The Ben Blackshaw series is loved by fans.
Robert Blake Whitehill’s Ben Blackshaw series, which is soon to be adapted into major motion pictures, already has a tremendous following. The series centers on former Navy SEAL Ben Blackshaw who becomes embroiled in international espionage after foiling a plot that would destroy his native Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay, and start World War III. To understand the Blackshaw phenomenon, I got some insights from two diehard fans of the books, writer Cindy Swabsin and Jack Kolton, author of the Maelstrom Series.
“Blackshaw is compelling because he is human; he has flaws, and yet has a warm compassionate side,” said Swabsin on the hero’s appeal. “He’s not your typical protagonist and that’s why I like him.”
Kolton commented that the combination of Blackshaw’s military experience and unique Chesapeake background brings the character into his own. “Without both factors, Ben Blackshaw would seem more automaton than protagonist, simply going through chores without any personal conflict or moral quandary,” said Kolton. “Whitehill writes as though Robert Ludlum and Carlos Castaneda went on a survival retreat and came home with a love child. He delivers on the depth of plot and wealth of action he’s become known for, and leaves the reader breathless for more.”
Swabsin also enjoys the Blackshaw series’ handling of present day scourges, from human trafficking, to terrorist sleeper cells. “When you use current global issues in your stories, it makes them more intriguing, and makes you think,” said Swabsin.
Kolton agrees that ripped-from-the-headlines plots add to his enjoyment of the Blackshaw series. “Whitehill touches deeply on the spiritual underbelly of the world he has created,” said Kolton, “while simultaneously pointing a million-lumen spotlight on the persistent evils of modern society, and all amidst explosive action.”
The Blackshaw series is diverse not only in its themes, but also in its cast of characters. Of these characters, Swabsin was most surprised by Tahereh, an antagonist in Deadrise, the first Blackshaw novel. “It’s not every day someone writes about a Jihadi warrior who is a beautiful woman,” said Swabsin. Blackshaw’s reliable comrade Knocker Ellis is also a fan favorite. Kolton expressed a desire to see a spin-off novel starring the character. Swabsin ranks Ellis in the series second only to Blackshaw himself. “He’s always there for Ben if and when he needs him,” said Swabsin.
Readers are eager to see where the Blackshaw missions will take them next. “I truly believe the ultimate shocker is yet to come,” said Swabsin. “That’s why Whitehill will continue the series and keep readers engrossed with Ben Blackshaw.”
The latest Ben Blackshaw mission, Geronimo Hotshot, is available now wherever books are sold, and in all ebook formats. For binge readers, the Ben Blackshaw Box Set contains the first three novels in the series all contained in a single ebook. FOr more information about Robert Blake Whitehill, visit his website at robertblakewhitehill.com.