In his time investigating crimes for both the Boston cops and General Ike's European forces, Lieutenant Billy Boyle hasn't encountered a serial killer. But now it looks like he may--a serial killer with a particularly frightening agenda.
Two officers from the American troops stationed in Caserta, Italy, not far from Naples, have been found murdered. Lieutenant Norman Landry was found behind a supply tent with his neck snapped. Captain Max Galante, MD, was strangled on the same night, and his body left in a garden outside HQ. The MOs are completely different, and it seems like the officers had no connection to each other, but one frightening fact links the murders: each body was discovered with a single playing card: the Lieutenant, the ten of hearts; the Captain, the jack of hearts. The message seems to be clear--if the murderer isn't apprehended, the higher ranks will be next.
Billy is sent to Italy for the investigation, which grows increasingly sinister. But he has other things on his mind, too. His girlfriend, Diana, is on a very dangerous spy mission, and Billy doesn't know when--or if--he'll see her again. To make matters worse, Billy's just learned that his baby brother, Danny, is being sent over to Europe as an infantry replacement, an incredibly dangerous assignment. And all around him, he sees GIs suffering from combat fatigue preparing for another battle. As the invasion at Anzio begins, Billy needs to keep a cool head amidst fear and terror a the killer calculates his next moves.
This book has got it all--an instant classic.--Lee Child, author of The Hard Way It is a pleasure marching off to war with the spirited Billy Boyle. He is a charmer, richly imagined and vividly rendered, and he tells a finely suspenseful yarn.--Dan Fesperman, author of The Prisoner of Guantanamo Whats a twenty-two-year-old Irish American cop whos never been out of Massa-chusetts before doing at Beardsley Hall, an English country house, having lunch with King Haakon of Norway? Billy Boyle himself wonders. Back home in Southie, hed barely made detective when war was declared. Unwilling to fight--and perhaps die--for England, he was relieved when his mother wangled a job for him on the staff of a general married to her distant cousin. But the general turns out to be Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose headquarters are in London, which is undergoing the Blitz. And Uncle Ike wants Billy to be his personal investigator.
Billy is dispatched to the seat of the Norwegian government in exile. Operation Jupiter, the impending invasion of Norway, is being planned, but it is feared that there is a German spy amongst the Norwegians.
Billy doubts his own abilities, with good reason. A theft and two murders test his investigative powers, but Billy proves to be a better detective than he or anyone else expected.
From the Hardcover edition.
Billy Boyle is sent to London to investigate the murder of a Soviet official. Was it random or revenge for the recently uncovered mass graves of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest? Scotland Yard suspects Billy's friend Kaz, now working for the Polish Government in Exile. With a diplomatic crisis looming, Billy must find the killer and save his friend.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this seventh installment of James R. Benns hit WWII-era mystery series, Lieutenant Billy Boyle goes undercover in the Vatican.
Lieutenant Billy Boyle could have used a rest after his last case, but when his girlfriend, Diana Seaton, a British spy, goes missing in the Vatican, where she was working undercover, he insists on being assigned to a murder investigation there so he can try to help her.
An American monsignor is found murdered at the foot of Death's Door, one of the five entrances to Saint Peter's Basilica. Wild Bill Donovan, head of the OSS, wants the killing investigated. The fact that the Vatican is neutral territory in German-occupied Rome is only one of the obstacles Billy must overcome. First is a harrowing journey, smuggled into Rome while avoiding the Gestapo and Allied bombs. Then he must navigate Vatican politics and personalities--some are pro-Allied, others pro-Nazi, and the rest steadfastly neutral--to learn the truth about the murdered monsignor. But that's not his only concern; just a short walk from the Vatican border is the infamous Regina Coeli prison, where Diana is being held. Can he dare a rescue, or will a failed attempt alert the Germans to his mission and risk an open violation of Vatican neutrality?
Praise for the Billy Boyle series:
The brash kid from Southie is still open, direct and fearless in his manner (and in his wonderfully loose-jointed use of the English language) and in no danger of losing his cover as a happy-go-lucky Yank. But even amid the excitement of the spirited wartime storytelling, Benn allows Boyles experiences to change him in ways both subtle and dramatic.--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review Thoroughly enjoyable.--The Seattle Times This series brings WWII alive.--Deadly Pleasures Great fun. Benn knows his war history.--The Globe and Mail Kudos to author Benn . . . and heres hoping that Billy will continue to make his way through his Uncle Ikes world for many titles to come.--Bookslut.com Billy Boyle awakens in a field hospital in Sicily with amnesia. In his pocket is a yellow silk handkerchief embroidered with the initial L. Gradually he remembers: he has been sent ashore in advance of the troops with this token from Lucky Luciano to contact the head of the Sicilian Mafia. But he must also thwart a murderous band of counterfeiters of Army scrip led by Vito Genovese.
James R. Benn is the author of Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery, selected by Book Sense as one of the top five mysteries of 2006 and nominated for a Dilys Award.
Fifty Browning Automatic Rifles have been stolen from a US Army base in Northern Ireland. His uncle Ike Eisenhower sends Billy to recover the weapons, which might be used in a German-sponsored IRA uprising. Bodies begin to accumulate as Billy finds unexpected challenges to his Boston-Irish upbringing and IRA sympathies. There are rogues on both sides, he learns.
From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for the Billy Boyle series:
A meaty, old-fashioned and thoroughly enjoyable tale of WWII-era murder and espionage.--The Seattle Times The World War II atmosphere and history are expertly handled.--Denver Post Great fun. Benn knows his war history. . . . The novel introduces a batch of intriguing characters who seem destined to make another appearance.--The Globe and Mail (Toronto) A memorable debut.--BookPage A must for history buffs and mystery fans.--Connecticut Post If you enjoy World War II mysteries . . . youll love this book. . . . One of the best books Ive read this year.--Mystery Scene Benn crafts a crackling good adventure, with much flavorsome period color.--Kirkus Reviews Ill look for another book about Billy Boyle, with pleasure.--Deadly Pleasures Lieutenant Billy Boyle reluctantly accompanies Major Samuel Harding, his boss, in the first boat to land on the shores of Algeria during the Allied invasion. Their task is to arrange the surrender of the Vichy French forces. But there is dissension between the regular army, the local militia, and De Gaulles Free French. American black marketeers in league with the enemy divert medical supplies to the Casbah, leading to multiple murders that Billy must solve while trying to rescue the girl he loves, a captured British spy.
From the Hardcover edition.
The fog of war surrounding D-Day and Operation Tiger provides cover for one of Billy Boyle's grisliest investigations.
When an unidentified corpse washes ashore at Slapton Sands on England's southern coast, US Army Captain Billy Boyle and his partner, Lieutenant Piotr "Kaz" Kazimierz, are assigned to investigate. The Devonshire beach is the home to Operation Tiger, the top-secret rehearsal for the approaching D-Day invasion of Normandy, and the area is restricted; no one seems to know where the corpse could have come from. Luckily, Billy and Kaz have a comfortable place to lay their heads at the end of the day: Kaz's old school chum David lives close by and has agreed to host the two men during their investigation. Glad for a distraction from his duties, Billy settles into life at David's family's fancy manor, Ashcroft, and makes it his mission to get to know its intriguing cast of characters.
Just when Billy and Kaz begin to wrap up their case, they find themselves with not one soggy corpse on their hands but hundreds following a terrible tragedy during the D-Day rehearsal. To complicate things, life at Ashcroft has been getting tense: secret agendas, buried histories, and family grudges abound. Then one of the men meets a sudden demise. Was it a heart attack? Or something more sinister?
From the Hardcover edition.
In the Pacific during WWII, Billy Boyle must discover if skipper, and future president, Jack Kennedy is a cold-blooded killer. 1943: In the midst of the brutal, hard-fought Solomon Islands campaign between the Allies and the Japanese forces, Lieutenant Billy Boyle receives an odd assignment: he’s sent by the powerful Kennedy family to investigate a murder in which PT skipper (and future president) Jack Kennedy has been implicated. The victim is a native coastwatcher, an allied intelligence operative, whom Kennedy discovered on the island of Tulagi with his head bashed in. That’s Kennedy’s story, anyhow. Kennedy was recovering in the Navy hospital on the island after the sinking of his PT-109 motor torpedo boat. The military hasn’t decided yet whether to make him a hero for surviving the attack, or have him court-martialed for losing the boat, and the last thing the Kennedy clan wants is a murder charge hanging over his head. Billy knows firsthand that he shouldn’t trust Jack: the man is a charmer, a womanizer, and, when it suits his needs, a liar. But would he kill someone in cold blood? And if so, why? The first murder is followed by two more, and to find the killer, Billy must sort through a tangled, shifting web of motives and identities, even as combat rages all around him.
Billy Boyle, US Army detective and ex-Boston cop, faces his toughest investigation yet: infiltrating enemy lines in France as the Allies invade Normandy. It’s late May 1944. Captain Billy Boyle is court-martialed on spurious charges of black market dealings. Stripped of his officer’s rank, reduced to private, and sentenced to three months’ hard labor, Billy is given an opportunity: he can avoid his punishment if he goes behind enemy lines to rescue a high-value Allied soldier. A secret chamber and tunnels, once used by escaping Huguenots in the 17th century, has since been taken over by the Allies. But this “safe house” on the outskirts of Chaumont turns out to be anything but--two downed airmen, one Canadian and the other American, have been murdered. Billy is flown in as part of a three-man team on June 5, 1944, the night before the Normandy invasion, and must solve the mystery of who is behind the murders before then leading a group escape back to England, with both the Germans and a killer hot on their heels.
A murder in wartime Switzerland reveals Swiss complicity with the Nazis in World War II, and US Army detective Billy Boyle is called to investigate.
Europe, 1944: Captain Billy Boyle and his friend Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz are sent to neutral Switzerland to work with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), investigating Swiss banks that are laundering looted Nazi gold. The US and Swiss governments are about to embark on diplomatic discussions regarding the Safehaven Protocols, aimed at limiting the amount of war materials exported by Switzerland to the Nazis, stemming the tide of looted gold, and preventing postwar use of Nazi wealth by war criminals. With the talks about to begin and the Gestapo ever present, the OSS wants Billy and Kaz to protect the participants, which turns out to be a very deadly task.
The plans go wrong from the beginning when Billy and Kaz crashland in France. As they make their way through occupied territory to the border, they meet Anton Lasho, a member of the Sinti ethnic group, whose family was slaughtered by the Nazis, and who is, in turn, a one-man Nazi-killing machine. They’ll need his help, because as they find once they make it across the border, Swiss banks are openly laundering gold “harvested” from concentration camps, and those who are profiting will do everything they can to protect their wealth and hide their dark secrets.