Death Sentence (novel)

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Death Sentence
First edition
AuthorBrian Garfield
CountryUnited States
PublisherM. Evans
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover and paperback)
Preceded byDeath Wish 

Death Sentence is the 1975 sequel novel to Death Wish by Brian Garfield.[1][2][3][4]

Plot introduction[edit]

Six months after Death Wish, Paul Benjamin has moved from New York City to Chicago after the death of his catatonic daughter, the result of the brutal attack that transformed him into a vigilante. The only thing that distracts him from his renewed vendetta against crime is a beautiful woman, whom he starts dating. As he leads the double life, a copycat vigilante begins stalking the streets. Vigilantism soon becomes a rallying cry for the city as the police search for their man before innocent people are hurt. Now, Paul is not after criminals or even justice but a man who is as dangerous as he himself has become.

Film adaptation[edit]

Death Wish II (1982) borrows some elements from the book, but ultimately it contrasts with the book's storyline, characters and setting. In 2007, a film based on the novel (though a completely different storyline) was made, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by James Wan.[5]


  • Paul Benjamin – After leaving New York, Paul moves to Chicago to start a new life, but continue his war as he hunts the streets of his new home.
  • Irene Evans – Paul's new love and a lawyer, she gave up her smoking habit and is Paul's girlfriend, which is the reason of his utter distraction.
  • Harry Chisum – Irene's former mentor, he suspects Paul being the "Chicago vigilante" to the point on confronting him in his home and explaining why he must end it at once.
  • Orson Pyne – A college professor, he is killing in the same manner as Paul.
  • Truett – This gun owner sold two guns to Paul and one to Orson.
  • Jim Splater – Paul's new employer, he introduces Paul to Chicago.
  • Michael Ladlow – Chicago local
  • Dan O'Hara – Chicago local
  • Captain Victor Mastro – A detective, he is investigating the murders of the muggers.
  • Captain William Marlowe – Also a detective, he is investigating the muggers' deaths with Mastro.
  • John Childress – one of Paul's previous co-workers
  • Joseph Crubb – a dangerous teenager whom Paul stalks for two days before finally tracking down and shooting him
  • Lloyd Marks – fell into trouble when he encountered a mugger with his daughter, but was saved by Paul, who shot the mugger.
  • Joanne Marks – The blind daughter of Lloyd Marks, she was threatened by the mugger, but was saved by Paul, who shot the mugger before he could do any harm to her.


The book was written as a "penance" for the film version of Death Wish.[6]


  1. ^ "Looking back at the Death Wish franchise". Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Unease in the Air and Revenge on the Screen". The New York Times. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  3. ^ Lichtenfeld, Eric (13 September 2007). "Killer Films". Retrieved 6 August 2017 – via Slate.
  4. ^ "Death Wish by Brian Garfield – review – Spinetingler Magazine". Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  5. ^ Mengel, Bradley (28 August 2009). "Serial Vigilantes of Paperback Fiction: An Encyclopedia from Able Team to Z-Comm". McFarland. Retrieved 6 August 2017 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Authors helping authors launch". 29 January 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2018.