The new James Bond novel was launched in London on Wednesday with a fast car, a leather-clad Bond girl and royal marines descending from the roof on wires.
"Carte Blanche", by American thriller writer Jeffery Deaver, was unveiled at St Pancras International station, the departure point for cross-Channel rail services.
Deaver pulled up at the station's champagne bar in a red Bentley Continental GT sports car, flanked by a Bond girl in black leathers.
The book, however, was delivered from the air by members of the Royal Marines Display Team who dropped from the station's roof onto the concourse below.
The plot of the novel was to remain a secret until midnight (2300 GMT), but it has been revealed that Deaver's 007 served in the Royal Navy Reserve, including a tour of service in Afghanistan, before joining the secret service.
Deaver said it was an easy decision for him to write Bond's latest adventures because he had been a big fan of the late Ian Fleming, the creator of the world's best-known spy.
"About 18 months ago the Ian Fleming estate asked me if I would be interested in writing the next continuation novel, and I debated for all of seven seconds and said 'yes, I would love to do that.'
"Ian Fleming was a big influence on me, I read my first James Bond novel when I was about eight years old," Deaver said.
Fleming's niece, Lucy Fleming, who was at the launch, said: "If he had been here today, he would have loved the occasion."
She said the new book "has got one of the nastiest villains I've ever read".
The first "new" Bond novel, "Devil May Care", was penned by British writer Sebastian Faulks and released in 2008.Reuse content