This is Ian Fleming
's novel that spells the beginning of the end
for James Bond
. It opens with Bond writing his resignation letter -- he has been fruitless
ly hunting Ernst Stavro Blofeld
for a while now, and feels his talents are being wasted. He meets Tracy, a bird with a broken wing
, and finds out fast who she really is -- daughter of Marc-Ange Draco, Godfather
of the Union Corse
Draco offers Bond one million pounds to marry his daughter. Bond declines the money, but takes up with Tracy. He also gets a tip on Blofeld's location from Draco.
Blofeld is in Switzerland, running an experimental clinic high on an alp. Bond infiltrates as an expert on genealogy sent to confirm or deny Blofeld's claim to be a count. At one point, a colleague of Bond's turns up, and Bond has to deny him in order to preserve his own cover, meaning almost certain death for his fellow spy.
Bond finds that Blofeld is brainwashing British girls. They have come to the "allergy clinic" for phobias of assorted British farm products (beef, potatoes, turkeys, etc). He is simply making them love the things they fear. Knowing something is wrong with the whole setup, Bond escapes in a midnight downhill ski run. (The scene where one of his pursuers skis into a locomotive's snowblower is particularly chilling.)
On return, he and M. figure out that Blofeld is using the girls as delivery vectors in a biowar scheme that, if successful, would destroy Britain's economy. Unlike Thunderball, Blofeld seems to be motivated by vengeance rather than profit, as there is no ransom demand.
Bond gets engaged to Tracy, and, as a wedding present from her father, receives assistance taking Blofeld's clinic. Blofeld escapes via a luge run, but his plan is squashed. Bond marries Tracy, and drives off into the sunset to live happily ever after.
But before the honeymoon, someone passes the happy couple on a mountain road, and opens fire, killing Tracy. The end of the book is Bond holding his dead bride, muttering the last thing he had said to her -- "We've got all the time in the world."