Avon | 2020 (26 November) | 416p | Review copy | Buy the book
Ben Hope is back! My all-time favourite action hero returns in his twenty-second adventure and this is cause for celebration indeed. As I always say when reviewing these books, they all stand alone. You can jump into the series at any time you wish, with any of the novels that particularly appeals. They take us to all parts of the world, on the trail of all kinds of baddies, in search of artefacts, or, as is more likely the case these days, to right wrongs, to protect the innocent and for vengeance. If you have read the series in its glorious entirety as I have then you will understand how much I love Ben Hope and how glad I am that he’s back.
Life is looking good for Ben. He may even be falling in love (again) and spends much of his time travelling between his home and workplace of Le Val in France and the home of Grace in the Scottish Highlands. One day a stranger sits down beside Ben on the plane and tells him that if he doesn’t kill Ben’s former SAS colleague Wolf then Grace will be killed. Ben is given evidence that leaves him in no doubt that this man is serious. But, when Ben catches up with Wolf, the truth emerges and both men must take on the Pandemonium Club, a sinister, demonic club whose members can be found at the very heart of the British establishment. Time is running out. Ben must destroy these monsters or die in the attempt.
This is a fantastic story and it puts The Demon Club high among my list of favourites in the series. It’s never too hard to believe that there’s devilry and evil in government and the establishment so that adds something rather pleasing to it all. The action never lets up and neither does the tension. The baddies are worthy of Ben and once more it’s never that certain to us that Ben will actually survive. Ben is an incredible hero but there’s always a sense that he may have used up all of his spare lives. He senses it, too. The end could come at any time and he’s driven to fight evil until the very end. Ben is a killer, and we are certainly made aware of it in this book as he makes some impossible decisions, but, as his surname suggests, there is something significant and almost legendary about his fight for good.
In The Demon Club we have the added appeal of (almost) twice the charisma, thanks to Wolf. Scott Mariani is a master of creating action heroes and he’s done it again here. It’s also good to see Tuesday and Jeff making more of an appearance in this adventure. You can always expect to meet old friends in these novels as Ben calls out for help from those he fought alongside years before.
It’s also good to see that Ben does less of the driving this time around, a relief, no doubt, for any car rental companies.
This is a fantastic series and The Demon Club is a fine addition to it. I could not put it down. We are so luck to have two of them a year – to have two novels from a series that I adore so much during this challenging, awful year is priceless. I long to see Ben again, hopefully next time it will be in happier times. But however it is I can’t wait to see him.
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
Ben Hope 19: Valley of Death
Ben Hope 20: House of War
Ben Hope 21: The Pretender’s Gold