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It was dangerous, but it was also a lot of fun.

Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery: James R. Benn: emohopocozar.ml: Books

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.

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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 I dare you not to read the other six novels. Historical mysteries just don't get any better than this. Billy Boyle "This book has got it all - an instant classic. Against this backdrop, Ken Follett and John le Carre built their reputations James Benn conjures up the intensity, paranoia, strength and sadness that marked the era and secures his own standing in the genre.


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It's a whodunit, a spy story and a thriller all rolled into one. Told in a crisp, breezy first-person narrative, Billy Boyle makes excellent use of Benn's extensive research into time and place. The realistic dialogue pulls you even further into the action.

All in all, this is one of the best books I've read this year.

Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery

Souvenir "Souvenir by James R. A young intelligence officer finds himself thrust into the forefront of events that will change the course of the Great War. A novel set in a neoliberal dystopia. Product details File Size: Soho Crime September 1, Publication Date: September 1, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video.

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Takes a while to get there. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. The character - Billy Boyle - is a self-centered, spoiled young man that you wouldn't think had the brains to figure out plots against his Uncle Eisenhower, much less the country! But I stayed with it and after some interesting characters were introduced and he got nailed a few times for his idiocy, I became more involved.

I must admit he stumped me on the final villains for the most part, I found some of the reading became too long and drawn out. In fact, I was tempted to put it down and read something else. I'm hoping his following novel starts - and stays - more fastpaced. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful. The Billy Boyle character comes into this story looking for a easy and safe place to spend his wartime service. Considering all the direct orders Billy ignores or disobeys he ought to have ended up in the brig.

Not a bad book but it was a bit tough to get 'over the hump'.

James R. Benn

I just think the book could have been trimmed. I would be more inclined to read another book in the series if i wasn't concerned with another page drought though!


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A rousing page-turner, very well-written. It's a WWII adventure, volume one of a series, with a main character I found convincing and appealingly human.


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  • Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries Series.
  • Billy Boyle is admirable, and conflicted, simple and more complicated than he'd like. I look forward eagerly for the following installments - I've already bought 2! A little too convoluted for my taste and the Norwegian names and characters got confusing. But the first book in a series like this is often a bit slow due to stage setting and the need for the writer to find his groove. The series has promise, so I'll definitely read more.

    A Mortal Terror A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Billy Boyle World War II Mysteries

    I am hooked on this series. I read the first 3 back to back. Well researched on the historical side. The characters are good, believable. These are books that you feel sort of at a loss when you are finished reading one, because you've grown an attachment to the characters. I have the 4th one ready to go, but I think they are a better summer read than winter. I think there are 9 volumes of the WWII set.

    One person found this helpful. I have a family member who is an avid student of all things WWII, so I'm passably familiar with the era. I enjoyed this book as a chance to learn more about the day-to-day lives of those members of the military who were not on the front lines. It was well-written and opened a window into the sadness that underlaid the 'stiff upper lip' that Britain tried to uphold during its darkest hours.

    There was a plot and a subplot, and to be quite honest, I didn't even see the two intersecting until Billy hit me over the head with it! Another reviewer commented that the deciption of wartime romance was a bit over the top - yes and no - I thought it was a bit cliched, but not quite 'over the top'. 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.

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