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Before the events of the novel, Bond learned that years ago, Cordava was used by the KGB – posing as a United States government agency – had "used him to do a particularly nasty piece of work in New York".
After phoning Herr Doktor Kirchtum on May's medical progress at the Klinik Mozart, Bond spots a familiar face on his way to pick up his luggage as he approaches the parking lot where his Bentley BMW is parked. Bond begins to suspect that those responsible for the deadly motorway explosion on his way to Strasbourg are the same ones in the parking lot. Bond quickly reports Cordava's prescence to Transworld Exports in London. Twenty minutes later, Bond picks his Bentley from the hotel staff with Cordava absent in the process, and drives off to Switzerland where he stays at the Mirto Du Lac hotel.
When Bond calls Kirchtim's office again from the hotel room, he learns from one of his junior doctors that May is resting after being a visit from Miss Moneypenny earlier. Bond thanked him, and ended the call. At a bar nearby the hotel restaurant, a melody of screams shouting "Assassinio! Assassinio!" erupts with Bond racing outside to find that Cordava had been killed with his body facing upward and his throat slashed. Later on, Steve Quinn, an intelligence agent stationed in Rome, informs Bond about the Head Hunt, in which criminal organizations have placed one man in the field to accomplish the task of assassinating Bond for 10 million Swiss francs. Cordava was among the unsuccessful contestants along with the two passengers on the Osten ferry and the German killed in the motorway explosion.