Tuesday 9 August 2022




The fourth novel in the action-packed Revenger series...back in print for the first time in nearly fifty years.

Ben Martin's distant cousin Rosa is abducted from the streets of Sicily by a Mafia-run sex slavery ring...and it's going to take all of his very particular set of skills to save her, crush the entire operation, and kill the stiletto wielding mob boss responsible for it all.

"Messmann’s writing is good as ever -- if you’re looking for a little literary-style with your mob-busting action. Martin is more worldly and sophisticated than the average man of action, prone to brooding and introspection" Glorious Trash

"Ben is a believable action hero. He’s not just a good guy with a gun. A stand-out series.” Paperback Warrior

This is another enjoyable entry in John Messmann's Ben Martin Revenger series. I've enjoyed all six, of which this is the fourth and what I like is that despite a common theme throughout the series - Ben Martin warring singlehandedly with the Mafia - each book is different enough from the others to keep things fresh.

Here Martin gets to play away from home with a trip to Italy to try and bring down the mob boss who is running a people trafficking ring. There's a slight stretch of credibility insofar as Martin's identity (and his previous history - the carnage from the first three books) is guessed at by the detective looking into the death of Martin's cousin. Leo Hendricks, the cop is frustrated at trying to fight the mob while bound by the constraints of the law of the land. A tacit agreement is reached between the two. Intelligence is shared and the Martin has a green light to go and do his thing, enabled wherever possible by Hendricks.

There was a moment in the book where Martin does something in Sicily that seemed out of character and which I was uncomfortable with, but Messmann almost makes it palatable by showing the other parties intent and motives and it's almost okay. I still kind of think Martin over-stepped a boundary, as at the time of the incident he couldn't have known the other party's thoughts.

Minor gripe aside and minor believability issue quashed, it's another satisfying story. 

Action, violence, death, scheming, planning, collaboration, dual settings - New York and Italy, sex, arrogance, entitlement, conceit and an avenger. 

4 from 5

The Revenger, Fire in the Streets and The Vendetta Contract have all been enjoyed before this one.

Read - June, 2022
Published - 1974
Page count - 189
Source - Kindle Unlimited
Format - Kindle


  1. It does add to a series when the author changes things (like setting) from time to time to keep things fresh. And the premise of this one does sound interesting, Col. The stretched-disbelief thing isn't tops on my list, if I'm being honest. But I can see how you like Ben's character.

    1. Margot, I've really enjoyed this series. I did wonder if it might be a bit formulaic after a while but the author has changed things up just enough each time to keep it fresh. I like his writing and the main character is more than an action hero caricature, there's some emotion and depth to him.