As the thirteenth and final book in Ian Fleming's Bond series begins, James Bond, former agent of Her Majesty's Secret Service, returns to London under mysterious circumstances.
Having last been seen as a presumed-dead amnesiac heading toward the Russian city of Vladivostok in search of his past, Bond now seems to be in possession of all of his faculties. Once he is granted an interview with M., however, he begins to rant about the greatness of communism and attempts to slay his former superior with a stream of liquid cyanide.
Subdued and deprogrammed, Bond seems destined for early-retirement, until M. decides to give him one last mission, one which will either prove his usefulness to the Service or lead to his untimely and rather messy demise.
The target of Bond's mission is to be Francisco "Pistols" Scaramanga, a world-famous assassin known as "the man with the golden gun" for the gold-plated Colt .45 which is his weapon of choice, a man who has already killed five British operatives with practiced ease.
Scouring the Caribbean and Central America, Scaramanga's usual hunting-grounds, Bond finds nothing, until a stroke of luck in Kingston, Jamaica leads him to an unplanned rendezvous with his target.
Posing as a freelance security-expert, Bond is hired by Scaramanga to guard the thug's half-finished Thunderbird Hotel while his employer holds a meeting with his investors.
As Bond eavesdrops on the meeting, he learns that Scaramanga is much more than a simple mercenary and that the members of his investment club are not a group of normal businessmen. They are, instead, members of "the Group," a consortium of American mobsters, Cuban secret-policemen, and Soviet intelligence operatives who engages in drug-smuggling, massive industrial-sabotage, and casino gambling, both legal and otherwise.
Having thus gained knowledge necessary for everything from preventing Cuban-owned sugar plantations from cornering the world market to stopping the sudden, massive influx of ganja into the U.S., Bond must somehow find a way to complete his mission and escape alive.
This report prepared by James Craver