A Review of The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies: A Novel by Raymond Benson

black-stiletto-secrets-lies-3d-no-background1The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies: A Novel
by Raymond Benson

This book really annoyed me. The most annoying thing is that this is a SERIAL, not a series book. There is a cliffhanger ending, kind of, really it is more like the author got to a certain point in writing the book, said to himself, this is enough for now, I will publish this and then put out the second half in November. They should notate that this is Part One. I don’t like books that don’t complete any of the story in a book. (See my soapbox rant in “A Review of The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver, https://bmackela.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/a-review-of-the-kill-room-by-jeffery-deaver/) I had read The Black Stiletto (Book One) and thought that it had an interesting premise, just that it seemed too simplistic, but it wasn’t a serial book! The story had an ending. So therefore I decided that I would try another book in the series.
The main plot device that is used in this series is that there are 5 volumes of a diary written by Judy Talbot back in the early 60s, when she was a masked female crime fighter called The Black Stiletto. Each chapter of the book is written from a different character’s point of view, and it is titled with that person’s name and if it takes place in the present or the past. So for Martin Talbot, Judy’s son, it would say “1 Martin – The Present” or for the diary portions it would say “2 Judy’s Diary – 1961 – January 8, 1961”. So the way that we get Judy’s thoughts from 1961 is from her diary. How do we get “4 Leo – The Past”? Did Leo leave a diary, or do his thoughts just magically appear on the pages of this book? Mr. Benson, be consistent, don’t cheat. If the diary is the plot device, how did Leo give his thoughts to you?
The story goes along just fine and if it had both parts of the story in this one book it would be a decent story. I probably would overlook the Leo thought problem, since his thoughts do add to the story, and I would give it 3 Stars out of 5. But since I get so bugged by the idea that you can just chop a book in two and then sell it as a complete novel, I can only give this book 1 Star. If you like SERIAL books, and you go into this knowing that, you may enjoy this book.
I received this Digital Review Copy for free from NetGalley.com.

Book Description
Release date: January 7, 2014 | Series: The Black Stiletto
It is 1961 in the fourth book of the “Black Stiletto” series. Judy, the Stiletto, meets Leo, a charismatic man who convinces her to move to Los Angeles when she is “run out” of New York by increasingly hazardous police heat. But soon Judy suspects that Leo is not the white knight she first thought. Leo, who has connections with the West Coast mobs, has plenty of skeletons in his closet. His mysterious sister, Christina, who once served time for armed robbery, could also be a threat to the Stiletto’s new life in California. Meanwhile, in the present, Alzheimer’s-stricken Judy takes a turn for the worse as Martin comes to grips with the imminent end of his mother’s life. And when elements from the Stiletto’s past once again appear to threaten Martin’s family, it is up to his daughter Gina to step up and take matters into her own hands. In a novel bristling with mysteries, secrets, and lies, the Black Stiletto saga takes a dark left turn into even more treacherous territory.

Product Details
Series: The Black Stiletto (Book 4)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608091015
ISBN-13: 978-1608091010
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

About the Author
As of Spring 2013, Raymond Benson is the author of thirty published titles. These include the new BLACK STILETTO series (www.theblackstiletto.net) featuring a 1950s costumed female vigilante: THE BLACK STILETTO (2011); THE BLACK STILETTO: BLACK & WHITE (2012); and the newest chapter, THE BLACK STILETTO: STARS & STRIPES (2013). He also wrote six original JAMES BOND novels (now collected in the recent anthologies THE UNION TRILOGY and CHOICE OF WEAPONS and available separately as Kindle books). His backlist of original thrillers are available as Kindle books: EVIL HOURS, FACE BLIND, TORMENT, ARTIFACT OF EVIL, and others. His classic reference book from 1984, THE JAMES BOND BEDSIDE COMPANION, is now a revised Kindle book. Raymond is also a prolific tie-in writer: he penned three James Bond film novelizations, the first two best-selling TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL novels (for the latter he used the pseudonym of “David Michaels”), and with John Milius he wrote HOMEFRONT: THE VOICE OF FREEDO. He also produced novelizations of other popular videogames–METAL GEAR SOLID and METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY, and HITMAN (HITMAN: DAMNATION). There’s a lot more, so if you want the full story visit the author at his website… http://www.raymondbenson.com!

The book description is from Amazon.   The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies: A Novel

2 thoughts on “A Review of The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies: A Novel by Raymond Benson”

    1. They should call them Part One of Two, or something along that line. Then you know going in that it is a serial, not a series. If I know upfront, then I can choose to read it, or not, most likely not.


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