Last Day in Limbo

Last Day in Limbo

infobox Book |
name = Last Day in Limbo
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = Hardcover first edition, 1976, Souvenir Press
author = Peter O'Donnell
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series = Modesty Blaise
genre = Spy novel
publisher = Souvenir Press
release_date = 6 May 1976
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 256 pp (first edition, hardback)
isbn = ISBN 0-285-62225-0 (first edition, hardback)
preceded_by = The Silver Mistress
followed_by = Dragon's Claw

"Last Day in Limbo" is the title of the eighth novel chronicling the adventures of crime lord-turned-secret agent Modesty Blaise. The novel was first published in 1976 and was written by Peter O'Donnell, who had created the character for a comic strip in the early 1960s. The book was first published in the United Kingdom by Souvenir Press.

Plot summary

Maude Tiller, one of the few female agents in Sir Gerald Tarrant's secret service, is miserable. Her last assignment involved her having to submit to degrading treatment by Paxero, the man she had been sent to spy on. And she hadn't even learned anything about the rich and enigmatic Paxero to justify the disgusting things she had let herself be subjected to.

Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin discover how their good friend Maude has been mistreated, and they decide to teach Paxero a lesson. But when they break into his villa on the outskirts of Geneva they find a watch that was a gift from Modesty to Danny Chavasse, a very close friend of Modesty's. Everyone thought Danny had died when a cruise ship sank two years ago, but finding his watch indicates that Danny's fate was not as simple as that.

This is the start of the journey that leads to Limbo, Paxero's secret and hidden plantation in the jungles of Guatemala. Limbo is farmed by slaves, very special slaves, rich and famous men and women who have been kidnapped and will now spend the rest of their lives at hard labor, watched over by armed guards.

The "last day in Limbo" occurs when Paxero decides to shut the plantation down, and orders the guards to kill all of the slaves - which now includes Modesty, who has let herself be captured in order to infiltrate Limbo. Modesty leads a slave uprising, and Willie and Maude arrive just in time after having hacked their way through the jungle. A final battle ensues, with Paxero and his heavily armed guards holed up in the big house, waiting for reinforcements to arrive by airplane.

Radio adaptation

BBC Radio produced a six-part "Thirty Minute Theatre" adaptation of the novel in 1978 starring Barbara Kellerman as Modesty Blaise [] with James Bolam as Willie Garvin and Richard Vernon as Sir Gerald Tarrant. This was recorded in April and broadcast weekly on the BBC World Service between 12th June and 17th July.

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