Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery

James R. Benn, Author . Soho $23 (294p) ISBN 978-1-56947-433-4

A promising premise—placing a callow Boston police officer in the midst of WWII intrigue—isn't fully realized in this first of a new historical series from Benn (Desperate Ground ). Soon after Pearl Harbor, Billy Boyle escapes a combat tour because his Southie family pulls strings to place him on the staff of a distant relative by marriage, a general named Dwight Eisenhower, whom Billy calls "Uncle Ike." Billy's untried detective skills are soon put to the test in London, where he's assigned to unmask a spy who may compromise Allied plans to drive the Nazis out of Norway. When one of the chief suspects turns up dead, an apparent suicide, Billy displays a knack for forensics as he uncovers medical anomalies that suggest homicide. Hopefully, Uncle Ike will have more to do in future installments—and Benn will introduce the sort of character complexity that distinguishes, say, Charles Todd's WWI-era psychological whodunits (A Long Shadow , etc.) or PBS TV's Foyle's War , which also involves murder investigations during WWII. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/26/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 541 pages - 978-1-59722-891-6
Paperback - 294 pages - 978-1-56947-476-1
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-61695-355-3
Ebook - 201 pages - 978-1-56947-672-7
Paperback - 374 pages - 978-1-56947-970-4
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