Title: The Black Stiletto
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Pub Date: 09/05/2011
Author: Raymond Benson
“My mother was the masked vigilante known as The Black Stiletto.”
Was Martin Talbot’s elderly, Alzheimer’s-stricken mother really the Black Stiletto? When he discovers several hidden volumes of her diaries, he is stunned beyond all imagination. In them, Judy Talbot claims to be the renowned underground heroine who operated in late 1950s New York City, battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and stalked common crooks.
In a fascinating story that alternates between past and present, the Black Stiletto’s legend unfolds. What caused her to begin her quest for justice? Why did she decide to act outside the law? What are the facts behind her feats as the infamous and feared crime-fighter?
As Talbot struggles with shocking revelations, the reappearance of one of the Stiletto’s old enemies with a thirst for merciless revenge threatens to jeopardize his mother’s closely-guarded secret—and her life.
The story is written in first POV, switching between Martin, Judy and Roberto (Stiletto’s old enemies). However majority of the story is from Judy's diaries. She wrote down her background, what happened to her, how she becomes Black Stiletto, and the adventures after that. It is actions packed, and details fight scenes allow you to imagine the fights visually. Some parts are quite emotional too.
At first I thought reading a journal is boring but I was wrong. It was beautifully written and made me just want to keep on reading and reading. I actually enjoy the part on Judy's diaries the most. I was actually sweat for her on her very first appearance as Black Stiletto. No matter how good was her, there were times she got injured too.
Judy has few diaries and this book only covers one of the diaries. So I guess there will be more books on this series. I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Note: I receive the ARC of this book from the publisher via Net Gallery. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
The Black Stiletto was a legend in her own time, an underground heroine who made a name for herself during the late Eisenhower years and early Kennedy years as a New York City vigilante. Although she was wanted by the law and would have been arrested had she been caught or had her secret identity been revealed, the Black Stiletto was a competent and successful crime-fighter. A feminist before the term was in everyday vernacular, she battled common crooks, Communist spies, the mafia, and worse—and was responsible for their capture and, in some cases, their deaths. But the Stiletto disappeared midway through the sixties and was never heard from again. Most people thought she had died, and no one ever knew her identity. Like pinup queen Bettie Page, her mythical image resurfaced in comics and other media during the 1980s and 90s. Millions of dollars were made by others exploiting her likeness and persona. Today, the questions remain. Who was she? Is she still alive? If so, where is she now?
The answers can be found in THE BLACK STILETTO, by internationally-known New York Times best-selling author Raymond Benson.
The July 2011 issue of Library Journal calls THE BLACK STILETTO "a mashup of the work of Gloria Steinem, Ian Fleming, and Mario Puzo, all under the editorship of Stan Lee."