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The First Wave (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series #2)

Average Rating 4
( 279 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(115)

4 Star

(97)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(7)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 280 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted March 28, 2011

    Slow Start but a Good Read

    Unlike the first novel, this one starts a little slower. Of course this is partly due to Benn recounting events in the first novel and establishing background for those who did not read the first book. I was a good 60 pages into it wondering if this was going to be a mystery novel or an adventure story. In all honesty, either would have been fine with me because I really like the way Benn handles the characters and writing. But, the mystery does finally kick in and this one is a fairly straight forward whodunit. Though not the most difficult mystery to figure out, unlike the first one in my opinion, there is a lot of interesting WWII history at play here. Benn has a real knack for honing in on the lesser known aspects of WWII and making them come to life. There is a lot of history surrounding the Nurses Corp and the advent of penicillin in this one that is sure to keep you reading. If you liked the first novel, or are just a fan of WWII novels or mystery novels in general, this is a good read. Benn really does manage to write exciting stories even if the mystery aspect doesn't really take root till a third of the way into the book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2010

    surprised

    This is a book I would NEVER have chosen. I was surprised because I LIKED it. The characters are three dimensional and the story line is well done.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2010

    Surprise of the Year... For me anyway...

    I downloaded Billy Boyle for free and it was plenty good enough that I bought the second immediately and I have to say the second is even better! Part mystery and part World Wat II drama, this novel speeds along like a good action flick. The lead character, Billy, is a bit of a cowardly lion sort. A career police officer in civilian life, Billy is not exactly cowardly, but he is certainly interested in keeping himself out of the front lines of the war if at all possible. Still, when things get tough or his friends are in danger he is the first one into the fray. A very likable character. For pure entertainment value, I would highly recommend this book. I'm not quite finished with this one, the second in the series, but I plan to download the third as soon as I finish writing this review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Amazing

    Omg i thought this was gonna be crappy because it was already on my nook

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Jz

    A great book and marvelous mystery

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    History and Mystery

    After reading the free book... the first in the series, I had to get the third one! A bit slow to start, but great after that. I learned several interesting things about WWII and how the nurses corps ran... Being a military retired female myself, it really was interesting how the female military vs male military officers were treated. Great history and a who dunit type of mystery... good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Easy Read and Fast Paced

    "The First Wave" by James R. Benn is second book in the fictional Billy Boyle series. In the Billy Boyle book (review) we meet the young Boston cop who has been enlisted as a special investigator to his uncle in Washington during WWII. Only that his uncle is Ike, and he takes Billy with him overseas.

    The characters from the first book are being assembled, this time in Algeria, getting ready for the Allied forces to take over, hoping the French won't put up a fight (they did). Stations in a military hospital, Boyle discovers that a drug smuggling ring involving many high ranking Vichy officials is operating with aid from someone who is knowledgeable about top secret data.
    Mix the smuggling up with a coup, murders and a kidnapping and you got the making of an interesting story.

    Billy not only has to uncover the corruption which has become the norm, but also be sensitive as to not screw up Eisenhower's notorious "deal with Darlan" - the fascist, antisemitic highest ranking leader of the French Vichy government.

    While the first book in the series I considered historical-fiction, this book is more of a crime story which happens during war time. The history is there, but it there are far too many liberties taken with time-line and the story-line does not deal with any specific occurrences (such as Operation Jupiter from the last book).

    The author did make this clear at the end notes, otherwise my rating would dropped.That being said, I like the fact that the stories revolve around little known events of World War II instead of the big ones we all learned about.

    In "The First Wave" Billy has matured, he has seen devastation, revenge, backstabbing and some more of the acts men do in war time. Much like Billy, so has Mr. Benn's narrative matured. The book is still an easy read and fast paced , but is more darker in storyline as well as tone.

    The competing Vichy (that's the French government the Nazi's installed) interested are outlined by Mr. Benn are very interesting. Those interests shows how complicated and somewhat unrealistic were the hopes of the Allies that they would be greeted as liberators (we were not).

    The book also centers around two other main subject, while not as exciting as murder & mayhem are no less important and in my opinion even more. The first is Pfizer's ability to mass produce penicillin. The second is the important role of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. It was very inspiring to read a book which honors those women who despite holding a "Relative Rank" (meaning they didn't have to be saluted to) and getting 50% less than their male counterparts, still volunteered in droves to serve in combat zones.

    For more book reviews please visit ManOfLaBook dot com

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2014

    The First Wave is much like the first book in the series

    Boston cop Billy Boyle, now an Army officer assigned to his uncle “Ike” Eisenhower, finds himself in the first wave of Allied troops ashore in French North Africa in 1942. He and his superior officer, Major Sam Harding, are to facilitate the pre-arranged surrender of French troops. But nothing is as simple as when there are so many competing factions. While at an American hospital in the contested area, Billy investigates the murder of a supply sergeant and what looks like the theft of drugs, including that new wonder drug penicillin. Then there’s a second murder at the hospital. What’s going on? While he investigates what he’s been ordered to investigate, he also needs to find and rescue his lady love Diana Seaton, who’s a British spy. She and a group of student activists has been taken hostage and are being held near a military supply depot. Billy Boyle is a great character, supported by Harding and “Kaz,” a Polish baron who’s not well enough physically to be a soldier, but whose many skills are a great help to the Allied cause. The First Wave is much like the first book in the series, Billy Boyle, and I have a feeling that future books will follow much the same formula. That formula winds up with Billy and Kaz all but disregarding the rules and their orders, getting themselves in big trouble and, with a swashbuckling swagger, defeating Allied enemies. In both books, Billy and Kaz have taken physical punishment that would stagger lesser men and gone on within minutes to fully recover. Although I enjoyed books one and two in this series, I will take a vacation from them for awhile.

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  • Posted September 9, 2013

    great story - history and mystery

    As a World War 2 buff, I was drawn to Benn's series for the setting. In every book, he highlights some interesting historical facts as he tells an engaging, sometimes surprising, tale of mystery and intrigue. These books have almost non-stop action. The real treasure is the likable characters. Billy Boyle, the protagonist, will have you thinking back to those war movies from the 40's, with his likable angst ridden personality. These books are a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Continued excitement

    Love the whole series

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Terrific find..

    I originally read a Billy Boyle because it was a freebie on Nook. I was pleasantly surprised. It's not something I probably ever would have paid for or even given a second glance in a book store but now I've read a few more in the series and have others on my Wish List. This is a good series.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    Good Read

    I have really gotten to like the Billy Boyle character, and his cohorts and their adventures. Benn does not spare them from the painful experiences of war, and even the effects of survivor's remorse that I'm sure haunts many veterans that have seen action in any military conflict. The plots are well conceived, and as I have said I've become attached to these characters. Just bought the #3 and #4 books in the series to continue the adventures.

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    Posted July 9, 2011

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    Posted September 22, 2010

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    Posted October 5, 2010

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    Posted March 3, 2011

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    Posted August 5, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2012

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    Posted November 7, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 280 Customer Reviews
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