by Ian Fleming. This is the first of the 12 "Bond, James Bond" books written in the 1950's. I read them all in
the 1970's in High School and decided to re-read a few of them again to see if they are as good as I remember
them to be.
Ian Fleming was a terrific writer. Casino Royale is a very tense book and moves quickly. He quickly develops characters and they seem to interact very naturally. The story revolves around a plot to bankrupt a Soviet agent (who turns out to be a pretty mean fellow) at the card table who needs the winnings to keep from getting killed by his employers. Bond is a relatively new "double-O" and learns a thing or two about his business in bringing down this Soviet agent
The recent movie of the same name, which was Daniel Craig's first Bond role, is very faithful to this book. While the backdrop of the movie has more modern themes, the plot is pretty much right out of Ian Fleming's book.