A Billy Boyle, World War II Mystery by James R. Benn
Review: Billy Boyle awakes to find himself in a strange land on an unknown mission and worse, not even sure of his own identity, in Blood Alone, the third mystery in the World War II mystery series by James R. Benn.
With his head bandaged and bleeding, feeling like someone has hammered a nail into it, and his arm blood-stained from elbow to wrist, Billy Boyle looks around to discover he's in an army field hospital tent but not knowing how he got there, where it is, or how badly he is wounded. He doesn't even know who he is. He's dressed in a faded green uniform, not at all like the other wounded men around him. Plus he has no insignias or dog tags. The only thing he does have is a gold colored silk handkerchief with the letter "L" emblazoned on the center of it. He quickly discovers, however, that there is something particularly important about this handkerchief and that there are those in the hospital who want it, badly, and nothing, not even murder, will stop them.
As Billy slowly regains his memory he remembers that he's a military investigator and the handkerchief was a gift of American mob boss, Salvatore "Lucky" Luciano, a top-ranking member of the Sicilian Mafia, and that it was given to Billy as a signal of some sort. What to what end? It must have something to do with his being in Sicily. By the time he's released from the hospital, he knows that he must proceed to the home of the Mafia in the Sicilian hills and along the way encounters both German and Italian foes, enemies of a very different sort and with means to different ends, to the success of his mission.
The Billy Boyle novels have quickly established themselves as best in class for those seeking historical mysteries that seamlessly blend fact with fiction, are replete with period details, incorporate an engaging, intricate and suspenseful story, and most importantly, have as its central character, the redoubtable Billy Boyle. The author exposes the horror of war yet brilliantly shows the camaraderie men in the face of danger can find. Blood Alone is classic World War II crime fiction and readers will be anxious to discover where Billy finds himself next.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Blood Alone.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a copy of Blood Alone for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The First Wave
Soho Press (Hardcover), September 2007
ISBN-13: 9781569474716; ISBN-10: 1569474710
Rag and Bone
Soho Press (Hardcover), September 2010
ISBN-13: 9781569478493; ISBN-10: 156947849X
Location(s) referenced in Blood Alone: Sicily, Italy
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Blood Alone by James R. Benn — A Billy Boyle, World War II Mystery
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: September 2008
List Price: $24.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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