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Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Skillfully conjures up the North African campaign so vibrantly that you feel you're in the thick of it. This is one of those fine historical mysteries that transcends the mystery genre to become a rich historical experience that helps one understand past events. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful.

Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This second installment in the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries is a phenomenally well written, well researched, and exciting trip back into time. Benn has enormous descriptive powers and he brings them fully to bear on exciting details of battle, of life and death, love and betrayal and, above all, ultimate justice.

Billy, Kaz and Harding are in Algiers to join the sympathetic French forces there. Billy is focused on rescuing Diane, who has been captured by the evil German sympathizer Villette. While searching for her, several murders occur in the hospital where Kaz has been taken following an injury, and Billy is assigned to solve them.

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He attempts to find the murderer while simultaneously searching for Diane and uncovers a huge smuggling ring in the process. This exciting mystery is set as war and conflict constantly invade and batter Billy and Kaz.

The war is an incredible, escalating backdrop to this compelling story. In short, this is a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it. Okay, I admit, I am absolutely hooked on this series. What is a senior-citizen great grandmother doing reading about a fictional character in WWII? The answer is that this is the most pleasurable way to learn about history I can imagine. Since WWII had so many diverse battlefronts, Benn did his research on each battlefront and plunked "Billy" in the middle.

He lets Billy meet historical figures and keeps the action humming. Billy's love interest provides another thread of suspense because the reader is hoping Billy and Diana will survive and get together in the end.

The First Wave: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery

To my limited knowledge, not many books have been set in this particular battlefront and it gave me a much better understanding of the complexities of the Allies' situation in North Africa. You don't have to be an inquisitive old "granny" to enjoy this. It was dark, and I as at sea, hunkered down in a flat-bottomed landing craft, slamming through four-foot swells and chugging noisily toward short, leaving the relative safety of our troop transport behind.

Benn has such an excellent voice. Narrated in the first person by a very appealing character, it conveys the sense of "I'm telling you a story," and that story captivates you from the very first page. For those of us not alive during WWII, and not particularly well versed in its history, I appreciate how much I learned without being "taught".

The information was so well integrated into the story. Billy Boyle is a wonderful character. In this second book of the series, he is still quite young, but his background as a Boston cop, coming from a family of Boston Irish cops, stands him in good stead. Benn does a superb job of simultaneously capturing the personal anguish of war and creating a splendid adventure novel.

Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries Series by James R. Benn

The Billy Boyle books from James R Benn are among a small group that go right to the top of the reading pile. Taut pacing and great characters make this series great and this is a wonderful addition to the body of work Benn is creating. Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly: Benn excels at depicting the impact of war on London--the bricks from bombed buildings piled neatly on the streets, families living in Tube stations, "the odor of the Blitz.

This is not James R. Benn shrewdly combines the political cat-and-mouse game with the murder investigation, offering a fascinating glimpse of the wartime intelligence world Allies spying on Allies and how it laid the groundwork for the Cold War. In addition, his portrayals of the individual lives affected by the global machinations reflect an almost Graham Greene—like feel for nuance.

As an Irish-American whose family is sympathetic to the Republican cause, Billy struggles to remain impartial as he investigates the various factions on both sides of the Catholic-Protestant divide. Benn offers no easy answers in this rich mix of Irish history and wartime intrigue. It was dangerous, but it was also a lot of fun. Characters as distinctive as their fine-tuned slang walk Billy through the thickets of this treacherous political landscape. As part of the Allied invasion of Sicily in , Billy Boyle, a freewheeling Boston cop in civilian life now working as special investigator for General Eisenhower, bears a message from the real-life Lucky Luciano to the head of the Sicilian Mafia asking that he order local soldiers to stop fighting American troops.

Unfortunately, the chaos of warfare interferes with Billy's mission, as does another mobster out to exploit the situation for money who plots to have Billy killed -- while Billy is wounded and suffering from amnesia. The hero's gradual rediscovery of his memories lets him question what kind of person he is, in particular whether he's more than a brutal killer. Benn also does a fine job of depicting a dusty, poverty-stricken Sicily, where warm loyalty is the reverse side of pitiless vendetta.

Benn combines the mystery element with a fair amount of frontline battle scenes. The combination makes for a fast-paced mix of action, adventure, and crime solving … Historical detail about the Sicily campaign will grab WWII buffs. A solid series that keeps getting better. Blood Alone is an intriguing blend of history and fiction, superbly crafted and paced, easily the best period mystery I've read in quite some time.

Thoroughly enjoyable, and recommended. Billy's determination to learn the truth takes him into the heart of Sicily's complex criminal dynasty, as deadly as the encroaching German army. Another bracing cocktail of period action with a whodunit chaser from the increasingly authoritative Benn. Benn's Billy Boyle mysteries are always entertaining, filled with riveting characters, and beautifully plotted stories Benn's research is admirable and the expert way in which he uses this historical data to tell a riveting story is brilliant.

The story has the feel of an old time adventure story, and Benn's marvelous dialogue brings the characters to life Prime Book Box for Kids. Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. These items are shipped from and sold by different sellers. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon.

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Based on a true story. The Alex Troutt Thrillers: The thrilling adventure starts now with the first 3 of 24 riveting books. The Hawker Incorporated Series. Review "Benn follows up his first World War II mystery Billy Boyle with another danger-filled episode and delivers a cross-genre tale that is at once spy story, soldier story, and hard-Boyled detective. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. The Hazards of War. The SS wants to know what you did last night.

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Pray they don't find out. Based on a true story in the tradition of Unbroken and Matterhorn. Eavesdropping at his own funeral, Fred Sadler learns what his family really thinks of him. A rescue mission has started. In German held territory. You'll be hooked by this WW2 drama because you won't know what's coming next. When the War is Over. Can he survive with his conscience intact? My Hundred Days of War: For a veteran intelligence officer, danger lurks not just on the battlefield as the most important offensive of the Great War begins.

A young intelligence officer finds himself thrust into the forefront of events that will change the course of the Great War. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention billy boyle world war north africa james benn uncle ike landing craft well written boyle series second installment operation torch boston cop book of the series smuggling ring enjoyed the book good read vichy french special investigator army hospital historical mystery historical fiction.

Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries Series

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Skillfully conjures up the North African campaign so vibrantly that you feel you're in the thick of it. This is one of those fine historical mysteries that transcends the mystery genre to become a rich historical experience that helps one understand past events. One person found this helpful. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.