where he is reunited with Mathis, who reveals that he has been blinded with lasers. Bond is then brought to a torture chamber where Cesari begins to explain his plan. Cesari and The Union are financing and planning the terrorist Goro Yoshida's attack against "the decadence of the west" by bombing the Cannes Film Festival. Bond is soon set to have lasers begin to blind him by burrowing into his eyes. When back in the dungeon with Mathis, Bond sets a trap for a rat that frequents the cell and bites it open to fashion one of its bones into a weapon. He uses the rat's bone to stab a guard and take his weapon. On the way out, Mathis opts to stay behind as he feels he would be a burden due to his lack of sight. Bond escapes and tells several law enforcement agencies about the planned attack and they set up a search at the film festival to find the bomb, and Bond discovers a Union affiliates at the festival whom he chases, but causes a panic in the process. He kills the man, but is left dangling from a catwalk. He is saved by Tylyn Mignonne, but they quickly part again for Bond to chase the escaped Union members Julius Wilcox and Léon Essinger who have the detonator. Bond gets into their car and begins to fight Wilcox before Essinger crashes the car and Bond shoots Wilcox in the stomach. In all of this, Bond is able to retreive the detonator and learn the description of the bomb. The Bomb is defused and Bond reconnects with Tylyn. Cesari awakes from a dream where he has killed the Stag he believes to represent Bond by a guard who tells him that there is a strike being planned against the house where Cesari was based. He quickly hides in his bunker and waits for Bond. Bond and three helicopters of French law enforcement people attack Cesari's base and Bond travels through a secret door at the back of a clost to a dark cavern where he finds Cesari and after some difficulty, shoots him. At this point, Marc-Ange Draco reveals to Bond that he had been trying to kill him for the entire novel and plans to keep Bond at gunpoint in the cavern while the house explodes,killing them both. Bond tricks Draco into looking away and is able to disarm him. Draco draws a knife and Bond instinctively shoots him. When he finds the exit to the cave, Bond finds Cesari and some of his thugs on a helicopter. Bond Shoots the pilot and takes the helicopter down with a grenade launcher. He climbs a nearby hill in time to see the house explode and the book picks up at a French cafe. Bond and Tylyn Mignonne discuss their relationship, break up and part as friends.



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