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Book Note: Peter O'Donnell, The Xanadu Talisman

I read this book about 22-Aug-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1981. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:42:55 PDT.

This is book 10 of the "Modesty Blaise" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Modesty is meeting Giles Pennyfeather in a hotel, when the hotel collapses in an earthquake. An assassin tries to kill the man she's trapped with. The man gives her a "talisman", and some garbled last wishes; but actually they survive, and she takes him to her house in Tangier. Where he's assassinated with a flamethrower by "el Mico", a mysterious but up-and-coming crime boss. Giles talks her out of straight revenge, and she tries to simply carry out the last wishes of her acquaintance.

Which, of course, go horribly wrong, and get her involved in a caper.

In the end, though, the Saudi Prince is essentially a prisoner in his private mountain estate, she and Giles and Willy are fine, and Tarrant's stupidly-competitive colleague has a major embarrassment of the sort that few other people could conceive or implement.

Little Krell is one of the more interesting minor characters. He was "muscle" for a previous competitor of Modesty's, and now works for el Mico. Rather like Willy, he's under-utilized and unhappy. Garcia blocked him from joining The Network (he was, after all, coming directly from a competitor they'd wiped out), which is too bad really. It would have been interesting to see what she could do with him and Willy both. Although, in the long run, the (apparently) complete lack of conscience might be a drawback.

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David Dyer-Bennet