Avon | 2019 (16 May) | 435p | Review copy | Buy the book
It’s that glorious time of year again! Ben Hope is back for the first of this year’s two adventures and I couldn’t be more thrilled, literally. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll no doubt say it many more, but these books are my favourite thrillers in the whole world. They always go to the top of my reading pile. I am a certified Ben Hope adorer and with Valley of Death he faces his 19th adventure. It is so good to see him again and I’m delighted, but not surprised, to say that this is a fabulous thriller, every bit as good as the best of the series, and I loved every page.
You don’t need to have read all of the series to enjoy Valley of Death – although why on earth have you denied yourself the pleasure?! – but those of you who have read the books from the beginning will find extra pleasure in these pages. Someone who has played a major part in Ben’s life returns and there is nothing Ben won’t do to help this person out of a dreadful situation. I’m not going to say who it is. You must read Valley of Death and find out!
The action this time takes Ben to India, to an arid wilderness, once the centre of a vast ancient civilisation that died out for reasons that have been lost to time, along with so many of its secrets. But archaeologist Kabir Ray has found something so significant that people will kill to claim the discovery for themselves. Kabir has a target on his back and he’s not the only one. Ben Hope, formerly a major in the SAS and now a consultant in hostage rescue, rushes to India to save lives that have become extremely important to him. The hunt will take him into a hostile desert environment where he will be outnumbered and outgunned. But you have to pity them – they’re up against Ben Hope.
Valley of Death is one of the best of the series so far. I love the mix of archaeology and action. It’s intriguing as well as exciting. The emphasis, though, is firmly on thrills and the pages are packed with fights, car chases and explosions. But there’s still time for Ben to relax with a single malt and a Gauloise cigarette, while he ponders the life choices he’s made. And we’ve been there for every one of them. I love Ben’s character. He’s three-dimensional and so real to me. I love his life in France, his circle of friends and family who come and go through the novels, his dedication and his drive. And even though he is a ruthless killer when he has to be, a formidable action hero, Ben doesn’t feel immortal. I think he knows it’s only a matter of time. I worry for him.
Ben Hope returns in House of War in November. I cannot wait! Scott Mariani, thank you!
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
Ben Hope 18: The Rebel’s Revenge