The Facts of Death


After completing his first novel, Zero Minus Ten, Raymond Benson began writing his second novel in October 1996. The outline was completed and submitted by December of that year to Glidrose. The Facts of Death was originally titled “The World Is Not Enough” by Benson, but this title was rejected by both Glidrose and the publishers claiming it didn’t sound Bondian enough. The rejected title was subsequently used in 1999 for the third Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan as 007 as well as the novelization written by Mr. Benson. Prior to the publication of The Facts of Death on May 7, 1998, Benson wrote the novelization to Tomorrow Never Dies which he began writing in April 1997.

Benson does not consider the novelizations as part of his series, however, Tomorrow Never Dies does attempt to fit in with his continuity. For instance it introduces James Bond to the Walther P99, which Bond continues to use in The Facts of Death. The novelization also references Zero Minus Ten by saying that Bond had just been in Hong Kong. The Facts of Death makes at least one subtle references to the films beyond Tomorrow Never Dies by having the character of Admiral Hargreaves from the film The Spy Who Love Me show up at Sir Miles Messervy’s party.

According to Benson, the idea of The Facts of Death came about because of his interest in the Cyprus conflict and Bond fan Panos Sambrakos (started the website Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) who suggested the idea of a mathematician which eventually led to Pythagoras, the Decada, and the villain Konstantine Romanos.


  • Author: Raymond Benson
  • Released: May 7, 1998
  • Bond girl: Niki Mirakos
  • Bond villain: Konstantine Romanos
  • Henchmen: The Decada
  • Villain’s plot: Provoke a war between Turkey and Greece over the disputed Cyprus.
  • Locations: London, UK; Austin, Texas; Athens, Greece; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; Republic of Cyprus; Chios; (minor parts in New York City, New York; Tokyo, Japan; and Los Angeles, California)
  • Chapter Listing
    1. The Smell of Death
    2. A Day in the City
    3. An Evening in the Country
    4. Too Close to Home
    5. Rendezvous on Chios
    6. Tequila and Limes
    7. The Suppliers
    8. Mansion on the Hill
    9. The Sperm Bank
    10. Offensive Action
    11. The Next Three Strikes
    12. Hidden Agenda?
    13. The Greek Agent
    14. The New Pythagoreans
    15. BioLinks
    16. Romanos
    17. Queen of the Gods
    18. A Murderer’s Tomb
    19. The Number Killer
    20. Gods Never Die
    21. By the Skin of the Teeth
    22. Secrets of the Dead
    23. Independence Day
    24. Ghost Town
    25. The Face of Death
    26. The World Is Not Enough


    James Bond is dispatched to investigate the murder of an MI6 operative whose body was found at The Temple of Hephaisteion, a national park that is also a holy place for many Greeks. At the scene a “1” is discovered nearby. Here Bond meets Niki Mirakos a Greek National Intelligence Service agent who is also investigating the death of the MI6 operative. Before too long Bond is caught up in a global serial killing by an unknown assailant known as the “Number Killer”. When the “Number Killer” takes out Great Britain’s Good Will Ambassador to the World and M’s lover (#4 on the list), Alfred Hutchinson, with an unknown poison, Bond is sent to the United States to track down his son, Charles.

    In Texas Bond teams up with his longtime friend Felix Leiter and investigates the role of an infertility clinic that Charles works for. Bond learns that the clinic is in league with an arms supplying group known simply as The Suppliers who supplied the “Number Killer” with the poison used to kill Alfred. With help from Bond and Leiter, the FBI raids The Suppliers ranch and terminates their criminal activities. Bond learns that the Suppliers were being used by The Decada, a Greek organization founded on the principals of Pythagoras by Konstantine Romanos, a brilliant Greek mathematician.

    Following a lead Bond goes back to Greece to investigate The Decada and Konstantine Romanos with the help of Niki Mirakos. As the body count rises and tensions escalate between Greece and Turkey over the nearby island of Cyprus, a disease has been unleashed throughout the world that puts pressure on Bond to retrieve the antidote from The Decada. As Bond gets closer to completing the mission and discovering The Decada’s end game he is captured by Romanos and left with a puzzle to disarm a Pershing missile laced with the disease that is about to be fired into Northern Cyprus. As Romanos is about to leave Bond to his death, Hera Voloproulos who is the “Number Killer” and number two within The Decada, commits mutiny and takes over the organization killing Romanos. When she and the remaining Decada leave, Bond breaks free, solves the puzzle to disarm the Pershing missile, and chases Hera in a helicopter. Using a stinger missile, Bond destroys Hera’s Huey helicopter and later retrieves the antidote.


    The Facts of Death Concordance »

    James Bond – British Secret Service agent Commander James Bond, is investigating the murder of an MI6 officer when he is drawn into numbered serial killings around the world, while the fate of millions and the stability in Cyprus hangs in the balance.

    M (Barbara Mawdsley) – The successor to Sir Miles Messervy and the head of the British Secret Service, her lover, Great Britain’s “Goodwill Ambassador to the World” is murdered. She sends Bond to investigate the numbered killings and put an end to it.

    Konstantine Romanos – A brilliant mathematician, he is the founder of the New Pythagoras Society and number one in the evil Decada organization.

    Niki Mirakos – A Greek National Intelligence Service agent, she is sent to liaise with James Bond during Bond’s investigation of an MI6 officer. She accompanies James Bond on many other missions in the area and grows attached to him rarely leaving Bond’s sight unless forced to.

    Felix Leiter – Bond’s longtime friend, Leiter is living in Texas now with his girlfriend Manuela Montemayor. Leiter aids Bond on his mission while he’s there.

    Alfred Hutchinson – Great Britain’s “Good Will Ambassador to the World”, he is M’s lover until he is murdered by The Decada. Bond investigates his death and his association and or involvement in The Decada.


    Several character in The Facts of Death are based on real-life friends of Raymond Benson. Ray Winninger, David Ashcraft, and Tom Zielinski are all friends of his from Illinois and Chicago. Jack Herman, Bill Johnson, and James Goodner are all friends of his from Texas and Austin. Chris Whitten is a friend from the UK, Stuart Howard, and Panos Sambrakos who as mentioned earlier started the website Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and eventually inspired the idea of The Decada.




    • May 7, 1998: First Hardcover Edition. Hodder & Stoughton.
      ISBN 0-340-69641-9
    • November 5, 1998: First Paperback Edition. Coronet.
      ISBN 0-340-69642-7

    • June 1, 1998: First Hardcover Edition. Putnum.
      ISBN 0-399-14405-6
    • August 1, 1999: First Paperback Edition. Jove.
      ISBN 0-515-12550-4


      Kirkus Reviews

    • “The fate of the world, and James Bond, are in capable hands in this second 007 adventure from Benson… A postmodern treat for fans and newcomers that lovingly, if not ironically, duplicates a formula so familiar that originality would be sacrilege.”
      Telegraph & Argus (UK)

    • “The author has portrayed Bond as the somewhat amoral character of the original novels and the book is typical of its kind, easily read and full of enough cliffhanging situations, gadgetry, beautiful women, sex, villains and violent death to satisfy any James Bond fan.”
      Publishers Weekly

    • “Benson imbues his Bond with enough honor, sexual prowess and action-hero skills to please the purist and enthrall the novice.”


    • Benson makes a continuity mistake within the story by stating Stuart Thomas is still the head of Station G (Greece). Thomas, a former double-O, was featured in the Kingsley Amis novel, Colonel Sun, but was presumed dead by M (Messervy) at the end of that novel.