- 9,99 €
England, 1944: Recovering from physical and psychological wounds sustained in the liberation of Paris, US Army detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz are sent to a convalescent hospital in the English countryside—only to discover that St. Albans may have its own war secrets, including a killer.
"As historical detective series go, this one is extremely well tended by an author who clearly dotes on his hero. As do we."—The New York Times
Just days after the Liberation of Paris, US Army Detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz are brought to Saint Albans Convalescent Hospital in the English countryside. Kaz has been diagnosed with a heart condition, and Billy is dealing with emotional exhaustion and his recent methamphetamine abuse. Meanwhile, Billy’s love, Diana Seaton, has been taken to Ravensbrück, the Nazi concentration camp for women, and Kaz’s sister, Angelika, who he recently learned was alive and working with the Polish Underground, has also been captured and transported to the same camp.
This news is brought by British Major Cosgrove, who asks Billy for help, unofficially, in solving what he thinks was the murder of a British agent recuperating at Saint Albans. The convalescent hospital is really a secret installation for those in the world of clandestine warfare to recover from wounds, physical and emotional. Some are allowed to leave; others are deemed security risks and are detained there. When a second body is found, it is evident that a killer is at work in this high-security enclave. Now Billy must carry out his covert investigation while maintaining his tenuous recovery, shielding his actions from suspicious hospital authorities, and dodging the unknown murderer.
Set in 1944, Benn's superlative 15th WWII mystery featuring U.S. Army investigator Billy Boyle (after 2019's When Hell Struck Twelve) finds Boyle confined to a former lunatic asylum converted to a hospital outside London, where he's recovering from a traumatic experience. A recent mission in Paris was betrayed to the Germans, leaving Boyle's love interest, Lady Diana Seaton, an undercover British operative, in the hands of the Gestapo. While on the hospital grounds, Boyle witnesses a fellow patient, Thomas Holland, fall to his death from a clock tower. Having seen a second figure near Holland right before his death, the former Boston homicide cop isn't inclined to credit the official view that the fatality was either suicide or an accident. His status as a patient being treated for depression and disorientation after taking too much methamphetamine makes investigating a challenge. Boyle's suspicions increase after someone else on the grounds is stabbed to death. Benn maintains a high level of tension throughout, and his admirable but flawed lead will engage even first-time readers. This fair-play whodunit stands comparison with the best classic mysteries.