Diamonds Are Forever is essentially James Bond vs. the American Mob. Bond's first adventure in the USA pitts him up against the Spangled Mob who specialize in diamond smuggling and horse race fixing. After a tip leads Bond to the House Of Diamonds and in particular, one Mr. Saye. After questioning him and realizing he knows nothing about diamonds, Bond departs for America under the guise of Peter Franks, a for-hire smuggler.
It is in America that Bond's true adventure begins. However, he doesn't have to go at it alone as Felix Leiter returns after a one novel hiatus. Although he has been slightly disfigured, it is still great to have him back...something the movie version should try now instead of Jack Wade.
Bond first lands in New York City but it isn't until he goes to Las Vegas that the action begins to heat up. After a harrowing incident in a mud bath just outside New York, Bond goes to Vegas to gamble with the mob's money. Needless to say a car chase, a train chase, and a boat battle later Bond has saved the day and gotten the girl.
The novel started out with a bang and then seemed to taper off from there. The first seven pages of the book were about a scorpion stalking out his prey in the desert and going in for the kill; a perfect parallel to James Bond. Then, the diamond deal went down and Bond went in to see Mr. Saye. All elements of a suspenseful book. Then, when Bond arrived in America, the book seemed to go downhill. To his credit, Fleming did an excellent job of describing 50's America, it just didn't work to have Bond there. The book had more of a classic gangster movie feel than a classic Bond novel. None-the-less, it is still worth reading.