James Bond to go on Solo mission as William Boyd reveals title and plot details of new 007 novel

The author's new addition to the franchise will see the 45-year-old spy head off on an unauthorised trip to the USA

For his next mission, James Bond will embark upon an unauthorised solo trip across the USA. And no, (sadly) we are not exclusively unveiling the plot for the follow-up to Skyfall. 007’s next adventure will take place in William Boyd’s new novel Solo. 

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Announcing plot details – and the title – of his addition to the Bond franchise, Boyd revealed, “In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorisation – and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.”

Speaking on the opening day of the London Book Fair, the author also revealed that Africa would play a key part in his story: “It’s what happens to Bond in Africa that generates his urge to ‘go solo’ and take matters into his own hands in the USA.” 

Discussing the simplicity of his title, he added, “Sometimes less is more. For me as a novelist, the simple beauty of Solo as the title of the next James Bond novel is that this short four-letter word is particularly and strikingly apt for the novel I have written. 

“Titles are very important to me and as soon as I wrote down Solo on a piece of paper, I saw its potential. Not only did it fit the theme of the novel perfectly, it’s also a great punchy word, instantly and internationally comprehensible, graphically alluring and, as an extra bonus, it’s strangely Bondian in the sense that we might be subliminally aware of the ’00’ of ‘007’ lurking just behind those juxtaposed O’s of SOLO…”

Today’s announcement follows the revelation in February that the James Bond estate had commissioned a new novel to be written by Boyd, following in the footsteps of Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver who have both penned additions to the franchise since the death of 007 creator Ian Fleming in 1964.

At the time, details were limited, with the indication that the work would see “a return to the classic Bond era,” along with the teaser line: “1969. A veteran secret agent. A single mission. A licence to kill. James Bond returns.”

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All will be revealed when William Boyd’s Solo is released in the UK on 26 September 2013.