Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rag and Bone-James R. Benn

Rag and Bone
James R. Benn
Soho, Sep 1 2010, $25.00
ISBN 9781569478493

In December 1943, recently promoted to First Lieutenant with his Uncle Ike pinning the rank on his uniform, Billy Boyle enjoys R&R in Italy with his girlfriend. However, his leave is ended abruptly as he is needed in London to investigate the homicide of a Soviet officer.

Briefed as to the urgency of solving the case yesterday delicately with the allies shaky alliance shook, Billy looks into the theory that the murder was revenge retribution for the Katyn Forest massacre of thousands of Polish soldiers in which the Nazis were blamed, but most believe the Communists committed the atrocities. Thus most of the brass believes the assassin works for the Polish government in exile in London; which places Billy in a sensitive position as he fears one of his friends is the killer.

The fifth Billy Boyle WWII thriller (see Evil for Evil, The First Wave and Blood Alone) is a terrific tale in which life in the home front is vividly depicted inside the strong investigative story line. Using real persona like Ike to anchor time and place, this remains Billy’s novel as he is fabulous while struggling with walking the political landmines to learn the truth.

Harriet Klausner

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