Kenneth Benton wrote four novels in the crime/suspense genre. Although the crime and spy thriller novels share a protagonist, Peter Craig, these books are characterised by more exotic settings, and an interest in broader international and politics events, beyond the more traditional Cold War espionage themes of the spy thrillers.
Kenneth travelled extensively during his career, and he drew on his experiences in Brazil (Twenty-fourth Level), Peru (Shadow of the Jaguar) and North Africa (Tunisian Tangle) for his crime thrillers. Kenneth’s work consulting on oil security in the Middle East informed the plot of the Midas Touch.
The crime thriller novels were widely reviewed in the British and American press on publication, of which a summary appear below. Kenneth was elected Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association for 1974-5, succeeding the bestselling crime writer Dick Francis.
Click on the book jackets for more information and read extracts from the books.
Reviews of Kenneth Benton crime thriller novels
“In a setting of impressive grandeur, Benton has placed a tightly woven set of complications and conflicts, ending with an equally grand climax. This author is becoming one of England’s best action-suspense writers.”
– San Francisco Chronicle, 4.8.1974 (Shadow of the Jaguar)
“Interesting types and oil technology, action and surprise switches, all adeptly controlled in a tale that bubbles nicely along.”
– Oxford Times, 21.11.1975 (The Midas Touch)
“Craig is an example of diplomacy in the suspenseful, action-packed world of international intrigue.”
– Reading for Pleasure, March 1975 (The Tunisian Tangle)