BOND is Black? Bond is Bi-? Bond is a Babe? No, Bond has buggered off somewhere, he’s missing, and a new batch of double-0’s that tick all the politically correct boxes are out to find him.

Johanna Harwood (a neat in-joke for Bond geeks) is 003; she’s the babe with the MBChB who uses her formidable operative skills in the field as an ENT surgeon. Joseph Dryden is 004; he’s black and gay and from a poor background. Imagine James Baldwin with a Bullworker. 009 is Sid Bashir; he’s got a first in Philosophy and Mathematics from King’s. This trumps Bond’s passing the tripos in Oriental Languages. Sid is more “can do” than Kant.

The bad guys are the Rattenfänger PMC, a private military company, loosely based on Vladimir Putin’s appalling friends at the Wagner group, with a similar history of neo-Nazi atrocities and dicking around in Syria.

They’ve got their hooks into one Bertram Paradise, knight of the realm and expert on climate change, fond of quoting DH Lawrence – is this a bad sign?

READ MORE: 'When I feel lost I come back home': Douglas Stuart on Scots, class and Shuggie Bain

Paradise is surrounded by flunkies and has the oily insouciance, the apocrine excess, of Elon Musk. Kim Sherwood is fearlessly on-point with her contemporary referencing.

Bond is back in more ways than one. Sherwood’s volume arrives after Bond updates by the likes of Sebastian Faulks and William Boyd. Simon Winder’s The Man Who Saved Britain and Love and Let Die by John Higgs both testify to the enduring sociological fascination with 007.

There’s a deep sense that the Glencoe-born character tells us something about our national psyche – be that Britain or Scotland. Daniel Craig will soon be replaced and more movies will follow. Books on Ian Fleming himself proliferate.

This new Bond volume has the imprimatur of the Ian Fleming Estate itself and sticks with the formula that made the master’s fortune. There’s the usual mix of romance and exotic locations. We find ourselves in Baikonur, Berlin, Barcelona, the Barbican and, uh, the Depot cinema, Lewes.

Product placement, the commodification of consumer goods, is upfront. Shirts are from Turnbull and Asser. Octomore Orpheus gets a mention (£409 a bottle, I checked). There are a lot of watches: the Richard Mille RM 11-05, the Georg Jensen designed by Nanna Ditzel in silver with a satin finish, the enamel Hermès by Anita Porchet, artisan enameller. Tick.

M, Q, Moneypenny and Felix Leiter are all present and correct albeit in delightfully mutated form and there are MacGuffins aplenty.

Contemporary political referencing arrives when a MI6 psychiatrist debriefs Harwood. Asked about her Algerian grandmother we learn: “She fought for independence.”

The psychiatrist presses: “You wouldn’t call her a radical?”

Harwood answers: “Only if you call the notion a country has a right to freedom and justice radical.”

Aye, aye.

As for the du jour furore over immigration, Sherwood is surely right to reference Ambalavaner Sivanandan’s aphorism – we are here, because you were there.

Sherwood lectures on creative writing at Edinburgh University and provides some insightful observations as a literary aside: a character’s “sardonic ennui” reminds her of “physics professors at Cambridge who viewed the everyday through a screen of light-hearted detachment verging on disappointment”.

Her sentences can be as clipped and pithy as Fleming’s; there’s an amazing metaphor that compares one assassination to stringing lights on a Christmas tree. The pace of the tale is as zippy and smooth as a ride on a Maglev.

READ MORE: Praise for Booker nomination from Nicola Sturgeon was 'amazing', says Scots author

It’s also a delight to come across a reference to Patrick Caulfield’s deadpan headstone in Highgate cemetery.

I missed the salty tang of Fleming’s names – the Drax’s, the Scaramanga’s – but that’s to nitpick. As with Fleming, there’s a fair amount of casually sadistic violence, a lot of “gouging and scraping and wrenching”. My Instagram feed seems full of angry cat videos but Sherwood tops the lot in one scene we’ll say no more about.

In an afterword, Sherwood, as a “lifelong Bond fan and feminist”, defends Fleming from the routine accusations of misogyny. Sherwood’s own female characters share what she recognises in Fleming’s Bond girls – that they are “independent, capable, courageous, witty, intelligent, vulnerable, dangerous, haunted”. She loves Tilly Masterson from Goldfinger who says: “I’ve got my life to run, and I know where I’m going.”

We’re told this is the first volume in a trilogy so hold on tight.