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Summary

The Union is a criminal organization with tentacles throughout the world, specializing in military espionage, theft, intimidation, and murder. After one of its agents assassinates Bond's friend and host at a glittering dinner in the Bahamas, the Union becomes 007's priority target.

When information vital to Britain's national security is stolen, both M and Bond suspect that the Union is behind it. The trail leads Bond from one of England's most exclusive golf clubs to the cosmopolitan city of Brussels and finally to an expedition up the icy heights of the legendary mountain Kangchenjunga, the third tallest peak in the world. Led by the abrasive mountaineer Group Captain Roland Marquis, aided by the expedition's sexy and beautiful doctor, Hope Kendall, and opposed by an unknown traitor working out of SIS itself, Bond must pit his strength and guile against two deadly adversaries - the forces of nature at high altitude and the most resourceful criminal minds he has ever encountered.

©1999 Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. JAMES BOND and 007 are the registered trade marks of Danjaq LLC, used under license by Ian Fleming Publications Limited. All Rights Reserved.

What listeners say about High Time to Kill

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

More Maclean than Bond.

A reasonable book but more in the vein of Alistair Maclean than Flemming. A bit too trashy.

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I didn't enjoy this one.

There are many problems I had with this book. Bond acts like a psychopath throughout most of this. I know Fleming's Bond was sometimes cold but this Bond is almost robotic. His interactions with the women earlier on and some of the other characters in general just don't sound like things people would say. And (spoiler) I think Bond fucks every female character mentioned except M. There isn't even really any suspense/banter just "Hello James, you look manly, want to fuck?" Well, not that bad but close. He also seems to be able to fuck inside a small sleeping bag at a Himalayan mountain top while the both need oxygen breathers in. That seemed unlikely. There is a long game of golf at the beginning and it is ridiculous. They drive a ball 230 yards and then Bond's rival drives his balls to hit Bond's on purpose. Tiger Woods couldn't do this on his best day let alone a pair of amateurs. It was just silly. Another problem is that one of the characters is German. He has no background, no depth but it goes unremarked that he attacks Bond with "A Nazi dagger" as his being German in the 1990s apparently sufficiently explains his Nazism. Also, a character being a double agent or a spy should be shocking. It should be a twist. But (spoiler) almost everyone on his twelve man climbing team, some of his base camp employees, his MI5 contacts and more are all vetted by MI5 but ALL were traitors and double crossers. Then there was the product placements. That was painful. You've start to notice it about half an hour in and then you're stuck for the rest of the book with phrases like: "Bond put on Boothroyd's OneSport Boots... His various ice tools, axes, ice screws, were made by Black Diamond, among the finest available. His snow pickets... were MRS Coyotes... He examined the points on his Grivel 2F Crampons... He carried Eidelweiss 9mm Stratoss ropes." Etc. Etc. Fleming was detailed in his descriptions to give a sense of setting. This author could have been writing for infomercials and it just goes on, and on, and on like that for almost the entire book. Religion crops up my more than I expected in a Bond book. Lots of talk of respecting deities snd trying to not anger gods. When someone has some bad luck after disrespecting an idol Bond calls it god(s) punishing them. M is insane. She treats Bond like shit and says things like "Well he did save the world but I should really fire him for not spotting that someone he knew was a double agent for a highly secretive spy agency." There's also another SPECTRE clone called something stupid. I just got SPECTRE2 stuck in my head. They're meant to be a mercenary group without any ideology yet people shout things like "You'll never stop SPECTRE2!" as they die. You can't really combine a purely mercenary organisation with kamakaze/suicidal missions as it makes no sense! They also infiltrate everywhere and have men everywhere with seemingly no difficulty. Honestly, I didn't much like the plot, characters, setting, enemies, relationships, style of writing nor the dialogue. I was going to give this a 2/5 but in hindsight I think it's more like a 1. I've read a fair few of the non-Fleming Bond books and this one is particularly bad.

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Great Bond story

I very much enjoyed this great Bond story line and the super performance by Simon Vance.

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Thoroughly enjoyed the listen

Good take on the Bond theme which I found compulsive listening. Highly recommended if you like this style.

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A Bond story that has everything!

I have listened to a lot of James Bond books and can honestly say, this is the best. It had everything you would want from our hero; extreme physical challenges, the inclusion of his great loves; golf, climbing, strong women. I would highly recommend this to all fans. Great story, great presentation from Simon Vance

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Brilliant

Brilliant great story.
would highly recommend to anyone.
from start to Finnish it had me gripped...

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Brilliant

Simon Vance is a brilliant Bond narrator, far better than the awful mess that was Trigger Mortis

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  • mark waldman
  • 31-10-19

Benson’s Best Bond

Great fun and an original situation. Would love to see some version of this make it into the film series. Interesting locales, villains, Bond girls and HIGH excitement. I really thought the character of Bond’s friend Chandra was terrific too and would be great on screen. No one performs Bond novels better than Vance either. He really portrays Fleming’s world, as does Mr. Benson.

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  • Ross
  • 24-05-18

Formulaic but Excellent James Bond

Bond is amazing in the Raymond Benson books, written mostly through the 90's but still have a relevant feel in technology and culture although pre 9/11. I actually started on the last book of his series not realizing how many there were but this title you can listen to without listening to the previous books in the series. "High Time to Kill" is Benson's 3rd original Bond in the series and is the best since the first "Zero Minus Ten". The action, characters and locations are typical Bond, but that is good thing. While I say Formulaic and Typical, I think most Bond fans find comfort in that - There is the women, the double-crosses and mystery that you need to see through to the last word. This book specifically gives some excellent characters to love and hate, possibly the best built characters outside of Bond himself. It also introduces a great arch nemesis in The Union, a group of baddies that Bond will run into over the next few novels. Simon Vance is an EXCELLENT voice for Bond novels. I have tried to listen to a few other Bond novels not voiced by Mr Vance and I just can't get over how well he does. If you are a fan of the movies and want a more modern Bond story, I find the Ian Flemming novels a bit antique after so many great modern Bond movies have been made.

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  • Philip H. Cabrera
  • 06-04-18

Ridiculous

I was hoping for a modern take on Bond like Jeffery Deaver”s novel, which was excellent all around. But oh well. I do like Simon Vance but for some reason his narration always seem rushed. Anyway I lasted twenty minutes in and realized I wasted my money.

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  • Josh Ladgrove
  • 03-09-17

Great Bond novel

Exciting novel featuring The Union. Very vivid story telling and Simon Vance is the master

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 12-08-17

classic Bond

great story with some twists. high time to kill. Lmao. the reader brought the story to life

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miles Kirby
  • 13-07-16

great book

Interesting storyline, good characters and good range of locations. Good representation of Bond and really well narrated.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lint
  • 01-07-16

Bond is heavy on the filler

I have to admit, I was terribly disappointed by this novel. While size isn't everything, the production is only about nine hours, . And a good two-thirds of the story is filler that is only vaguely germane too the story.

It's almost like the author was writing a script for a TV show, or a movie. There was a good ninety minutes of story, but then the author needed to stretch another seven hours to make a novel.

Too much of the mystery is given away in long winded exposition, and Bond becomes a somewhat incompetent and whiney passenger in the story.

Most of the events are clearly telegraphed ahead of time, and there are no real surprises. Characters are largely flat and stereotypical. And after the initial events, the listener must sit through two-thirds of the book without anything of interest or import happening.

Frankly, it was dull, and the climax was predictable and derivative. I spent most of my time listening to this novel just waiting for something, anything, to happen.

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  • Luke Bragg
  • 24-05-16

I wish they'd make a movie of this

What did you love best about High Time to Kill?

The isolated setting and clear goal

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Absolutely. I found myself really trying to imagine the mountain setting

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He's the best

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I thought this would make for a really interesting Bond movie.

Any additional comments?

This may be my favorite Bond story of all time.