Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (6)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modesty and Willie ride again - for the last time
It's hard to believe, but even the action packed saga of Modesty Blaise has an end, and Cobra Trap is the last instalment. The good news is that there are five stories in this book and only one of them sees the end of our favourite duo. The others reach back through the lives of Modesty and Willie, filling in some blanks in their previous adventures and reuniting us with...
Published on 15 Nov 2001 by D. Trasler

versus
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars modesty and willie from begining to end
this is a book of short stories detailing some short adventures of modesty and willie. we start at the early days of the network, the illicit criminal gang set up by modesty blaise. we meet willie garvin a new recruit to the network and are given an insight into how the relationship developed between modesty and willie. the other stories follow a timeline up to an...
Published on 17 May 2001


Most Helpful First | Newest First

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modesty and Willie ride again - for the last time, 15 Nov 2001
It's hard to believe, but even the action packed saga of Modesty Blaise has an end, and Cobra Trap is the last instalment. The good news is that there are five stories in this book and only one of them sees the end of our favourite duo. The others reach back through the lives of Modesty and Willie, filling in some blanks in their previous adventures and reuniting us with favourite characters like Danny Chavasse and the irrepressible Colliers.
There's no getting away from that final story, but my advice to die-hard Modesty buffs is to ignore it. Buy the book and close it before you reach the last chapter. Leave Modesty and Willie glowing in your memory young and powerful. It's how they should be for ever.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting conclusion for the series, 19 Dec 2005
The final Modesty Blaise book is a collection of five novelettes and novellas covering the full span of Modesty Blaise's career, from the early days of the Network to Modesty and Willie coming out of retirement for one last caper. It's a fine collection for long-term fans, providing both new stories and closure for several long term story threads from the series. I don't think it's the ideal place for a new fan to start, because the references to events in earlier books may act as spoilers for those who haven't read those books yet, and the impact of the title story will be blunted for those who haven't had several books in which to become attached to the characters. It is however possible to enjoy these stories without ever having read any other Modesty Blaise books or the comic strip, and while ideally new readers should start with an earlier book in this series, they shouldn't be put off starting with Cobra Trap if it's the only one readily available to them.
The stories are classic Modesty Blaise. Once again O'Donnell demonstrates the appeal of a heroine and hero who are quite willing to go outside the law, but never to step outside their own moral code. For Modesty and Willie the ends do not justify the means. You know that the villains will lose in the end, but there will be no easy solution, and the good guys may well pay a high price for their victory. The stories are often hilarious, sometimes heart wrenching, and always thrilling to read. Some of the stories rely on the most outrageous coincidences, but with this level of writing there is no problem in suspending disbelief. This is a beautifully written and wonderfully entertaining book, and the final story is a bittersweet but emotionally right conclusion to the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful return to the magic of the Modesty Blaise, 26 Sep 2000
By A Customer
A long awaited wonderful return to the special magical chemistry and romance that was found in the early stories of Modesty Blaise, Willie Garvin, and their friends. This is a collection of short stories that visits different time periods throughout their lives, interweaving the familiar friendly faces with all new villains. Great action, intrigue, characterizations, and romance, written with the original lyricism and humor of the early books (not that this book is at all poetic, just enjoyably well-written). The only problem that a reader might have, that I had, is with the last story. I was not happy with the ending, in fact, I was initially quite upset. However, as much as I was initially unhappy with the ending, it did address a philosphical question and gives us insight into the author's answer to "what if..." A must read for all fans of the series. I just wish that we didn't have to wait so long for this book to be published (plus I had to wait an additional 4 years for the second printing in order to read it), and I sincerely hope that the author can bring himself to write more stories, soon!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book thirteen: the conclusion to 31 years of Modesty Blaise books, 21 Sep 2007
By 
Rennie Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) (Paperback)
Cobra Trap" is the 13th and last book in the Modesty Blaise series of books. Peter O'Donnell wrote it in 1996, after a pause of 11 years; the second-last book, "Dead Man's Handle", was written in 1985.

The Modesty Blaise series of books started with "Modesty Blaise" in 1965 and consists of 11 novels and two collections of short stories, one of which is "Cobra Trap". These books were very popular, especially during the period from 1965 to 1980. As well as the books, Modesty Blaise also ran as a newspaper comic strip, starting in 1963 and running until 2001, with Peter O'Donnell being the only author during the entire run.

All of the Modesty Blaise books are action thrillers about Modesty and her trusty sidekick Willie Garvin. Modesty and Willie are ex-criminals who get involved in adventures all around the world, going up against nasty bad guys and risking their lives to save friends or to right wrongs. There is a major emphasis on unarmed combat and ingenuity, and the tone is intelligent, with a bit of humor from time to time.

"Cobra Trap" contains five short stories. They are somewhat unusual in that the stories cover very different periods of Modesty's life, with the first story starting in the past when Modesty is around 20, and the last story set in the future when Modesty is around 52.

Before getting into a more detailed review of "Cobra Trap" I'd like to suggest that if you haven't read any of the Modesty Blaise books, then please start at the beginning. The first six books in the series are wonderful, after which things go somewhat downhill. This book should definitely be read last.

Warning! The remainder of this review contains major spoilers, so don't read further if you haven't read "Cobra Trap" yet.

Here follows mini-reviews for each of the five stories:

"Bellman" - 3 stars

This story is in two parts. The first part is set in the early days of The Network, Modesty's criminal organization. Modesty (who is around 20 at this time) and Willie travel to South America to put an end to Bellman's drug business. Bellman ends up in a prison labor camp.

Fast-forward to about 8 years later, a year after Modesty has closed down The Network and moved to England. Bellman is out of prison and seeking revenge. He captures Modesty and Willie and sets them loose on a small deserted island off the coast of Scotland with three professional hunters who are trying to kill them.

The plot isn't all that great; the revenge killing idea is overused and the evil Bellman is more pathetic than scary. Nor do the three hunters seem to be particularly dangerous, so the excitement is missing and the story is almost boring.

Incidentally, this short story is based on one of the early Modesty comic strip stories, "The Killing Ground", from 1968.

"The Dark Angels" - 3 stars

This story takes place about a year after "Bellman". The Dark Angels is a team of three former British Special Forces soldiers who have become professional assassins. They take on the job of killing Gus, an elderly American businessman visiting England. But Gus has befriended Modesty and so Modesty feels duty-bound to protect Gus from The Dark Angels.

The climax occurs when The Dark Angels challenge Modesty and Willie to a man-to-man fight at a deserted high-rise construction site. It should have been very exciting but once again it fails. The fight scene is too contrived and artificial, and it doesn't help that Modesty and Willie violate their own standards by showing up unprepared.

Strangely enough, this story ended up being made into a Modesty comic strip in 2002, after Peter O'Donnell had otherwise terminated the production of new Modesty comic strips.

"Old Alex" - 4 stars

"Old Alex" is a follow-on story to "Dead Man's Handle", the last Modesty novel. This implies that Modesty is probably around 33. Once again the story involves a revenge killing, with Modesty finding herself imprisoned in a cave in the Pyrenees in Southern France.

Modesty is found and freed by Old Alex, a French farmer in his 70's. The action then moves to London, and we have three parallel stories involving the revenge killing, Old Alex, and a bully in a pub who beats up Stephen Collier, one of Modesty's friends. The three stories slowly but surely come together in a surprising and satisfying way.

One very unexpected thing about "Old Alex" is that Peter O'Donnell finally makes it very obvious that "Modesty time" and "real time" are two quite different units. It's very clearly stated that this story takes place in 1997. So now we have to accept that Modesty was around 26 in 1965 and is around 33 in 1997! Neat trick! Of course, this sort of thing is typical of many fictional persons, but seldom put forth this blatantly.

"The Girl with the Black Balloon" - 4 stars

This story takes place when Modesty is around 38 years old, and involves an international terrorist gang who kidnaps important people and holds them for huge ransoms. But they make the mistake of brutally killing a British agent who is a friend of Modesty's, so she and Willie set out to free the latest kidnap victim and destroy the gang.

What makes this story better than average is the even greater than usual amount of ingenuity shown by Modesty and Willie. I also liked Lucy, the girl with the black balloon and a figure that was "truly excellent" (Willie's opinion) and the "excitable hormones" (her own admission). Lucy and her black balloon help Modesty and Willie get into the bad guys' lair, and the story has a happy ending when Willie gets invited into Lucy's lair.

"Cobra Trap" - 4 stars

From the humorous to the deadly serious. Dinah and Stephen Collier, good friends of Modesty and Willie, are in Central America, and get trapped in a rebel uprising. A very contrived situation is then presented. Modesty and Willie alone and with limited firepower have to hold off a group of 250 approaching rebels in a narrow gorge for an hour or so to save the lives of the Colliers and 50 other innocent people, including a lot of children.

Modesty, who is now around 52, is still fit for fight, but she has just received her death sentence. She knows she's going to die within a couple of months from an inoperable brain tumor. She is thus willing, even eager, to make this her last stand. She tells Willie to go back to the others and make his escape with them, but then Modesty is fatally shot and Willie has to hold out a bit longer, and then he too gets fatally shot.

There are two factors that can console the otherwise devastated Modesty fan.

As mentioned, Modesty is around 52 when she dies, and considering that she was 33 in 1997, and that a "Modesty year" lasts several normal years, we can safely assume that the action in "Cobra Trap" takes place quite far out in the future. We can thus be sure that Modesty is still alive and well right now, and will probably outlive all of her most loyal fans, those of us who discovered her back in the 1960's and 1970's and followed her since then.

The other factor, and one that I found really inspired, was that at the start of the story Willie talks about a near-death experience he'd had long ago. In his near-death state he had found himself on the slope of a kind of valley with a kind of silver stream or path at the bottom, and he could hear the song of the stars. And he was alone in this valley.

At the end of "Cobra Trap", when Willie dies, he is back on the slope of the valley with the mystical silver stream or path at the bottom, and he can hear the song of the stars again. But this time he's not alone, he can sense Modesty's presence there with him.

-------

So there you have it, five stories featuring Modesty at approximately 20, 28, 29, 33, 38 and 52. Two poor stories and three that are OK. The plots are all too contrived, but Modesty fans will forgive this.

Once again, do yourself a favor and start reading the series from the beginning. Don't read this book until you're done with the others, or at least have read the first six. When you do it this way you'll probably agree that "Cobra Trap" is a suitable ending for the series.

Rest in peace, Modesty and Willie.

Rennie Petersen
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars modesty and willie from begining to end, 17 May 2001
By A Customer
this is a book of short stories detailing some short adventures of modesty and willie. we start at the early days of the network, the illicit criminal gang set up by modesty blaise. we meet willie garvin a new recruit to the network and are given an insight into how the relationship developed between modesty and willie. the other stories follow a timeline up to an unspecified future time when a much older modesty and willie embark on their final adventure. this book is a must if you are a fan of modesty blaise.I must say that the short story format does not really suit modesty blaise, as we need a novel size story to really build a credible and seemly indestructible adversary for modesty and willie to do battle with, we know they will be in some inescapable fortress,the fun is watch them using their skill and ingenuity to win the day. peter o donnell is a master at describing combat scenes and techniques.the short story does not allow the same depth. there is another book of modesty short stories which are better than these called "pieces of modesty" it is hard to get hold of. if you are new to modesty blaise ,i suggest you start with one of the novels rather than this book I know peter o donnell is getting on a bit and he has said this will be the last modesty blaise book, i cant help wishing he will change his mind and write one more full lenghth novel that will do justice to the characters he created.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler alert is clearly marked, 16 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) (Paperback)
I love Modesty Blaise books, and some of the early ones are good enough to take their place in the top 100 thrillers of the 20th century - exciting, clever and with moments of tense hilarity. Pity the films made to date have stunk, because Modesty knocks 007 flying and deserves much more attention.

They're ALL readable, although some of them are a bit potboilerish.

**SPOILER ALERT ** the last of the stories in this collection is the last Modesty story. And that's the reason I gave the book 2 stars. If you are fairly new to the series, make sure you read the best books first. Then don't read this one. Or don't read the last story. If I had known in advance, well, okay. Hence this review.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Books which i have received, 16 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) (Paperback)
Most were good to very good unfortunately am too old for the likes of Conan et al. But Michael Gilbert is always good value.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars paperback, 24 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. E. Bray (North-west United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) (Paperback)
Another Modesty and Willie story, where they defeat the baddies, without working up a sweat. Good lightweight reading for aficionado's.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Modesty Blaise, bitesize, 18 Dec 2012
This review is from: Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) (Paperback)
A story collection rather than a novel, with five adventures spanning the career of Modesty and her lieutenant Willie Garvin from their early days in North Africa up to semi-retirement 40 years later.

The first story, 'Bellman', opens with a flashback to the days when Modesty ran The Network, a multinational criminal organisation based in Tangier. In 'The Dark Angels', Willie and Modesty are pitched against an infallible assassination ring sent to eliminate an American supermarket tycoon. In 'The Girl with the Black Balloon', a gang of kidnappers has been extorting millions from different governments, using the guise of different oddball organisations as cover. The final story, 'Cobra Trap', features a more mature Modesty and Willie, now in their 50s.

A great intro to the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliability & dependability, 31 Mar 2010
By 
Mr. M. Budding "big buyer" (Murcia. Spain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) (Paperback)
I have lived in Spain for some years now, so I am always buying slack handfuls of books & DVD's from Amazon - + I use them a lot for birthday & Xmas presents for friends in UK. I can totally rely on Amazon to quickly and reliably deliver all of of the numerous articles that I order. I haven't had cause for complaint with any any single purchase - a very good track record, and I can recommend them unreservedly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa6d92fa8)

This product

Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise)
Cobra Trap (Modesty Blaise) by Peter O'Donnell (Paperback - 30 Aug 2006)
Used & New from: 17.92
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews