I, Lucifer

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For other uses, see I, Lucifer (disambiguation).
I, Lucifer
Hardcover first edition, 1967, Souvenir Press
Author Peter O'Donnell
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Modesty Blaise
Genre Spy novel
Publisher Souvenir Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 318 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN ISBN 0-285-50060-0 (first edition, hardback)
Preceded by Sabre-Tooth
Followed by A Taste for Death

I, Lucifer is the title of an action-adventure novel by Peter O'Donnell which was first published in 1967, featuring the character Modesty Blaise which O'Donnell had created for a comic strip several years earlier. It was the third novel to feature the character.

I, Lucifer introduces parapsychology, a theme that would recur in later books in the Modesty Blaise series. It also introduces the secondary character Steven Collier, parapsychologist, who would make numerous future appearances in both the comic strip and the novels.

Plot summary[edit]

Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin are in Paris. Modesty is being wined and dined by René Vaubois, head of the French Deuxième Bureau (the French Intelligence Service), on a floating restaurant on the Seine. René asks Modesty for advice regarding a new protection racket. High-level people all over the world are receiving death threats, and those who don't pay end up dead. The really crazy thing is that most of the deaths are apparently natural deaths.

Willie, waiting on the river bank for Modesty's return, encounters Chuli, a criminal whose specialty is planting bombs. René Vaubois' car has been wired with explosives. And when Modesty, Willie, René and Stephen Collier (making his first appearance) leave the scene they are followed by a car full of underworld killers, all bent on putting René down.

This is the start of a rather strange story about Lucifer and a pair of elderly puppeteers, Seth and Regina. Seth and Regina have turned to crime after being unable to get work when the music halls closed down. Now Seth has created an incredible worldwide protection racket based on Lucifer's ability to accurately predict impending deaths.

The action heats up when Modesty is taken prisoner and a radio-controlled cyanide capsule is surgically implanted under her skin. The final confrontation takes place on a remote island near Indonesia. First Modesty and Willie are forced to fight a duel to the death against each other. Later the machine guns are blazing in a major battle between the good guys and the bad guys, with Modesty risking everything to try to save Lucifer.