's tenth Bond adventure isn't, properly, a Bond adventure, although he is in it.
This is first and foremost the story of Vivienne Michele. She is a perky Canadian girl, who has recently returned from five years in London. The first chapters tell her life history, including her romantic/sexual encounters with a British cad and a cold but technically inspiring German. She ends up at a motel in the Adirondacs, working as bookkeeper for two weeks. A rest stop with pay, on her quest to ride her Vespa to Florida.
A rest stop that very nearly ends her life.
The motel managers, an unpleasant couple, leave Viv in charge of the place for a couple days at the end of the season, promising the motel owner will arrive to pay her and do the final lockup.
Instead, two gangsters1 show up. They assault and threaten Viv, but she is a sideline to their real mission, which is to burn down the motel for the insurance money. Viv is the patsy, set up from the time she took the job.
Then James Bond arrives, having had a fortuitous flat. He's driving down from a counterassassination in Toronto, heading for Washington. He explains all this to Viv, and mentions briefly that SPECTRE was peripherally involved. The thugs make their move, but are outgunned by Bond and Viv, who proves suprisingly resourceful. Or perhaps it's not so suprising. Bond's girls tend to run to a type -- strong, masculine, outdoorsy, capable. Hmmm.
After Bond saves the day (and sexually awakens the girl) he leaves in darkness, taking time to contact the police and make sure she gets the rewards. She rides off into the morning on her Vespa, swearing to never forget Bond2.
1 Don't get me wrong, I love Fleming, but his "American Gangster" characters are always unsatisfying, shallow, and cliched. These two, the alopecic Sluggsy and the jail-gray Horror (short for Horowitz), speak in the most laughable and stilted dialect you can imagine. If Babelfish had a setting for Bad Gangster movie, this is what you would get.
"Say, Horror! This is some bimbo! Git an eyeful of
those knockers! And a rear-end to match! Geez, what a
"Ixnay, Sluggsy. I said later. Leave the stupid slot be."
2 Since Viv is never mentioned again, I assume that Bond forgets her pretty damned fast.