In the weeks building up to the anticipated invasion of France, D-day, things are hectic in southern England. Capt. Billy Boyle, a military detective, is surprised when an old Boston friend, Sgt. Eugene "Tree" Jackson, asks him to look into the case of a black U.S. serviceman who has been arrested in the murder of a constable. Tree's unit, a segregated division stationed nearby, helps Boyle snoop around as he tries to figure out who has made the enlisted man a scapegoat. Concurrently, Boyle has been assigned to help MI-5 investigate the murder of a British loan officer. Adding fuel to the fire, a missing girl's body turns up. Boyle steps carefully through the minefields of racism, espionage, and child abduction until the three cases intersect in a volatile, whirlwind finale. VERDICT Elaborately plotted, Benn's eighth entry in the series (after Death's Door) has his World War II sleuth investigating a deplorable side of U.S. military history. His use of an ongoing narrative throughout the book to explain Billy and Tree's backstory is particularly well done.
Praise for A Blind Goddess
"One of Mr. Benn's best books of the series...A pleasure to read."
[Benn] achieves an impressive authenticity of time and place...without sacrificing a sense of underlying urgency, and it’s his engaging characters, complex whodunit(s), and subtle humor that will sustain the more traditional mystery reader. Those who are first initiated to Billy Boyle with A Blind Goddess will find it hard to resist the desire to revisit the author’s earlier offerings.”
"Pervasive racism in the U.S. Army during WWII frames Benn’s excellent eighth Billy Boyle whodunit...The superior plot and thoughtful presentation of institutional racism directed against American soldiers about to risk their lives for their country make this one of Benn’s best."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“If you are already a fan of James R. Benn’s Billy Boyle World War II mysteries, you won’t want to miss A Blind Goddess, Billy’s latest ride, and if you haven’t yet taken the ride, it’s time you did....Benn’s writing is crisp and descriptive as it always is, and his research, again as always, is impeccable.”
“Benn’s thoroughly researched exploration of segregation in the wartime armed services is revealing and sensitively handled. Another nice mix of human drama and WWII history.”
"Elaborately plotted, Benn's eighth entry in the series (after Death's Door) has his World War II sleuth investigating a deplorable side of U.S. military history, His use of an ongoing narrative throughout the book to explain Billy and Tree's backstory is particularly well done."
“James Benn has written a gripping and entertaining mystery (think early Ken Follett), but also — and perhaps just as importantly—he realistically and sensitively explores the rarely discussed race relations and power struggles in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II Britain. A thrilling read.”
—Susan Elia MacNeal, author of His Majesty’s Hope and the Maggie Hope mystery series
“This series is wonderful at setting the mystery amid a background of lesser known aspects of WWII...Can't wait for number nine!”
—Anne K. McMahon, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"Benn doesn’t skate around the issues of race relations and segregation in the 1940’s; he dives courageously in with both feet.... With A BLIND GODDESS, [he] has served up yet another delicious mystery to sink our teeth into—no way to ration this one."
"A Blind Goddess hits hardest when it examines the issue of internal racial politics during WWII... another fine, and recommended, book in a continuing series of Benn’s intriguing historical novels."
“A Blind Goddess is a gripping, exciting entry in this outstanding series…. The disparate storylines are clever and credible in their setup and execution, resulting in a superior mystery that fans of the series will thoroughly enjoy.”
“James R. Benn is getting even better…. [A Blind Goddess] is all a big bag of delicious intrigue if you love World War II-era stories. Definitely a series you should look into.”
“A good and disturbing read. Highly recommended.”
—I Love a Mystery
“This eighth Billy Boyle mystery has already been lauded as one of the best novels in the series. Not only is it a gripping and exciting suspense story, but James Benn also explores the issue of race, which did present a problem in the US military at the time.”
Praise for the Billy Boyle series:
"Spirited wartime storytelling."
—The New York Times Book Review
"A fast-paced saga set in a period when the fate of civilization still hangs in the balance."
—Wall Street Journal
"Captivating.... Benn does a superb job of simultaneously capturing the personal anguish of war and creating a splendid adventure novel."
—Library Journal, Starred Review
"Benn's Billy Boyle mysteries are always entertaining, filled with riveting characters, and beautifully plotted stories."
"The Billy Boyle, World War II mysteries are among the most consistently well written and researched crime novels published today, and are highly recommended."
"If you like WWII mysteries, here is a must-have series."
From the Hardcover edition.