When Martin Talbot’s mother Judy Cooper became incapacitated by Alzheimer’s disease and placed in a nursing home, her attorney gave him a strongbox. One of the items in the box was a small 8-mm film reel marked March 1959. The footage revealed his mother was The Black Stiletto, known in New York City and Los Angeles as one of the toughest and most notorious crime fighters to come along during that era.
The most interesting aspect of her crime fighting spree was that very few suspected her true identity or ever discovered why she embarked on her dangerous quest. While a filmmaker threatened to tell the world who she was, she worked to rescue the daughter of her martial arts instructor from a narcotics den. She was also involved in a relationship with an FBI agent who was instructed to arrest her.
Now, years later, her son watched the amateur films of the Black Stiletto in action believing he was one of the few who knew her true identity. That is, until he found out someone else had a copy of the same video and was willing to blackmail Martin, threatening to release the film if he didn’t come through with money. While he was contending with the blackmailer, his daughter was brutally battered in New York City.
The Black Stiletto: Black and White was written by Raymond Benson and is a welcome follow-up to the well received The Black Stiletto. The author makes good use of the two time periods – 1959 era during Judy Cooper’s reign and five decades later as her son is reviewing the movie and going through similar challenges as his mother.
Having Martin go to New York to help his daughter, provided the author the opportunity to have Martin experience similar situations as his mother did five decades earlier – a teen in danger and an extortionist demanding money in lieu of bringing the true identity of The Black Stiletto to light.
This unique and fascinating thriller is a mesmerizing look at two time periods tied together by family relationships and parallel challenges, and that ends up bringing the past and present together in an satisfying finish. The snappy dialog and intriguing characters add to an exciting tale sure to leave readers longing for more adventures from the mysterious crusader of long ago.
A special thank you goes to Oceanview Publishing for providing us a complimentary copy of The Black Stiletto: Black and White. If you would like to purchase a copy of either Black Stiletto novel, they are available at Amazon.com.