Blood Alone (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series #3)

( 142 )

Overview

"Billy Boyle has been landed in Sicily in advance of the main Allied invasion forces. But when he awakens in a field hospital after suffering a concussion, he has amnesia. He doesn't know who he is or where he is, much less what his mission is. His only clue is that he possesses a yellow silk handkerchief embroidered with the initial L and a lot of people seem to be eager to get their hands on this talisman." "As Billy gradually recovers his memory, he recalls that he is his "Uncle" Ike's personal investigator in the European Theatre of War. He
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Blood Alone (Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series #3)

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Overview

"Billy Boyle has been landed in Sicily in advance of the main Allied invasion forces. But when he awakens in a field hospital after suffering a concussion, he has amnesia. He doesn't know who he is or where he is, much less what his mission is. His only clue is that he possesses a yellow silk handkerchief embroidered with the initial L and a lot of people seem to be eager to get their hands on this talisman." "As Billy gradually recovers his memory, he recalls that he is his "Uncle" Ike's personal investigator in the European Theatre of War. He had just been promoted to detective in the Boston PD (with a little help from his family and friends) when war was declared. A cushy job on the staff of a distant relative had been his mother's idea, but the relative turned out to be General Dwight D. Eisenhower who decided to put Billy's detective skills to use. Billy discovered, to his own surprise, that he was actually pretty good at his job. Before Billy can remember the dangerous task that has been entrusted to him and do his best to carry it out, several people are murdered. Those opposing him include members of various factions of the American Mafia, as well as soldiers of the German and Italian Armies." Billy finally remembers his name, but to truly resolve the question of his identity he must dig deep into his soul to discover what kind of man he is.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Spirited wartime storytelling. Benn allows Boyle’s experiences to change him in ways both subtle and dramatic.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A convincing blend of fact and fiction.”—Publishers Weekly

“Immediately engaging. . . . Superbly crafted and paced.”—BookPage, Mystery Pick of the Month

Publishers Weekly

Characterization and atmosphere carry Benn's third WWII mystery (after 2007's The First Wave), a convincing blend of fact and fiction. As part of the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, 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. 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. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
In war-torn Sicily, a sleuthing soldier risks life and limb to crack a baffling mystery. G.I. Billy Boyle wakes up in a field hospital in Sicily, baking in the heat and struggling to remember the circumstances that landed him there. A sergeant named Rocko Walters explains how he rescued Billy from an assault by an Italian thug who escaped. It's the summer of 1943, and the countryside is crawling with invading Germans. Further questions are prevented by the arrival of gruff Colonel Gavin, who arrests Rocko, identifying him as a war profiteer, and takes Billy to headquarters. As his memory returns in dribs and drabs, Billy seizes on a name: Kaz, whom fans will remember as Billy's brash sidekick in previous adventures (The First Wave, 2007, etc.). It's a hop skip to his old cohorts and Uncle Ike (Dwight Eisenhower, though the general is only a distant cousin), who makes a cameo appearance. At length, Billy remembers the Italian Rocko referred to. His name was Roberto, and he was a rescuer, not an attacker. Billy sets out to find him but discovers he's been killed under mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, Rocko is also murdered. Billy's determination to learn the truth behind both killings 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. Agent: Barbara Braun/Barbara Braun Associates
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569475959
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: Billy Boyle World War II Mystery Series , #3
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 126,623
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.78 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

James R. Benn is the author of Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery and The First Wave, selected by Book Sense as one of the top five mysteries of 2006 and nominated for a Dilys award. He is a librarian and lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 142 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(70)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 142 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    World War II is progressing and Boston Detective turned sp

    World War II is progressing and Boston Detective turned special investigator for Gen. Eisenhower Billy Boyle is advancing with the allied efforts. When last we saw Billy, he was recuperating in Algiers after the invasion of North Africa having rescued his beloved from her kidnappers. This volume opens with Second Lieutenant Boyle in Sicily, trying to remember: who he is where he is, how he got there and what brought him to be in a field hospital. A blow to his head, paired with a severe emotional trauma, has rendered him an amnesiac.
    The first third of the book is given to the struggle Billy has in regaining his memory and this is the slow part of the book. It plods from the night of the invasion, complete with Billy being commandeered to be a part of a “little known but vital battle” that proved to be pivotal to the success of the Italian campaign. It is not until well into the book that the reader, along with Billy, learns that his mission has to do with the Battalion payroll, the Mafia’s role in winning Italy and spies (there are ALWAYS spies in any war novel).
    Once Lt. Boyle regains his memory, the pace and action quickens dramatically as does the increase in the body count. This is a mystery set during the largest war in human history and Mr. Benn does not shy from the horrors that are part of any war. For Billy, those horrors are compiling rapidly – friends are killed, trusted associates turn out to be traitorous, the destruction is mindless and seemingly endless. Yet he stays true to his Irish Cop heritage – stubborn, tough, smart and true. He solves the mystery and “gets his man” almost.
    Mr. Benn is creating a series of mysteries with each book being good independently of the whole but his concept of placing them in a historical context causes them to live. The aforementioned battle, the Allied partnership with “La Costa Nostra,” the progress of the war across Europe all actually occurred. Reading these tales is like reading (selected, well edited) history with a friend as narrator. His choosing not to make war glorious nor shy from showing the its cost, even to “the winners,” gives realism and an added touch of fear to the fiction.
    This is not a book for children. The language is not excessive but is spoken by soldiers and criminals. The action occurs in a war zone, sometimes during battle, so the blood is plentiful and the body parts scattered. There were moments described that reminded me of the battle scenes in “Saving Private Ryan,” a movie I have been unable to watch entirely after seeing it once.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Cant stop reading

    What started out as book in between has become an obsession to read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Good Read

    I really enjoy the Billy Boyle books. Benn is very good about giving you a feel and understanding of the setting, the times and the difficulties of war. I've gotten attached to the characters and look forward to reading the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2010

    Billy Boyle Rocks! Highly Recommended.

    This book is an extension of the previous two in the series. Each one has been great. Billy has a quick mind and lots of street smarts, which serve him in many precarious situations. I just wish he didn't have to get hit on the head so much! I love the history lessons from the perspective of one who has experienced it first hand. I hope the series goes more than 5 books. I'm not anywhere near ready to say good-bye to Billy. Time spent reading these books is time very well spent.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    堊 &# 22538

    &#22583 &# 22583

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Stonekit

    Nothing just remebering how it waslike with my family before i was a orphan anyway if ht ou did works for you then hopefully it will get easie and easier for you to control your powers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Goldenkit

    What?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Blueclaw

    Sits in a tree and looks at the sun rising his eyes shining

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Speckleclaw

    His heart sank as he walked away

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Firestream

    A gry tom walke in. He jumped onto a branch and looked up at ivy. He smiled purring the sun in his eyes. He watched the sun lower into the mountains.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Wishstar

    Ive been here the whole time tryinh to sleep

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Sarah

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

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  • Posted January 3, 2011

    Typical Nook BS Pricing

    This book again costs more on Nook than in Paperback. It's $9.58 over at Amazon and guess what it's cheaper than the paperback. How shocking!!!!

    Great series!

    Not happy that I bought a Nook! Horrible pricing!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2010

    I'm hooked!

    Excellent character development. I feel like I know these guys. The author's style is like a comfortable couch, you just want to sink in and not get up for anything! Keep them coming...

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Terrific Series

    A very enjoyable historical mystery.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Good Story, Wonderful Hero

    This is the third Billy Boyle Mystery and it does not disappoint! Billy finds himself in the thick of the action again, and we get a piece of history and a fun read at the same time. I've read all 4 of these novels, and look forward to the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    The third Boyle WWII thriller is an exciting tale

    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.------------------ Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 142 Customer Reviews

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