Modesty Blaise entered my life in my late teens when I bought a four-book series of Comics that contained three Modesty Blaise adventures and one The Seekers book. I was hooked immediately. As our home library held the complete works of creator Peter O'Donnell, I was deeply involved in the "escapist" adventures of Modesty and her sidekick Willie Garvin. There are several style elements that influenced my writing of "Troubleshooter" and also "A Brilliant Plan".
- Shifting viewpoints - something I enjoy to do, moving the viewpoint from chapter to chapter and sometimes, especially during action scenes, within the chapters from paragraph to paragraph;
- Carefully coreographed action sequences - it is joy to read O'Donnell's fight or shoot-out scenes. Well set up, which means you know who exactly fight whom and why. Physical abilities are carefully explained, including physical shortcomings. Impeccable drama from start to finish of the fight. I wouldn't compare myself to Mr. O'Donnell, but he is definitely the aspiration;
- People with a past in new situations - I liked the first Modesty Blaise book where Modesty had to free Willie from jail because he got bored in retirement and had started freelancing without success. It is this concept of dangerous people in normal-people situations that fascinates me.
Don't ask me which I like better, books or comics; both have their place in my heart. Just don't ask me about the movies...
Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise series:
Modesty Blaise - the first book-adventure, great introduction
Pieces of Modesty - a collection of Modesty short stories, very recommendable