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The Devouring by James R. Benn
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The Devouring

by James R. Benn

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Returned from France and quickly sent, with some difficulties, to Switzerland; Billy and Kaz soon find our how dangerous a neutral country can be. Following the money is fraught with connections to really dangerous people from Nazis on one side to the OSS on the other with the "not so neutral" Swiss adamant about protecting their monied clientele. A nice little vignette featuring Moe Berg, the smartest player in baseball adds some authentic color. ( )
  jamespurcell | Feb 16, 2018 |
THE DEVOURING by James R. Benn is the 12th episode in the Billy Boyle WWII mystery series. This time Billy, along with the urbane Polish Freedom Fighter Kaz, must make it to Switzerland as part of a secret mission to stop the Nazis from hoarding gold in Swiss banks for life after the war.
Mr. Benn has once again sent his heroes into a fast paced, peril filled adventure. Their little plane was shot down by ack-ack, somewhere in souther France, a long way from their proposed destination. They are captured by a member of the Sinti ethic group fighting his own war, on a mission to kill as many Germans as possible. Together the trio form a team that takes them across the border and into the real purpose of Billy and Kaz's mission.
Along the way they meet financiers and frauleins, Gestapo thugs and SS goons, treacherous old ladies and even more deadly young ones.
This is another example of Mr. Benn's ability to bring fresh insight to what may well be the most written about period of history. Along with writing a great action thriller, he has managed to infuse it with historical events within Switzerland that are seldom talked about. Things such as how so many of the "neutral" were actually rabid pro-Nazi sympathizers. So much so that they aided the Nazis in laundering stolen fortunes within the secrecy of their banks. So many of the wealthy turned a blind eye to the final solution even as they assisted in a multitude of ways.
More than just an action story, this is both a murder mystery and a revelation of a history most of us know little about.
You can't go wrong with a Billy Boyle adventure tale. Now I find myself having to read more of them. ( )
  TomDonaghey | Jul 8, 2017 |
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"A murder in wartime Switzerland reveals Swiss complicity with the Nazis and profiteering during World War II Billy and Kaz are sent to neutral Switzerland to investigate the murder of a Swiss banking official with ties to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The US and Swiss governments are about to embark on diplomatic discussions regarding the Safehaven Protocols, which are aimed at limiting the amount of war materials exported by Switzerland to the Nazis, halting the laundering of looted gold, and preventing the postwar use of Nazi wealth for war criminals. With the talks about to begin, the OSS wants their involvement in the murder cleared up, as well as to protect the participants from any threat of violence. The plans go wrong from the beginning when Billy and Kaz crash-land in France. As they make their way through occupied territory to the border, they meet Anton Lasho, a member of the Sinti ethnic group, whose family was slaughtered by the Nazis, and who is, in turn, a one-man Nazi-killing machine. They'll need his help, because as they find once they make it across the border, Swiss banks are openly laundering gold 'harvested' from concentration camps, and those that are profiting will do everything they can to protect their wealth and hide their dark secrets"-- The US and Swiss governments have embarked on diplomatic discussions regarding the Safehaven Protocols, aimed at limiting the amount of war materials exported by Switzerland to the Nazis. When a Swiss banking official is murdered, the OSS wants the case cleared up. Plans go wrong from the beginning when Billy and Kaz crash-land in France. Making their way through occupied territory; they make it across the border to find that Swiss banks are openly laundering gold 'harvested' from concentration camps. And those that are profiting will do everything they can to protect their wealth and hide their dark secrets.… (more)

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