James R. Benn
Soho, Sep 2008, $24.00
In 1943 the Allied army invades Sicily. However, General Eisenhower’s Special Investigator Billy Boyle carries a special message, but not from his boss who is a distant relative. The former Boston police detective brings a note from American Mafiosi Don Lucky Luciano to the Sicilian Mafia asking them to not fight the American soldiers.
However Billy is wounded before he can deliver his message. As he struggles with amnesia, less scrupulous individuals plan to take advantage of the battlefields. One particular felon needs Billy dead before his memories return; while Billy slowly puts together his past and his assignment making him wonder if he is a mob hit man.
The third Boyle WWII thriller is an exciting tale that brings to life Sicily in 1943 (see THE FIRST WAVE). As the allies invade the island, readers obtain a taste of the abject poverty alongside of mob rule. Although the amnesia ploy is an over used technique, Billy is terrific as he struggles more with what type of person he is than with just who he is. James R. Benn provides another fascinating look at the madness and anarchy of war in the European Theater of Operation.