A Taste of Honey – Book Review

writingmagazineThis is the latest book by author and fellow blogger, Tom Benson, whose own blog features high in my list of ‘follows.’ Although only recently published, A Taste of Honey has already received a number of very favourable reviews and is proving to be Tom Benson’s most successful work to date. Coinciding with this latest success, the author has also been featured in the latest edition of the UK nationally available Writing Magazine.

Tom is a prolific writer of short stories, flash fiction, novels, and a number of poetry books. In addition to being a great writer and author, he also takes the time to offer advice and support to fellow writers and bloggers. He also contributes to numerous online writing groups, and TBmagazineis one of the founder members of the Indie Author Review Exchange Fb group.

As well as reading this excellent novel, take a look at his blog, as there are some equally excellent short and flash fiction stories to enjoy too along with an absolute treasure trove of writing tips, and highly informative and essential self-publishing advice…

.Further links to Tom Benson’s novels and other writing can be found at:

http://www.tombensoncreative.wordpress.com

http://www.tombensonauthor.com

Tom Benson – Amazon Author page:

.

A Taste of Honey

By Tom Benson

(Available as an eBook from Amazon)

.

TBhoneyThis latest book from Scottish born Tom Benson epitomises what the author does best – fast paced and hard hitting retribution themed action. On the surface this is a relatively simple story of revenge for the loss of a loved one but as the story progresses and expands, the reader is plunged into a nightmare world of unimaginable horror and brutality where the official wheels of justice just don’t suffice; there are some crimes for which the sanctions of a civilised society simply don’t bear any relation to the deserved punishment for said crimes, where the prescribed punishments available most certainly do not fit the crime, and it is in this dark place that the central character, police officer Kimberly Forest, with the help and expertise of colleagues and contacts made through here police work, emphatically redresses that problem. Rather than follow the official lines of inquiry and investigation, Kimberly Forest decides to embark on her own quest for justice, soon discovering the true extent of the horror of  what has happened – the central protagonist maybe a police officer, but she’s also a human being; whilst most people would be stricken with grief at the death of a loved one, particularly if that death was in horrific circumstances, and no doubt speculate as to what they would do were they to confront such brutal killers, for most it world remain just that, grief fuelled anger and speculation. But when such anger is combined with the requisite training and skills to carry out such thoughts of retribution, there will always exist the potential for extreme retaliation, which is what we have here…

The story gets off to a quick start, immediately alerting the reader to the tone and pace of the book; equally and as quickly apparent is the author’s trademark attention to detail and the obvious degree of research that has gone into the writing. Although born and raised in Scotland, the author has ensured that this American based thriller is wholly accurate in its portrayal: the dialogue, object nouns, and terminology – even down to the alternate American spellings – has been written from an American perspective, giving the book an added authenticity that might otherwise be missing. A particular point in mind with regards to this is where the main character thanks an ex-marine for his service to his country, a typically American characteristic.

The descriptive elements regarding the assorted weaponry that crops up in the book is both accurate and detailed, just as I would expect given the author’s own background, but what was more impressive was that these were effortlessly incorporated into the narrative without reading like a list of gun specs; likewise with other elements – at various points there are descriptive passages interwoven into the dialogue and narrative, but in such a way as to be totally relevant to the story and what the characters are doing – such as when there is a brief account of the rear seating set-up within a police custody vehicle and the reasoning for it (as some featured bad guys also learn to their cost).

Remaining with the descriptive elements though, it must be said that the level of detail in the violent aspects of the book is both full and explicit, as is the language and dialogue – this is not a book for the faint hearted or for those who prefer such detail to be left to the imagination. It could be argued that perhaps such levels of explicit detail might be construed as gratuitous, but for me personally they worked well in bringing home the levels of grief, horror, and anger it would take to drive an otherwise law abiding police officer to such drastic lengths. Such explicit detail does inevitably though raise questions of right and wrong and the morality of taking the law into your own hands, blurring as it does the fine line between justice and bloody unadulterated revenge. It’s in this one respect I would have liked to see a greater exploration of the central character’s grief and perhaps eventual reaction to it. I appreciate that she had to remain unemotional and totally focussed to carry out her plans but at times the consistency of her hard unemotional persona was slightly too much to accept given the horror of her loss.

For fans of action, violence and retribution themed justice this will be a real treat. This is more a plot and story driven book as opposed to one of literary depth and characterisation, though the characters are still believable, rising well above the clichéd level I’ve occasionally read in superficially similar books. It’s also worth mentioning there is a brief appearance of a character, and reference to a couple of other characters from one of the author’s other books, Beyond the Law, which although not essential to have read previously does give an insight into the wider framework of the characters and world in which the author’s novels take place… Overall? Absolutely loved it!

.

Other titles by Tom Benson:

TBpanama TBbeyond TBamsterdam TBshorts1 TBshorts2

 

 

.

About echoesofthepen

Middle aged man, aspiring writer and author, one grown up son and young grand son, currently working in the rail industry but actively working to develop a writing career.

Posted on March 8, 2015, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Sounds interesting to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A thorough review here of the book. Well done to Tom on what sounds to be a fascinating book.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Tom Benson – Creative and commented:
    A review that deserves to be featured on my blog. Sincere thanks to Paul Ruddock.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all I must express my sincere thanks to you Paul for such a superb review. It makes it even more special to see mention of my piece in Writing Magazine and my other main work featured with links.
    Having read the article and seen the comments, it’s easy to see why you are held in such high regard as a reviewer and blogger by your peers. It will be a particularly proud day to be associated with your anthology when it arrives on the scene. Many more people will see that there is even more to you than what has already been seen here.
    It was intentional to play down the emotional side of Honey’s character until late in the story so it’s nice to see that aspect being picked up by good reviewers. Honey will begin go grow and glow more in the sequel which I’ll be working on in the summer – because her quest is not over.
    As a fan of Beyond The Law I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that Honey makes a guest appearance in the sequel, Acts of Vengeance, which is coming along nicely and should be published in the summer.
    Before I go, I must also congratulate you on the success of your brainchild the Indie Author Review Exchange – it has been and continues to be an inspiration to all who join, including me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers Tom. It’s kind of hard to know what to say to such a positive response other than thank you. As you may have seen in my my response to Felipe, Beyond the Law still remains my favourite, but only by a tiny margin now; that’s nothing to do with the quality of writing or the story, just a personal preference possibly down to the more overt military influence in the latter (delighted to know there’s a sequal in the offing). As for my own anthology, finally going off to the printers today so hoping that it will finally be available sometime around the end of the month.

      Regarding the Indie Author Review Exchange group, I couldn’t have wished for it to have gone any better; the review exchanges do of course benefit everyone, but one of the things i didn’t anticipate was the sheer magnitude of the knowledge base there – the discussion and open exchange of ideas and solutions to issues that crop up from time to time has been a genuine revelation, though it’s kind of difficult to say why it should have proved such a success given the number of other such groups.

      *apols for taking so long with posting the review, everything’s just taking me a bit longer these days for now, but having said that, am glad I didn’t get round to it immediately as it meant I was able to Incorporate the Writers Magazine feature…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. What a stellar review! Congratulations to Tom 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A very indepth an informatives review. This is not a genre that interests me, but if it were, your comments would have me rushing to Amazon to buy A Taste of Honey.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kathy

      Obviously it’s a not genre that’s to everyone’s taste, but am pleased you liked the review. Speaking of reviews, just finished ‘Saving Grace’ – what a delightful and lovely story, will be writing up my review asap…

      (ps, sorry it took so long, everything seems to be taking me (a bit longer to get round to these days)

      Regards,
      Paul…

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m happy you enjoyed “Saving Grace”. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve written. I’ve had success having other shorts accepted for publication, but though I sent out “Saving Grace” to at least twenty magazines, none took it on. I liked it so well, I decided to publish it myself. And no worries re time; it takes me far longer to do most anything now–and I don’t have recovering from a serious illness to use as a legitimate excuse.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Considering that Americans here at home don’t all agree on what is “American” 🙂 I thought Tom did a really nice job of being convincing of the setting.

    Gotta agree too, the opening pace and tone sets up the book. No doubt this will have lots of action, grit, crime, and passion.

    Beyond that, what I really enjoyed about Taste of Honey was the main character’s arc from wounded revenge, back to have some degree of humor and relationship with other people.

    Plus he has a British person working with Honey’s boss, and that allows Tom to place and show a character he definitely has a strong feel for.

    Be interesting how the series evolves!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Felipe…

      Totally get where you’re coming from about there being no general agreement about being “American” but am sure you got the gist of what I was saying. Thoroughly enjoyed this, though if I’m totally honest, my favourite book by Tom still remains Beyond the Law (by a small margin now).

      Like

      • Yes, definitely. Meant it to mean that considering how un-unanimous we are ourselves here regarding American mannerisms, Tom did a great job. I couldn’t begin to fictionalized a Brit, or an Ivy Leaguer here, lol! Thanks, Paul 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Indie Author Review Exchange and commented:

    Absolutely loved this… Reblogged from my personal blogsite

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: