James Bond is going back in time for his next official book.
Author Anthony Horowitz and publisher Jonathan Cape announced Monday that the next authorized Bond novel will be Forever and a Day, a thriller fashioned as a prequel to Casino Royale (1953), the very first of Ian Fleming’s original novels. The book begins with 007 “found floating in the waters of Marseilles, killed by an unknown hand,” with the added tease that “it’s time for a new agent to step up.” Iconic bond characters including M and Miss Moneypenney will make appearances.
Forever and a Day explores “what might have been Bond’s first mission,” Horowitz said in a statement to the New York Times. It imagines “some of the forces that might have turned him into the iconic figure that the whole world knows.”
This is the second Bond book for Horowitz, best known for the YA series The Diamond Brothers and Alex Rider. His work has been authorized by the Fleming Estate, and he’s the first official Bond author — a distinguished group which also includes William Boyd and John Gardner — to weave his stories into Fleming’s original timeline. (Horowitz’s first Bond book from 2015, Trigger Mortis, took place in the aftermath of Bond’s famed run-in with Goldfinger.) According to the Times, both Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day have drawn from unused treatments for potential American TV series that Fleming wrote.
Forever and a Day will be published on May 31 in the U.K. and later in the fall in the U.S.