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I, Lucifer [Paperback]

Peter O'Donnell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1969
When the first threats appear they are assumed to be a hoax. But when a hundred and twenty people are threatened with death, and only a few live because they pay the ransom, while the others die from natural causes or accidents then it is no hoax. Lucifer, a paranoid young man, believes that he is Satan and has a remarkable psychic ability to predict death by natural causes. Lucifer s ability is used by Seff s gang to extract ransom from their rich victims. Seff selects the victims and warns them of their impending death, any who does not pay the ransom seemingly dies from natural causes, helped on their way by Seff s executioner, Jack Wish. By what means are the victims being killed? How is the ransom money being collected without trace from under the sea? Modesty s friend, Steve Collier, the renowned psychic researcher, is kidnapped to help Seff and he accidentally blows Modesty s cover as she investigates this mystery. Taken prisoner Modesty and her faithful lieutenant, Willie Garvin, must escape Seff s island stronghold.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; New edition edition (May 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330022865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330022866
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter O'Donnell began his career working on pre-World War Two comic strips. During the 1950's he became involved with strip cartoons and created the revolutionary series Modesty Blaise, which would be syndicated in more than 42 countries. The strip led to a series of bestselling novels, all published by Souvenir Press: Modesty Blaise, Sabre Tooth, I,Lucifer, The Impossible Virgin, Pieces of Modesty, A Taste for Death, The Silver Mistress, Dragon's Claw, The Xanadu Talisman, The Night of the Morningstar, Dead Man's Handle and his final collection of stories about Modesty, Cobra Trap.

Product Description

Review

These books are the finest escapist thrillers ever written. --The Times

Before Buffy, before Charlie s Angels, before Purdy and Emma Peel there was Modesty Blaise. For almost 40 years, Peter O Donnell s iconic heroine drop-kicked her way through a swath of villains and into a unique place in popular culture. --The Observer

The continuing renaissance of the immortal heroine: thrilling, humorous and timeless adventures, the Modesty Blaise series are seminal British crime novels… a high-point of popular fiction. --Crime Time --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Peter O Donnell became involved with strip cartoons in the 1950 s and invented the character of Modesty Blaise in 1963. The revolutionary strip ran for 38 years and was syndicated in over 40 countries. From the strip was born a series of 13 bestselling novels about Modesty and her trusted lieutenant Willie Garvin, all published by Souvenir Press. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I don't know what it's like to be dead." 13 Dec 2005
Format:Paperback
Modesty Blaise's good friend John Dall can't understand why Modesty insists on risking her life to try to save the life of a person with an incurable and debilitating mental problem. "You really think he's better off alive?" he asks Modesty.
"I wouldn't know, Johnnie. I don't know what it's like to be dead," replies Modesty.
That's good enough for me. :-)
"I, Lucifer" (1967) is the third book in the Modesty Blaise series of action thrillers written by Peter O'Donnell back in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's, a series of books that I really love.
Although I love this series of books I've decided to only give four stars to "I, Lucifer". The reason is that the supernatural plays a very important role in the story, and I'm too much of a skeptic to believe in such things. In addition, a major coincidence occurs that also reduces the believability of the plot in my mind.
The bad guys are always a major element in a Modesty Blaise story. In "I, Lucifer" we meet Seff and his wife Regina, two elderly puppeteers who turned to crime when they could no longer find work due to the closure of the vaudeville theaters. Unlikely villains, but they are described as being so evil that one feels a chill running down ones back.
Seff and his wife have developed a diabolical way of threatening people and demanding protection money. But they happened to have René Vaubois (a friend of Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin) on their list of targets, and he refused to pay when threatened. And René happens to be together with Modesty and Willie when a gang tries to kill him, to set an example for the other targets.
This is the start of a long and complicated story.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars I cant put it down 11 Jun 2013
By Paul
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this mans books and got tis to replace a battered copy that I have read so many times. I then found myself eager to get the packaging off so I could read it again.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of a good series 27 Oct 2000
By Raul S Reyes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved the Modesty Blaise tales when they came out in the Sixties and seventies. All were good. I loved the interaction between Modesty and Willie. (By the way, anyone else notice the similarities with Skilly and Two-knife in Jerry Pournelle's stories of Falkenberg's Legion?) The other characters, including Modesty's and Garvin's love interests, were also interesting and well drawn, (although some of Willie's girls were a bit over the top). I Lucifer has one of the more interesting plots; a young man who can predict death with almost 90% accuracy, and thinks he is Satan, and the villains who take control of him for monetary gain. O'Donnell always had good villains for Modesty and Willie to foil, and this tale takes all their wits and skills. A good action spy-thriller with a horror/occult twist...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not The One To Start With... 22 Nov 2005
By Chris Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While I love the Modesty Blaise series, this third adventure takes a bit more suspension of disbelief than others in the bunch, so I recommend you start elsewhere. (Best begin with the first novel "Modesty Blaise" and then #2, "Sabre-Tooth," then skip this and read the others before coming back to it.) Why? The concept of ESP figures largely in the plot, and if you have even a smidgen of doubt about it (and I have plenty), it takes too much credulity to fully enjoy the plot-- pretty silly by O'Donnell's standards. Of course, one reads these and the Bond books for escapism, but the farther they stray from reality, the more they become fantasies untied to the Real World... so give this one a pass the first time 'round and pick it up after you've read the other, better, Modestys.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have loved every Modesty Blaise book I have read. 3 Nov 1999
By Damian Trasler (dim@dtrasler.freeserve.co.uk) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Peter O'Donnell writes books that grab you by the throat and don't let go. 'I Lucifer' is a classic Modesty Blaise adventure, with pulse-pounding action and hair raising danger on every page. Don't believe that this is dated stuff - Modesty could Bond out of business without breaking a sweat!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I wouldn't know, Johnnie. I don't know what it's like to be dead." 23 Aug 2005
By Rennie Petersen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Modesty Blaise's good friend John Dall can't understand why Modesty insists on risking her life to try to save the life of a person with an incurable and debilitating mental problem. "You really think he's better off alive?" he asks Modesty.

"I wouldn't know, Johnnie. I don't know what it's like to be dead," replies Modesty.

That's good enough for me. :-)

"I, Lucifer" (1967) is the third book in the Modesty Blaise series of action thrillers written by Peter O'Donnell back in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. This is a series of books that I really love, and you may wish to take a look at my "So You'd Like To" guide here at Amazon.com about reading books by Peter O'Donnell.

Although I love this series of books I've decided to only give four stars to "I, Lucifer". The reason is that the supernatural plays a very important role in the story, and I'm too much of a skeptic to believe in such things. In addition, a major coincidence occurs that also reduces the believability of the plot in my mind.

The bad guys are always a major element in a Modesty Blaise story. In "I, Lucifer" we meet Seff and his wife Regina, two elderly puppeteers who turned to crime when they could no longer find work due to the closure of the vaudeville theaters. Unlikely villains, but they are described as being so evil that one feels a chill running down one's back.

Seff and his wife have developed a diabolical way of threatening people and demanding protection money. But they happened to have René Vaubois (a friend of Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin) on their list of targets, and he refused to pay when threatened. And René happens to be together with Modesty and Willie when a gang tries to kill him, to set an example for the other targets.

This is the start of a long and complicated story. First Modesty and Willie have to find the bad guys, then they suffer a major setback, and then we are led to the exciting final confrontation.

The high point in this book, in my opinion, is when Modesty and Willie are forced to fight a duel to the death against each other. Of course, I can't reveal what happens, but as usual Peter O'Donnell has created a story with many twists and surprises. And, as usual, the very special relationship between Modesty and Willie is an important and appealing part of the book.

This book introduces Stephen Collier, a recurring figure in several of the later Modesty Blaise books. I have mixed feelings about Stephen Collier, and am never really sure about what it is that Modesty sees in him.

One final point I'll mention is that the paperback edition of this book contains a couple of typographical errors not present in the original hardcover edition. Amazing as it sounds in our post-PC era, the text of books must have been manually re-entered back then when a book was copied from hardcover to paperback.

In conclusion, a great Modesty Blaise adventure, but not one of my favorites because of the emphasis on a certain supernatural ability of one of the characters in the story.

Rennie Petersen
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody does it better! 1 Jan 2005
By Naomi Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm a long-time big-time fan of the Modesty Blaise books. O'Donnell does a nifty job of combining action/adventure with humor and drama. This title is my sentimental favorite probably because this is the one in which the recurring character of sharp-witted, self-professed coward Stephen Collier is introduced. Collier is the Everyman we can identify with, who allows us as readers to partake of the action and observe Modesty and sidekick Willie Garvin's antics without pretending in any way to be their peer. Like Collier the reader is a passenger on this wild caper - you may hold your breath at times and burst out laughing at others. This book has all the hallmarks of a Blaise/Garvin outing: Ingenious villains, a Garvin girl story, wit, wonderfully detailed combat sequences -- if you've never read a Modesty Blaise book, no need to begin at the beginning because this book easily stands on its own and is thrilling enough to induce you to read the others.
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