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... www.raymondbenson.com!
In this second Spike Berenger book, Benson continues the mix of intriguing mystery, dark secrets and rich personal view which I enjoyed so much in the first (Dark Side of the Morgue). As a music lover, I relish the songs mentioned, the history of artists who enter the story and the real, personal descriptions of how music affects you. As someone who enjoys a good mystery, I find myself pulled along in a story which incriminates practically everyone without giving even the most experienced mystery-reader enough hints to guess whodunnit, and more importantly, why.
When a rock star dies, all the usual speculation runs rife: was it love, jealousy, greed, drugs or mental illness? Who are the vultures clustering around his corpse? Where does the kooky cult fit in? What are people not telling Spike while hiding behind a mask of goodwill or grief?
Throughout this story, as in the first book and the accompanying short story, music runs like water. There are trickles of memory, warm pools of enjoyment, and sudden waves of both excitement and fear when witnessing the performances of the underground gang bands. The music is alive, as always.
If you love music or mystery, you'll enjoy this. If you love both, grab it now! :)
I always enjoy any book by Raymond Benson, including his James Bond books. This is a great suspense/murder mystery with a twist of the rock music industry as the background. It's fun to read the chapter titles as song titles and to find various famous rock artists making cameo appearances throughout the story. Have fun....I'm looking forward to the next in this series!!
A highly enjoyable mystery with well-developed characters. The author is good at creating believable characters as if all these people existed. He describes the main characters' past and private lives, giving a depth not only to people but to the story. If you like detective stories, you will most likely love this investigator and his team. It is also noteworthy that the author successfully avoids story development which would have made me say, "That's too convenient," "Too good even in fiction" or "This is just to move the story ahead." Things stay closer to reality than to fiction: not everything goes well for the good guys; the investigator is not entirely in good shape; and the good guys are shot more often than they dodge bullets. Rock 'n' roll fans would enjoy various references to the music scene, which is actually a unique feature of this novel. Overall, the story is well worth reading, and I'm looking forward to the second story.
I may be a bit biased here, because I wanted to be a private investigator when I was a little kid and I play bass guitar in a band currently, however, I think anyone who is a fan of a good action/thriller will enjoy this book. It is a very cool take on the genre, it is original and creative. I do not like to give away much of anything in a book review, you can read the description of the novel on this site! I am just here to tell you that if you purchase this book you will have a great trip through the pages! As an added bonus if you are a music fan there is a lot of extra content that you will enjoy, if not, pay attention you will be introduced to some great artists and some great songs! This was the first book I have read by Benson and I am hooked. I ordered one of his Bond books because I am a huge Bond fan as well, and I can not wait to read it!
"A Hard Day's Death," takes you on a thrilling adventure. The main character, Spike Berenger is the owner of Rockin' Security. Spike got his formal investigation training while he was a criminal investigations special agent in the military. Needless to say, he is used to excitement and adventure. Things really heat up for Spike when he agrees to take on a case involving the death of a middle aged rocker and cult member named Flame. Unfortunately, the main suspect is the victim's estranged son. It is up to Spike to discover who really killed him. The list of possibilities is extensive and as Spike gets closer to the truth, his own life and the lives of those around him become endangered. Raymond Benson has also penned James Bond adventures. Spike Berenger's character is the antithesis of James Bond in the sense that he relies on his muscle and his gun to be a hero. There are no fancy, high tech gadgets, and he doesn't wear a tuxedo. He seems more gritty and real. The author certainly demonstrates his creative talent in "A Hard Day's Death." He provides the reader with hours of entertainment. He has gifts for developing a compelling plot, creating unique characters and describing his scenes in vivid detail. Benson's incorporation of humor into the tale is the icing on the cake. I also have to admit enjoying his inclusion of many of my favorite musicians. As a person who grew up watching MTV when they still had music videos, it was refreshing to step into the world of musician's whose heydays were in the 70's through possibly the 90's. If you appreciate a good mystery, with a lot of action, you will love "A Hard Day's Death." It will also make a great gift for fans of good old rock n roll. I highly recommend this book!