007 Book location: Key West International Airport / Nobody Lives For Ever (1986) and Licence to Kill (1989)January 21, 2022
Bond book: Nobody Lives For Ever (1986) and Licence to Kill (1989)
Place and location in the book: Key West International Airport, 3491 S Roosewelt Blvd, Key West USA
What happens here in the book:
Bond is a prisoner of a villain’s henchmen, when they bring 007 to Key West Airport (Nobody Lives For Ever).
Bond is leaving Key West, but hears that drug lord Franz Sanchez has escaped (Licence to Kill).
“Key West International Airport always struck Bond as a somewhat pretentious title, for the major number of scheduled flights were made by twin-engined Pipers, Beechcrafts, or, if you were really lucky, those wonderful old DC-3s (C-47s as the Americans called them) which had seen sterling service prior to Big Two, a euphemism for World War II which Bond rather liked. In fact, the main international destination of ninety per cent of these flights was Miami.
“On the day after Felix Leiter’s wedding, Bond made his way into the relatively small departures building of Key West Airport. He had breakfasted well, paid his bill at the Pier House, asking them to
give the lady in his room anything she required and charge it to his Amex card, and now, walking from the cab to the tiny departures lounge, he realised two things. First, he felt much fitter than he had any right to feel; second, the lounge was unusually crowded. People were actually still outside the door, standing in line for the one check-in counter. There were no first class check-ins at Key West,
As someone once remarked, ‘You’re rather lucky to get a check-in at all.’
Bond stood for fifteen minutes before he reached the harassed young lady who took his ticket.
‘What’s going on here this morning?’ he asked pleasantly. There were a large number of police, marshals and security men around which was most unusual.”
John Gardner: “Licence to Kill” (1989)
Bond visited in Key West already a couple years earlier in John Gardner’s book “Nobody Lives For Ever” (1986), when he landed to the Key West International Airport:
“A moment later the pilot came on the intercom system to ask for seatbelts to be fastened and cigarettes extinguished. He announced that they would be landing in about four minutes. Bond watched out of the window as they dropped towards the lights. He saw water and tropical vegetation interspersed with roads and low buildings coming up to meet them.
‘Interesting place, Key West,’ mused Quinn. ‘Hemingway once called it the poor man’s St Tropez. Tennessee Williams lived here too. President Truman established a little White House near what used to be the Naval Base and John F. Kennedy brought the British PM, Harold Macmillan, to visit it. Cuban boat people landed here, but long before that it was a pirates’ and wreckers’ paradise. I’m told it’s still a smugglers’ heaven, and the US Coastguard operates a tight schedule out of here.’
They swept in over the threshold and touched down with hardly a bump.
‘There’s history in this airport as well,’ Quinn continued. ‘First regular US mail flight started from here; and Key West is both the beginning and end of Highway Route One.’ They rolled to a halt, then began to taxi towards a shack-like hut with a veranda. Bond saw a low wall with faded lettering: ‘Welcome to Key West the Only Frost-Free City in the United States’.
‘And they have the most spectacular sunsets,’ Quinn added. ‘Really incredible. Pity you won’t be around to see one.’
The heat hit them like a furnace as they left the aircraft. Even the mild breeze felt as if it was blowing from an inferno.
The departure from the jet was as carefully organised as the boarding, with Kirchtum close enough to use his deadly little syringe at any moment, should Bond alert their suspicion.
‘Smile and pretend to talk,’ muttered Quinn, glancing towards the veranda where a dozen or so people were waiting to welcome passengers off a newly arrived PBA flight. Bond scanned the faces, but recognised nobody. They passed through a small gate in the wall beside the shack, Quinn and Kirchtum pushing him towards another sleek dark automobile. In a few moments, Bond was again seated between the two men. This time the driver was young, in an open-necked shirt and with long blond hair.
John Gardner: “Nobody Lives For Ever” (1986)
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