"Every major foreign government organization has a file on British secret agent James Bond. Now, Russia's lethal SMERSH organization has targeted him for elimination. SMERSH has the perfect bait in the irresistible Tatiana Romanova, who lures 007 to Istanbul promising the top-secret Spektor cipher machine. But when Bond walks willingly into the trap, a game of cross and double-cross ensues, with Bond both the stakes and the prize."
From Russia With Love Book Jacket Summary:
-From the 2002 Penguin Edition
Fleming's original From Russia With Love is almost exactly the same as the Connery movie. Bond travels to Russia to obtain a SPECTOR decoding device and is unwhittingly used in a part of a SMERSH plan to embarass the British Secret Service. Unlike the movie, there is no SPECTRE in this novel, but it doesn't need there to be.
Universal Exports' Review:
From Russia With Love is stunning. Fleming writes in an unusually excellent prose for a thriller writer, combininng the threads of the complex plot to excellent and often harrowing effect. The characterisation is the best feature of this tour de force. Every character is fully and artistically developed - Red Grant, the psychotic killer,
is the ultimate Bond enemy and he still packs a punch fifty years on. Rosa Klebb is written vividly, in all her detestable glory. Romanovna is not the average Bond girl - she is well introduced, as well as being a most luscious Bond girl, and plenty of backround to her life is given, something often lacking in Fleming's other efforts.
British Pan paperback edition
Bond himself is also developed marvellously, and quite aside from the cardboard cutout characters we often get in a Bond book, none of these characters are lacking in depth and dimension. If the plot is good - SMERSH plotting to kill MI6's best agent and also to create a world wide sex scandal with far reaching implications for the credibility of British intelligence into the bargain - then the execution is better. Every page is a masterpiece in itself, and the whole plot moulds perfectly and seamlessly, from London, Istanbul, the Orient Express and France, with perfection.