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The Puppet Master by Peter O'Donnell
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The Stone Age Caper is the first story - the story itself is quite good, if slight, but the title just doesn't fit. They disguise themselves as Australian 'abos' for a while - big whoop! Though it did cause some controversy, apparently, because abos don't wear anything above the waist - men or women. The 'show' is quite tame for these days but apparently it stirred things up a bit when first published. The story itself, as I said, is pretty minor - Mr. Wu Smith is interesting in how he reacts to Modesty, but the scam is minor, Damion is minorly nasty, and there's just not much to it. Actually, the most interesting part of it is the echoes of A Taste For Death - David Collins is quite similar to Steve Collier, Damion plays the same sort of games as the villain in Taste… mildly interesting. Next is the title story, The Puppet Master - again, most interesting for its book echoes, this time Dragon's Claw. In the book it's Willie who's mentally fiddled to attack Modesty on sight (also echoed in The Hell Makers); here it's Modesty who's fiddled, though it fails much the same way (recognition is faster than the engineered reflex to kill). The other interesting thing in here is the introduction of Maude Tiller, who also shows up in the books. I like her. Then the last story, With Love From Rufus, is really funny. Poor Modesty is seriously strung up between the right thing and the possible thing. The bad guy fortunately takes the matter out of her hands. I wonder if Willie ever got to discuss his safebreaking techniques with Rufus? He should, if only to upgrade the security on the flat… I'm glad he came to his senses, though. His skills shouldn't be ignored completely, but he's really not up to being a thief in the real world. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Nov 13, 2009 |
The first two stories are above average: "The Puppet Master", which uses a revenge scenario to portray Modesty's brainwashing into believing Willie is an enemy she must kill, while Willie single-mindedly tracks her down. A superior story that shows their devotion to one another, and introduces Maude Tiller, a favorite of mine. "With Love From Rufus" is a delightful bit of comic farce. The last entry, "The Blue Beard Affair", is a straight caper with Modesty and Willie trying to rescue Rene Vaubois' niece from a murderous husband. All three are marred by Romero's unsuited artwork, stiff and overly glamorous. ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 14, 2007 |
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Grateful thanks to Peter O'Donnell, Lawrence Blackmoor, Robert Van Der Nol and Trevor York for their help and support in the production of this book.
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Once in a very great while, an extraordinarily talented individual creates a unique set of characters, and places them in a thought-provoking and entertaining story.
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As dangerous as she is desirable, Modesty Blaise, the cult creation, returns for four more devastating adventures. Elements of humour, action, and danger are combined in these escapist thrillers written by O'Donnell.

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