From the Shadows (A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery #17)
US Army Captain Billy Boyle plunges into partisan warfare alongside betrayed French Resistance fighters in his seventeenth WWII investigation.
Southern France, 1944: Ex-Boston cop and wartime military investigator Billy Boyle is given a dangerous assignment—to extract a British Special Operations Executive officer from Crete and take him to France to serve on a security detail to identify fascist sympathizers. The mission gets even more complicated when Billy realizes how many enemies the officer he must protect has accrued. In the aftermath of the failed, and costly, Vercors uprising, tensions among Resistance groups are running high, and the mission turns far deadlier than expected.
On the quest to weed out Vichy collaborators, Billy takes up an independent investigation to exonerate an innocent comrade of murder. In the process, he crosses paths with the legendary SOE agent Christine Granville and the heroic 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up of Nisei soldiers who are already on their way to becoming the most decorated unit in the history of the US Army.
With sacrifice and subterfuge afoot, Billy doesn’t know who he can trust, or how close to death this case may bring him.
Praise for From the Shadows (A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery #17)
Praise for From the Shadows
“James R. Benn is a master craftsman of a gold-standard World War II mystery series set in various locations throughout the world. He shines a light on complicated relationships that result from combat as well as honors men and women who have made ultimate sacrifices for a better tomorrow. In From the Shadows, the soldiers of the all-Nisei 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team, seeking to save the Lost Battalion trapped in the Vosges Mountains in France, are included in Benn’s spotlight and I’m eternally grateful.”
—Naomi Hirahara, author of Clark and Division and the Mas Arai mystery series
“Billy Boyle returns in another rousing WWII adventure . . . Though I want the war to be over, I want this series to continue to infinity and beyond.”
“Another stellar entry in this venerable series . . . Benn continues to find new, and largely forgotten, events (and their corresponding locales) to explore, invigorating his creative canvas while further illuminating the atrocities of war, which are often more far-reaching than remembered. Despite the gravity of this, the books are grounded in Billy Boyle’s innate humanity and humor, which have sustained him—and us—from the very first book. And that’s a victory in and of itself.”
“In James R. Benn's From the Shadows, Captain Billy Boyle, a onetime Boston cop now assigned to the European theater of World War II, is snatched from some much needed R & R in Cairo and tasked with a dangerous new mission: Billy must locate an English operative in the wilds of Crete, after which they will head to newly liberated France via Algiers, liaise with the French Resistance and weed out enemies from allies . . . Where [Benn] excels, apart from superb suspense plotting, is in documenting vignettes of humanity and its black-sheep cousin, brutality. Benn makes combat feel real and immediate to his readers, even those who have never experienced it firsthand. It would be impossible to depict war accurately without killing off some of the good guys, and there are a couple of losses here that will truly hurt, as they should.”
—BookPage, Starred Review
“Benn has made superb use of little-known episodes of military history. This time he ups the ante, combining several of those episodes—and a host of real-life characters—into a story that displays both the bureaucratic bungling of the Allied armies and the astounding heroism of individual soldiers and resistance fighters . . . a shocking tale of wartime perfidy.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“Every twist is well knotted, and Benn pulls off another satisfying investigation into the human reality of war, crime, friendship, and honor.”
“At the start of Benn’s thrilling 17th WWII mystery featuring U.S. Army investigator Billy Boyle, Billy is dispatched to German-occupied Crete in October 1944 to locate Capt. Richard “Dickie” Thorne, who’s been helping the Greek partisans there but has been out of radio contact . . . This richly detailed wartime adventure spotlights acts of barbarity and heroism, bungled leadership, and valiant last charges. Benn reliably entertains.”
“A solid mystery tucked into a colorful thriller dramatizing war’s complexity and devastation . . . the books in Benn’s long-running series have evolved from straightforward whodunits with a wartime background into ambitious, atmospheric thrillers, broader both in scope and literary finesse.”