Ian Fleming's Diamonds Are Forever shows us the authoratative voice and character of Ian Fleming. The story is about a British diamond mining concern somewhere in sub-saharan Africa that has it's diamonds stolen and then smuggled out of the country and taken to London and on to New York. Bond is put into the pipelineas a courier, at London, and is assisted in this by a glamorous blond. He is picked up all right at the other end and meets the Mafia crook who receives the goods hidden in golf balls and he, Bond,has to go to a race track in a couple of days and place a bet on a certain horse, to get his pay-off.
The Mafia usually contols the jockey but not this time: Bond's horse doesn't win and so he is told then to go to Las Vegas and stake money at Blackjack at a certain casino; which comes off and he gets his pay-off. In the meantime he has, in New York,bumped into an old FBI pal of his who has become a private-detective and who puts him on to a friendly taxi driver in Vegas to show him around and who turns up himself there. Bond carries on his stake at the Blackjack table and wins more cash than he should have done and then he crosses swords with some Mafia tough guys and ends up restrained in the private train of Mr Big.
The blond is there, Bond is roughed-up and in no time at all they are escaping on a little rail trolley and the steam locomotive is in hot persuit. They switch some points. The locomotive roars into a siding and bang! Next they are limping along a road in the early morning and the private-dick chum happens to be out for a drive on that particular road. So Bond has found Mr Big and done his confirmation message to London. He and the girl take the cruise ship to Southampton and they arrive, hardly the worse for a little run in with some henchmen who followed them onto the ship : the girl was kidnapped and held in a cabin; Bondintervened. They live happily till the end of the book.
The description of therecalcitrant jockey's punishment by hot mud in the Spa bathing establishment is superb, as is alsoat the very beginning of the book the description of a scorpion. Fleming writes strong descriptions and observations which belie the facile plot turns which get Bond away from trouble. The build-up to Bond's torture in the train carriage is also ominous and powerful.