The Black Stiletto
Longboat Key, Florida
Most of us think that we know our parents extremely well. They have no secrets
that we do not know and as grown children we have judged their lives as being
rather dull and routine. What would you do though, if you discovered that your
mother actually was a mysterious,caped,crime-fighting vigilante from years ago. This legendary crusader was almost a comic-book heroine whose identity had never been discovered. Her escapades made her a friend of the people, feared by the mobbed, and wanted by law enforcement.
Accountant Martin Talbot's mother is in a nursing home since she is suffering from Alzheimer's. Her memory isn't wasn't it used to be and she usually does not recognize him during his weekly visits. Since she has moved to the home, Martin has emptied her house and placed it for sale but it's just sitting there, vacant.
Being a single-parent to a teen-aged daughter is excitement in Martin's life. That is until he discovers his mother's diary of her life in the 1950s in New York. She explains why she ran away from her home in Texas to successfully begin a new life in New York at the age of fourteen. This is definitely a shock to Martin.
Now fifty-years later in the Chicago area, Martin is engrossed with his mother's previous life through her diary while his career has hit a dead-end. At first, he tests the information in his mother's diary by mentioning a name from it and watching how his mother miraculously and coherently reacts.
At this same time back in New York, a man is released from being in prison and he has one goal, revenge by killing the one who put him there, the Black Stiletto.
The Black Stiletto is a well-developed novel based on a diary and revenge. This story combines realism with balancing law enforcement and justice while dealing with the everyday routine challenges with an aging parent suffering from a debilitating disease. Also the idea of viewing our parents through different lenses makes this an interesting life lesson. How well do you really know your parents?
The Black Stiletto is an intriguing tale through the hum-drum daily routines of the realistic character of Martin Talbott. The characterizations are visual and well-developed in an unusual tale of creating a real-life action hero, the Black Stiletto.
Raymond Benson has written several books including many James Bond, 007 novels. His writing has been nominated for both a Shamus and an Edgar.
After reading The Black Stiletto, I plan to look for more books by Raymond Benson as well as wonder about the secrets my parents never told me. I wonder if there is a hidden diary, cape, and a stiletto somewhere?