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Rag and Bone by James R. Benn
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Darker than previous installments ( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
Darker than previous installments ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Darker than previous installments ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Darker than previous installments ( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Ever wonder if Danny Boyle from Chris Grabenstein's Ceepak novels and Billy Boyle from James R. Benn's World War II series might be cousins? Although the two series differ in almost every respect, they have one thing in common -- the character growth of the Boyle boys as their series progress. Each starts as a wide-eyed innocent (despite Billy's police experience in South Boston) and through experience and mentoring learns to deal with moral ambiguity, to find his center, and to judge when to live by the rules and when to break them.
In Rag and Bone, Lt. Billy Boyle's joyous reunion with Diana is cut short when he's ordered to London. A Soviet officer has been murdered execution-style in a London park, and with plans for an invasion beginning to come to fruition, Uncle Ike, newly named commander of SHAEF, wants no friction among the Allied forces. Returning to London to stay with his friend Kaz, a Polish nobleman in exile, Billy learns of the Katyn Forest massacre, which the Soviets are blaming on the Nazis despite evidence to the contrary. Kaz's outrage is such that Billy considers he may be a suspect in the murder. As Billy discovers involvement by the London underworld and the NKVD, the plot grows ever more complicated. The book starts a little slowly, but picks up speed as it goes along, and there is plenty of excitement toward the end. But the most enjoyable part of the book for me was watching Billy's continued character development.
I'm of the generation that, while we didn't live through World War II, grew up with it as recent history, so most of what Benn writes about is familiar to me. However, don't be scared off if you're a younger person who doesn't happen to be a WWII buff. Without being in the least didactic, Benn explains what you need to know to follow Billy's adventures. Highly recommended. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 156947849X, Hardcover)

Billy Boyle is sent to London to investigate the murder of a Soviet official. Was it random or revenge for the recently uncovered mass graves of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest? Scotland Yard suspects Billy's friend Kaz, now working for the Polish Government in Exile. With a diplomatic crisis looming, Billy must find the killer and save his friend.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:46 -0400)

"Uncle Ike" (aka General Eisenhower) personally pins silver first lieutenant bars on Billy Boyle in Benn's stellar fifth WWII mystery (after 2009's Evil for Evil). In December 1943, Billy's leave with his British girlfriend in Italy is cut short. Orders send him to London to look into a Soviet officer's shooting murder, which may be retaliation for the execution of thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest that's been blamed on the Germans but probably was committed by Russians. Since the Soviets are allies, the investigation requires the utmost sensitivity. Billy's loyalties are tested because his friend who works for the Polish government in exile, Lieutenant Kazimierz, is a prime suspect. Benn excels at depicting the impact of war on London--the bricks from bombed buildings piled neatly on the streets, families living in Tube stations, "the odor of the Blitz." Destruction aside, Billy never forgets that "Even in the midst of war, murder is unacceptable"--Publisher's Weekly.… (more)

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