A Blind Goddess: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery

Soho Crime. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781616951924. $25. M
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.

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