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BEN HOPE

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Full Name: Ben Hope
Nationality: British
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Hostage Rescue

Creator: Scott Mariani
Time Span: 2007 - 2021

ABOUT THE SERIES

       Benedict 'Ben' Hope is a hostage rescue expert.
       I was tempted to list him as an adventurer because of the variety of troubles that he gets himself involved with but hostage rescue is what he was mostly doing when we first meet him and he will go back to that on several occasions during his long career. Hope is not part of an official, government-sanctioned rescue team. He is the sort of person you can when the threat to not call the police is for real. "That was where Ben Hope entered the equation, if you knew the right number to call".
       During the rescue Hope is working on when we first meet up with him, his primary objective is getting a young boy free from his captors. When while doing so, however, he found a way to permanently keep the kidnapping gang from continuing, he took it without hesitation. In case you were curious, instead of contacting the local authorities and letting them know where the three kidnappers were, he opened up a gas line in their remote farmhouse while they slept and made sure a flame was nearby. Hope does not like kidnappers.
       Do not get the impression that Hope is particularly blood-thirsty or looking to cause injury; he is decidedly tired of the mayhem and would love to find a life where he did not have to do the things he is forced to do. For one thing, it has been going on for a very long time, starting when he graduated from Oxford and joined the British military, eventually rising to the rank of major is that country's elite special forces team, the SAS.
       With the U.K. being part of the coalition in the two Gulf Wars, Hope and his SAS team saw enough action to fill several action novels but nothing like the action he would see when he stepped away from the military several years back and started in the field he was now well-known in - hostage rescue.
       That line of work definitely takes a toll on Hope's psyche and even more on his personal life. He finds it next to impossible to have lasting relationships when those that join him on his missions can and do get hurt or killed and those that stay behind waiting find the strain too much to deal with.
       For that reason, Hope will try on several instances to leave it all behind him. He will fail.

Good tag line:
"James Bond meets Jason Bourne meets The Da Vinci Code"

BOOKS

Number of Books:23
First Appearance:2007
Last Appearance:2021

1 The Alchemist's Secret The Alchemist's Secret
aka The Fulcanelli Manuscript
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2007

To save the life a dying child, Ben Hope heads off on a mission to find a manuscript written by an alchemist named Fulcanelli which is said to hold the secret to immortality. Numerous other groups want the same document and will kill to get it.
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2 The Mozart Conspiracy The Mozart Conspiracy
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2008

Ben Hope's first love, Leigh Llewellyn, is a world-famous opera singer who is wanting answers to her brother's death. He had been working on a biography of Mozart that hinted the composer had been murdered by a secret sect of the Freemasons, a group still around and not liking publicity.
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3 The Hope Vendetta The Hope Vendetta
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2009

A lovely archaeologist, Zoe Bradbury, has been kidnapped and is being tortured to get an answer - one that she does not know. Her parents appeal to their friend Ben Hope to find and rescue her. Hope will learn that her capture has to do with an artifact connect to the final book in the Bible, Revelation.
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4 The Heretic's Treasure The Heretic's Treasure
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2009

Years ago, Ben Hope's life was save by Col. Harry Paxton. Now Paxton asks a favor of Hope - find out who killed the man's son who had been in Egypt working on something mysterious called the "Akhenaten Project'. This will take Hope to the land of the Pharaohs and up against an ancient band of high priests.
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5 The Shadow Project The Shadow Project
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2010

Ben Hope is enjoying his current job living in northern France teaching others how to handle hostage rescues. Then he is pulled into a side job of being a bodyguard to a Swiss billionaire named Steiner. That man had recently been targeted by a neo-Nazi terror group wanting a document in his possession that might prove the Holocaust never happened.
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6 The Lost Relic The Lost Relic
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2011

While visiting a friend in Italy, a momentarily distracted Ben Hope almost runs over a young boy. When he later sees that boy's family killed during a robbery of a gallery, he is determined to find the killers and bring them to justice.
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7 The Sacred Sword The Sacred Sword
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2012

On a trip to the UK, Ben Hope encounters two friends from his days at Oxford. Now they are the Reverend and Mrs. Arundel. When they are killed in a car crash, Hope wants to know more about why the Mrs. had been so worried before the accident. This will put in into the hunt for a sacred sword that a secret organization will kill for.
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8 The Armada Legacy The Armada Legacy
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2013

When Ben Hope learns that an ex-girlfriend, Dr. Brooke Marcel, has been kidnapped, he immediately goes into action. This will involve learning about a sunken 16th-century Spanish warship and efforts to study the wreckage and its cargo.
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9 The Nemesis Program The Nemesis Program
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2014

Physicist Claudine Pommier was studying the discoveries of Nikola Tesla when someone broke into her apartment and killed her. When an American biologist, Dr. Roberta Ryder, receives a letter from her and travels to Paris to meet her, she is stunned about the murder. She is then made the target of the killer and needs the help of an old boyfriend, Ben Hope, to survive.
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10 The Forgotten Holocaust The Forgotten Holocaust
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2015

Ben Hope is wandering around Ireland, lost and aimless, when he sees a young woman, a journalist named Kirsten Hall, murdered in front of him. Hope is determined to bring her killer to justice which means he will have to look into what she was working on; studying the journals of an English lord in Ireland during the Irish Great Famine.
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11 The Martyr's Curse The Martyr's Curse
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2015

Ben Hope's quest for peace takes him to a monastery in the French Alps. When a team of killers invade facility and kill the monks, Hope knows he has to find and bring them to justice. That will involve the rumor of a huge cache of gold hidden on the property and the desire of a radical group of doomsday 'prepper's who want it for their plans.
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12 The Cassandra Sanction The Cassandra Sanction
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2016

Looking for a quiet drink in a bar in Spain, Ben Hope ends up helping Raul Fuentes look into the death of the latter's sister, a scientist who was said to have committed suicide. While the facts point to that being the case, why are a gang of murderous thugs now following both Hope and Fuentes?
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13 Star of Africa Star of Africa
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2016

A friend of Ben Hope is onboard a container ship taken over by pirates off Somalia. When it does look like the ship or the friend will be freed anytime soon, Hope decides he will take action but that will escalate into a battle with a tyrant out for more power.
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14 The Devil's Kingdom The Devil's Kingdom
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2016

The fight with the tyrant in Africa in the previous adventure did not end well for Ben Hope. Now he is the prisoner of that despot and is being ordered to train a group of boys to become skilled soldiers - or die.
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15 The Babylon Idol The Babylon Idol
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2017

A sniper's bullet struck down a friend of Ben Hope and Hope wants to find and take that assailant down in return. Then Hope learns that he was the likely intended target and that also on the hitter's list is a professor named Anna Manzini who is near find the location of a Babylonian golden statue that someone else, quite powerful, wants as well.
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16 The Bach Manuscript The Bach Manuscript
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2017

Ben Hope is back in the UK on business and decides to attend a reunion at Oxford. He meets an old friend, Nick, who is now a famous classical musician. Soon after, Nick is killed in what looks like a home invasion robbery. But then there is the matter of a missing manuscript possibly written by the composer J.S. Bach.
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17 The Moscow Cipher The Moscow Cipher
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2018

12-year-old Valentina had gone to Moscow to visit her father but when she did not return as scheduled, her family back home got worried. When attempts to contact her fail, they appeal to Ben Hope to go there to investigate. What he finds is that the father, Yuri, is involved in a lot of shady activities and that father and daughter are in peril; so is Ben Hope for sticking his nose in.
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18 The Rebel’s Revenge The Rebel’s Revenge
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2018

While on vacation in the U.S.'s Deep South, Ben Hope is the lucky patsy to a murder charge and arrested. After he escapes, he knows that it is up to him alone to prove his innocence, even if that means heading deep into the bayou swamp.
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19 Valley of Death Valley of Death
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2019

When the son of a wealthy Indian businessman is kidnapped soon after his brother is killed in a bandit attack in the mountains, the family believe something more than a simple snatching is going on. They bring in Ben Hope to get the young man back and to find out the truth.
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20 House of War House of War
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2020

It was a brief encounter with a scared young woman in the streets of Paris that would lead Ben Hope to a new mission that will take him to the Caribbean looking for stolen artifacts being used to finance terrorism. Along the way he will learn of an upcoming horrendous attack planned to kill millions.
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21 The Pretender’s Gold The Pretender’s Gold
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2020

The Highlands of Scotland is where a retired army sergeant friend of Ben Hope finds thugs going wild and causing a great deal of trouble, all looking for a hoard of gold treasure. When he takes exception to their actions and pays a price for it, that brings in Ben Hope to help a colleague.
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22 The Demon Club The Demon Club
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2020

Ben Hope was happy for the first time in a long time. He was not expecting trouble when he took a seat on a plane but then a stranger sits next to him and makes a proposal that will change his life yet again. Hope must go on the hunt to take out a former SAS comrade or see his loved ones die as punishment.
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23 The Pendemic Plot The Pendemic Plot
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2021

Ben Hope is called home with a family emergency. His son has been accused of murder and the evidence is quite substantial. Hope will have his work cut out for him proving his son innocent while fending off a lot of people determined he die trying.
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NOVELLAS AND SHORT STORIES

Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2015

1 Passenger 13 Passenger 13
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2011

A prequel to the book adventures, this takes place in 2003. Ben Hope is back in the U.K. on R&R from his time in the 2nd Gulf War when he learns that a passenger plane piloted by a former colleague crashed in the Caymans and his friend is said to have committed suicide. This will pull Hope into investigating.
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2 Bring Him Back Bring Him Back
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2013

When her 12-year-old son was kidnapped from his home, both he and the snatcher disappeared. Weeks later with no word and no clues, Jessica knows she needs outside help and appeals to Ben Hope for that. He will learn that nothing is as it seemed.
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3 The Tunnel The Tunnel
Written by Scott Mariani
Copyright: 2015

On Christmas Eve in 2004, Ben Hope, recently having left the SAS, finds himself on a one-man mission in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands trying to learn the truth about a black-ops mission that no one knows anything about.
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MY COMMENTS

       The tag line about Bond meeting Bourne is, of course, hype that really doesn't mean anything (to me) but the 'meets the Da Vinci Code' is more than a little appropriate as these adventures, which takes the hero up against enemy agents, foreign governments, and would-be world conquerors, are also filled with ancient documents and relics and artifacts that need finding before the bad guys do or need hiding before the bad guys again come around.
       What make these books fun to read is that variety is interesting and pretty well thought out.
       It's just a shame that the reader (i.e., me) gets the feeling right off that any relationship that Hope will start is doomed so no matter how much Hope may hope for the best, you know it's not to be.

GRADE

My Grade: B+

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