Black & White: The Black Stiletto
Oceanview, 2012 (2012)
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Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
he Black Stiletto: Black & White
by Raymond Benson is a little different – no, a lot different from the usual mystery. In this novel, Benson switches back and forth between 1959 and the present day. He does it adroitly and this technique works very well.
The Black Stiletto
discovers that the heroin king of Harlem has imprisoned her beloved martial arts instructor's daughter in a house of ill repute. Not a nice place at all.
n the present day, Judy Cooper is in a nursing home in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. Her son Martin discovers his mother's diaries from the days she donned her disguise as Black Stiletto and roamed the city's streets looking for wrongs to right.
ack to 1959. Her struggles pay off, but not before the local police and FBI declare her a menace to the city. So she must not only fight crime but evade capture at the same time. She finds she has feelings for a local FBI agent. That proves interesting.
till 1959. Judy seems intent on telling her diary that she believes all humans should be treated fairly. It's a time of great unrest over racial issues and she seems to want to convince herself she is unbiased.
n the present day. Martin wants to find this FBI agent to see if he knows any more about his mother. A blackmailer approaches Martin, seeking payment for some old film of Judy that would unmask her.
he book was fun – trying to imagine a superhero flitting through our streets. The diaries sound as though written by a young woman, though they still are a trifle stiff. But they do have a story to tell. This novel, a sequel to
The Black Stiletto
, was a quick diverting read.
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