From The Essential Raymond Benson Collection
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Former James Bond novelist Raymond Benson hits his stride with the release of the first book in his new Rock ‘n’ Roll Detective series. A Hard Day’s Death introduces Spike Berenger, a private investigator specializing in cases in the rock music industry. If Spike’s debut is any indication, here’s hoping he’s walking these mean musical streets of rock for many more cases.
A Hard Day’s Death begins with the murder of legendary rocker Peter Flame and the arrest of Flame’s estranged son, Adrian Duncan. Gina Tipton, Adrian’s mother and Flame’s first wife, hires Berenger to prove Adrian didn’t kill his father. During the course of the investigation, Spike’s path crosses Flame’s former and current band members, leaders of the fringe religious cult Flame had recently embraced, Flame’s second ex-wife and their son, and various record industry executives. In addition, a street gang currently running wild, selling drugs and performing guerrilla punk rock concerts, has added Spike to its hit list.
Spike works as a partner of Rockin’ Security, the top security business in rock. While the main businesses of the company is providing concert security and body guard services to rock stars, Spike runs the private investigation practice. This allows him to have a team of operatives, both on the streets and in the office. Spike’s team provides him with valuable information and support as he works to find evidence to clear Adrian.
Benson develops all his characters well, allowing the reader to get to know not only Berenger, but his team and those characters involved specifically with the case and unlikely to return in future books. In fact, Spike’s employees are so appealing, occasional short stories spotlighting them would be welcome.
There’s much for the rock music fan to enjoy, too. Benson peppers the book with many musical references, focusing mostly on classic rock. Fans of progressive rockers Yes and Gentle Giant will be especially pleased. Further, each chapter title is a song title. The song’s performer is also included, allowing the reader to imagine, or actually compile, the soundtrack Benson is imagining for his story. To cap off this rock ‘n roll mystery, there are cameo appearances by two real life rock stars.
PRAISE FOR A HARD DAY'S DEATH
Don’t miss this paperback original. Get in on the ground floor of this exciting new series. A Hard Day’s Death is highly recommended." (Neal Alhadeff, THE STRAND MAGAZINE)
"...mystery fans who are also aficionados of classic rock will find the story line as evocative as it is entertaining. Benson's savvy use of musical icons (including David Bowie and John Lennon) as peripheral characters, as well as his use of songs and performers as chapter subtitles, make this an appealing read. With a core cast of realistic, well-developed and endearing characters, this budding series has a good shot at attracting and keeping a devoted reading audience." (Paul Goat Allen, CHICAGO TRIBUNE)
"A sizzling story full of classic twists, humor, and a dead-on look at the music business. A HARD DAY'S DEATH is number one with a bullet." (Jeffery Deaver, author of THE SLEEPING DOLL)
"Raymond Benson scores big with A HARD DAY'S DEATH, a rock and roll thriller that will make you feel like a real insider. Peter Flame is an aging star, once huge now on the downside of his career. After a mediocre performance he is found dead, at first an apparent suicide, but soon ruled a homicide. Spike Berenger and his Rockin' Security are determined to find out what happened, but with a list of suspects that read like liner notes to a prog rock album they have their work cut out for them. Benson has thoroughly nailed this book, it's fast and entertaining as hell and is every bit as perfect as a Carlos Santana guitar solo on a summer afternoon." (CRIMESPREE MAGAZINE Buzz Box Reviews)
"A HARD DAY'S DEATH is the most fun you'll have reading a book this year. An exciting, compelling and often funny mystery, written by an industry insider." (J. A. Konrath, author of DIRTY MARTINI)
"It is a fast paced novel full of rock tunes that will amuse and keep the interest intact of all rock lovers. The innovative part is that the chapters of the story are song titles. The author addresses religion and cult issues that are very interesting to read. The plot is well crafted and tight enough to grab the readers' interest, and the characters are realistic and well described. The dialogue sounds truthful and the language style is clear and simple. It is a good read that will entertain and educate readers as regards the rock stars era at the same time. It caters to mystery and crime lovers." (MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW)
Raymond Benson is the highly acclaimed author of twenty-five books, six original James Bond 007 novels, three film novelizations, three short stories, and two anthologies on Bond. He is a sought-after lecturer on film genres and history. Writing as David Michaels, Benson is a New York Times best-selling author, an Edgar Alan Poe Award nominee, and a Readers' Choice Award winner.