cover image Road of Bones: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery

Road of Bones: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery

James R. Benn. Soho Crime, $27.95 (312p) ISBN 978-1-64129-200-9

The exhilarating opening of Benn’s outstanding 16th WWII mystery featuring U.S. Army investigator Billy Boyle (after 2020’s The Red Horse) finds Boyle aboard one of 75 Allied bombers under intense anti-aircraft fire as they approach their target, the oil refineries in Chemnitz, Germany, in September 1944. Shortly before the surviving bombers reach Poltava, a Soviet airbase in Ukraine, an attack by German fighters forces Boyle’s sergeant and fellow investigator, Mike Miecznikowski, to parachute from his damaged plane. At Poltava, Boyle is partnered with a Soviet secret police agent in a joint operation between the OSS and the NKVD to discover who murdered the unpopular NKVD agent lieutenant Ivan Kopelev and the good-natured American sergeant Boris Morris. Duplicity and mistrust make the assignment more demanding, requiring Boyle to carefully navigate personal hostilities and ideological beliefs in pursuit of the culprit. The hunt for Miecznikowski raises the tension. Bolstered by vivid, scintillating descriptions of air strikes and dogfights involving the legendary all-female Soviet air force unit known as the Night Witches, Benn’s high-intensity storytelling shines. This entry will leave fans eager for the next installment. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary Services. (Sept.)