The Rest Is Silence
“This Billy Boyle World War II mystery is an exceptionally written book . . . the plot and historical sights and sounds are top-notch. Whether a reader holds WWII books or suspense books close to their heart, this one will be a true find.”
“[W]ill be savored by any fan of historical mysteries… don’t miss The Rest is Silence! Highly recommended.”
—I Love a Mystery
“Everything about this particular entry in the Billy Boyle series and the series in general makes for great reading. Benn does his research, and it shows in the quality of his writing. The scenes are intense, the dialogue powerful and genuine. Spend some time with Billy Boyle. You’ll be glad you did.”
—The Weirs Times
"[A]n enthralling mystery combined with an interesting bit of history with the usual flair and clarity of the prior entries in the series."
—Midwest Book Reviews
“With its very smooth mix of mystery and historical references (with a dash of Downton Abbey), just about everybody will find something of interest in this fizzy retro cocktail.”
“This series continues to grow, with the characters adding depth in each episode, and the ever-fascinating historical material dexterously tucked into the plot.”
—Bill Ott, Booklist
“Benn offers a thrilling mix of fact and fiction in his ninth whodunit featuring Boston cop-turned-army investigator Billy Boyle. The affable and capable Boyle continues to grow as a character, and Benn effectively uses the impending Allied invasion of Europe as the background for the whodunit plot.”
“[W]hiz-bang first-person narrative keeps the story afloat, and its Greatest Generation plot gives it an appealing sense of nostalgia.”
"A double-edged sword of a novel. A ripping murder mystery and a meditation on the terrible costs of war—hidden and otherwise.”
—Reed Farrel Coleman
Praise for A Blind Goddess, the previous Billy Boyle WWII Mystery
"James Benn has written a gripping and entertaining mystery, but also . . . realistically and sensitively explores the rarely discussed race relations and power struggles in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II Britain."
—Susan Elia MacNeal, author of the Maggie Hope mystery series
"One of Mr. Benn's best books of the series . . . A pleasure to read."
"[Benn] achieves an impressive authenticity of time and place . . . without sacrificing a sense of underlying urgency, and it’s his engaging characters, complex whodunit(s), and subtle humor that will sustain the more traditional mystery reader. Those who are first initiated to Billy Boyle with A Blind Goddess will find it hard to resist the desire to revisit the author’s earlier offerings."
"[An] excellent eighth Billy Boyle whodunit . . . The superior plot and thoughtful presentation of institutional racism directed against American soldiers about to risk their lives for their country make this one of Benn’s best."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Benn's thoroughly researched exploration of segregation in the wartime armed services is revealing and sensitively handled. Another nice mix of human drama and WWII history."
"A Blind Goddess is a gripping, exciting entry in this outstanding series . . . The disparate storylines are clever and credible in their setup and execution, resulting in a superior mystery that fans of the series will thoroughly enjoy."
"James R. Benn is getting even better . . . [A Blind Goddess] is all a big bag of delicious intrigue if you love World War II-era stories. Definitely a series you should look into.”
“A good and disturbing read. Highly recommended.”
—I Love a Mystery
A Blind Goddess
Booklist review of A BLIND GODDESS in the August 1st issue:
The eighth adventure in Benn’s engaging WWII series finds recently promoted Captain Billy Boyle, special investigator for General Eisenhower, assigned to find the killer of a seemingly ordinary citizen in a country village. An odd assignment for a military man, made odder by the fact that Billy has been given orders not to investigate the German family who run the boarding house where the victim lived. Meanwhile, Billy has reconnected with an old friend from Boston, a black man called Tree, a sergeant in a tank destroyer unit. There is bad blood between Billy and Tree, but Tree puts that aside to ask for Billy’s help in freeing a friend from his unit, wrongly accused of killing an Englishman. Juggling both cases, Billy finds himself in the middle of a simmering racial conflict between the black soldiers stationed in the area and their white counterparts, who resent the fact that the blacks have been warmly received by the English....Benn’s thoroughly researched exploration of segregation in the wartime armed services is revealing and sensitively handled. Another nice mix of human drama and WWII history.
A Blind Goddess gets a Starred Review in Publisher's Weekly!
Pervasive racism in the U.S. Army during WWII frames Benn’s excellent eighth Billy Boyle whodunit (after 2012’s Death’s Door). In March 1944, Billy receives an appeal from an old estranged friend, Sgt. Eugene “Tree” Jackson. A member of Tree’s “colored” battalion has been arrested for the murder of Thomas Eastman, an English policeman, who was found with his head bashed in on his father’s grave in the village of Chilton Foliat. Tree is positive that the accused was mistakenly arrested. Boyle wants to help, but he’s pulled away into another homicide investigation west of London in which MI5 has an interest. The intelligence service’s role may be related to the fact that the victim’s landlords were two Germans who fled their native country because they opposed the Nazis. The superior plot and thoughtful presentation of institutional racism directed against American soldiers about to risk their lives for their country make this one of Benn’s best.
Traumatized; The Story of a State Trooper.