Judy continues to grow in character and skill in this awesome addition to the Black Stiletto series. I absolutely loved the first book. Book 2 was just as good if not better. Raymond Bensen skillfully draws in more complications to the plot, giving the reader the extra anxiety of FBI interest in the Black Stiletto. Special Agent John Richardson makes for an intriguing hunter and potential love interest. Add to that a heroin drug lord named Purdy who catches the interest of the Black Stiletto when the daughter of her martial arts instructor, Shakitawa, is taken. In her attempt to do a friend some good, a film maker ends up with an 8mm film of her unmasked in a dressing room, and he is threatening to unmask her publicly. Indeed, it is quite a tangled web for Judy Cooper to walk through.
Meanwhile, Martin Talbot in modern times struggles with his looming financial crisis while his daughter goes off to college in NY against his wishes. The poor man is then beleaguered by his mother’s doctor, who has noted some unusual old injuries for a lady of her age. She walks the line of all but accusing Martin of physically abusing his mother. Haha! He is pressured from all fronts to reveal his mother’s true identity.
This book was filled with great action, character growth, a wonderfully tangled plot artfully untangled by the author by the end of the tale. I hope, really, really hope, Raymond Bensen writes several books on the Black Stiletto. She has become my favorite super hero because she is simply so very human. She can be hurt, and does get hurt. Her personality, strong sense of justice, and hard-won skills are what carries her forward. Oh, and there is that wicked yet PG-rated sense of humor she has.
Narration: It was excellent. Crossroad Press picked a great triplet to give the various voices of the story. Arielle DeLisle is the perfect voice for Judy, with her mild Texas accent dropped into NY.