A Hard Day's Death

A Hard Day's Death

3.2 4
by Raymond Benson

View All Available Formats & Editions

From The Essential Raymond Benson Collection

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


From The Essential Raymond Benson Collection

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.

Editorial Reviews

Neal Alhadeff
"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."
Paul Allen
"...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."
Jeffery Deaver
"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."
J. A. Konrath
"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."
Midwest Book Review
"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 caters to mystery and crime lovers."

Product Details

Crossroad Press
Publication date:
Spike Berenger , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
911 KB

Meet the Author

Raymond Benson is the highly acclaimed author of 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Hard Day's Death 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿A Hard Day¿s Death,¿ takes you on a thrilling adventure. The main character, Spike Berenger is the owner of Rockin¿ Security. Spike got his formal investigation training while he was a criminal investigations special agent in the military. Needless to say, he is used to excitement and adventure. Things really heat up for Spike when he agrees to take on a case involving the death of a middle aged rocker and cult member named Flame. Unfortunately, the main suspect is the victim¿s estranged son. It is up to Spike to discover who really killed him. The list of possibilities is extensive and as Spike gets closer to the truth, his own life and the lives of those around him become endangered. Raymond Benson has also penned James Bond adventures. Spike Berenger¿s character is the antithesis of James Bond in the sense that he relies on his muscle and his gun to be a hero. There are no fancy, high tech gadgets, and he doesn¿t wear a tuxedo. He seems more gritty and real. The author certainly demonstrates his creative talent in ¿A Hard Day¿s Death.¿ He provides the reader with hours of entertainment. He has gifts for developing a compelling plot, creating unique characters and describing his scenes in vivid detail. Benson¿s incorporation of humor into the tale is the icing on the cake. I also have to admit enjoying his inclusion of many of my favorite musicians. As a person who grew up watching MTV when they still had music videos, it was refreshing to step into the world of musician¿s whose heydays were in the 70¿s through possibly the 90¿s. If you appreciate a good mystery, with a lot of action, you will love ¿A Hard Day¿s Death.¿ It will also make a great gift for fans of good old rock n roll. I highly recommend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Raymond Benson ISBN: 978-0-8439-6063-1 Leisure Books, 200 5 Stars ¿A Spike Berenger Rock `n¿ Roll Hit¿ Rock star Peter Flame is dead. Someone arranged the body to look like suicide. Raymond Benson has penned several James Bond novels. Rock `n¿ Roll is the backdrop for Benson¿s first book in his Spike Berenger series. Rock fans will love the ¿guest appearances¿ of real musicians and the title of the chapters. Benson has a talent for bringing his characters to life. The plot is interesting and keeps the readers turning pages. Fans of murder mysteries will not want to miss A Hard Day¿s Death.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found it difficult to slog through this book. It starts out well as a famous rock star (Peter Flame) is found mysteriously hanged in what appears to be a suicide. The police then conclude he was actually murdered and blame his estranged son. This was about 50 pages into the book. From there on I lost the storyline and found myself re-reading parts to remember what was going on. The author names his chapters by famous song titles and I thought maybe what would happen in the chapter would could be summed up in the song title but could find very little correlation. I gave up with this book after little more than 120 pages and I usually read a book to the end whether I like it or not.