Ian Fleming's 1st James Bond novel (1953). An important russian secret agent, known only as Le Chiffre, who has so far been paymaster of a communist trade union in France has mis-appropriated his organization's funds. He plans to recover the funds as quickly as possible by gambling, before his bosses catch wind of his treachery and terminate him. The casino at Royale, a small french town, is chosen as the site of his project and he buys the bank at the casino's baccarat table for a million francs hoping to make a profit off his initial capital of 25 million francs, playing baccarat. The british secret service catch wind of his plans and plan to thwart them, hoping, by disgracing an important russian agent, to set the russians back psychologically. They send in their best gambler, James Bond (agent 007) to beat Le Chiffre at his own game. Bond checks in at the Hotel Splendide in Royale, where he teams up with Rene Mathis of the french secret service who supplies him some information, including the fact that his hotel room has already been bugged. He also later teams up with Vesper, a lovely brunette from his own service and with Felix Leiter of the CIA (american secret service). Bond luckily survives an attempt on his life by bombing though the bombers themselves die in the bombing having been doublecrossed. Bond lives long enough to meet Le Chiffre at the baccarat table along with other wealthy gamblers. He also has 24 million francs to play with.
Le Chiffre runs the bank and initiates the bets. Bond plays successfully for a while until an unlucky run cleans him out and he admits defeat to himself. Leiter sneaks to him just enough money (32million) to cover his last possible bet against the bank which Bond wins. Le Chiffre is unable to recover and loses everything. Le Chiffre's men later kidnap Vesper, and Bond, desperate to rescue her falls into an ambush. He's brutally tortured to give up the money and later passes out from shock, but not before he witnesses Le Chiffre's assassination by Smersh (Smyert Shpionam ie. death to spies) a branch of the russian secret service which kills enemy spies and punishes treachery and backsliding among their own, by death. Bond and Vesper are discovered and Bond recovers after weeks of medical attention. He realises he loves Vesper enough to marry her but she's been acting strange ever since the incident. Vesper kills herself, with her suicide note asking for forgiveness for being a traitor, a double agent who had been providing the russians information on the british secret services' operations. Bond coldly reports back to headquarters, losing all feelings he's ever had for her.