The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies-Raymond Benson

The Black Stiletto: Secrets & Lies
Raymond Benson
Oceanview, Jan 7 2014, $26.95
ISBN 9781608091010

In 1961 New York, Judy Cooper barely escapes from the cops but not before catching two creeps, a chill and subsequently a fever. As she recovers from her severe cold, Judy realizes her time as “the Black Stiletto” roaming the mean streets of Manhattan may be over as the police and the mob hunt her.

Judy and Leo Kelly meet and share a deep attraction. He persuades her to accompany him to Los Angeles. However, in Southern California, Judy slowly realizes that though he seems to love her like she does him, Leo suffers from commitment phobia. Worse to her chagrin, this man she cherishes is a vicious criminal; the type of miscreant she pursued as the Black Stiletto on the East Coast.

The fourth super Black Stiletto thriller is a great historical tale (with a contemporary base) as the latest diary brings alive the transition between Ike and JFK, and the beginning of the latter’s new Administration making it seem as if Raymond Benson wrote Judy’s entries in 1961. Fast-paced, the change of coasts adds freshness especially with LAPD more tolerant of a crime fighting vigilante than their NYPD counterparts. Though there is a cliffhanger instead of closure, series fans will enjoy The Black Stiletto does Los Angeles while newcomers will seek her NYC escapades (see The Black Stiletto, The Black Stiletto: Stars and Stripes, and The Black Stiletto: Black And White).

Harriet Klausner

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