I read this book about 26-Aug-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1965. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:40:36 PDT.
This is book 1 of the "Modesty Blaise" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
The first of the Modesty Blaise books; apparently written quite quickly from the script O'Donnell did for the movie, of which not much survived to the screen.
It seems to me that he has the voice and the character quite well in hand for the starting point. Perhaps the characters in his head were the same as for the comic strip, and he was simply telling the stories differently. This seems unlikely to me; there's so much fine use of language, and so much background detail, that wouldn't work in a daily comic strip.
Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin are the best adventure heroes. They're cultured, intelligent, knowledgable, extremely clever, very quick, don't have much in the way of angst or black moods, creative, and can outfight just about anybody. What more could you want? They work sensibly, carefully, intelligently, and won't be that surprised when they finally lose. They don't kill casually. They make and keep friends.