The Rebel’s Revenge by Scott Mariani

Avon | 2018 (15 November) | 404p | Review copy | Buy the book

The Rebel's Revenge by Scott MarianiBen Hope is back! The Rebel’s Revenge is the 18th novel in a series that has seen Ben Hope wreak havoc across the globe (especially on hire cars) as he does his best to save it. The latest thriller is self-contained and stands alone brilliantly so you’d have no trouble picking this one up even if you haven’t read the others. Although, once you’ve done so, I really hope you go back and read Ben’s earlier adventures. This is my favourite series of thrillers in all the world, my choice for a Desert Island, and I wouldn’t and couldn’t be without them. The Rebel’s Revenge yet again proves why.

Ben Hope has a serious day job. He owns a camp in France that trains military operatives in the rescue of hostages. Holidays aren’t something that Ben does too often but he’s grabbed the chance to visit Louisiana to see his favourite saxophonist in what is likely to be his final performance. But, yet again, the fates have something else in mind for Ben Hope. When he is wrongly accused of a terrible murder, he must go on the run to find the true killers and clear his name. The victim was killed with a sabre, a sword first used during the American Civil War. By chasing the history of the sword, Ben will find himself immersed in the secrets of this remote part of Louisiana where, for some, the Civil War never ended while for others it can never be forgotten.

It’s a fabulous story. Ben is on unfamiliar ground and I was every bit as fascinated as he is as Ben learns about the American Civil War, Cajun culture (including the food that Ben comes to love so much), the legacy of slavery and the deep warmth of many of its people – as well as the absolute cruelty of others. Perhaps there’s a little here that feels like a stereotype but I enjoyed so much the way in which the story is put together. There’s so much going on and yet again Ben must overcome villains that seem to compete with one another to be the most evil. The Louisiana setting is so richly evoked. This is a book steeped in mood and atmosphere. And it is extremely exciting!

I could rave about these thrillers all week but it’s worth saying that while some mystery thrillers have a tongue-in-cheek air to them, there’s nothing like that about the Ben Hope thrillers. These action-packed adventures are tense, often violent, revealing cruelty in many of its monstrous and sinister forms. They are impossible to put down and they are all brought together with the fantastic creation that is Ben Hope, the blond ex-SAS Major whose personal life has brought him such torment because he knows far better how to deal with bad guys than he does with those who love him. He’s honourable, brave, likeable, even though death stalks him. He drinks like a fish. And I love him. In the The Rebel’s Revenge, Ben leaves his personal life, his family and friends behind him for a solitary adventure in which he will meet new people to care for and fight for. Ben always cares so much.

I am so pleased that two Ben Hope novels a year are published. I’d happily have one a month but two a year is a huge achievement and one I really appreciate. Ben Hope returns next May in Valley of Death. Fantastic!

Other reviews
Ben Hope 7: The Sacred Sword
Ben Hope 8: The Armada Legacy
Ben Hope 9: The Nemesis Program
Ben Hope 10: The Forgotten Holocaust
Ben Hope 11: The Martyr’s Curse
Ben Hope 12: The Cassandra Sanction
Ben Hope 13: Star of Africa
Ben Hope 14: The Devil’s Kingdom
Ben Hope 15: The Babylon Idol
Ben Hope 16: The Bach Manuscript

Ben Hope 17: The Moscow Cipher

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