A Mortal Terror
The Wall Street Journal praises A MORTAL TERROR:
"...a fast-paced saga set in a period when the fate of civilization still hangs in the balance. As Boyle reflects after a fleeting assignation with his English girlfriend, an always-in-danger secret agent: 'We laughed, but I can't say we were happy...We slept, but could not rest.'"
Mystery Scene magazine reviews A MORTAL TERROR
"a thrilling, fast-paced book...Benn skillfully blends the mystery of the murders and the violence of the war into one fantastic, satisfying whole"
LA Examiner review of "A Mortal Terror"
"masterful...well-crafted...vivid...a great read"
Independent Mystery Booksellers Association:
IMBA names A MORTAL TERROR a "Killer Book"!
Library Journal gives A Mortal Terror a STARRED Review!
War has taken its toll on First Lt. Billy Boyle, and heís not alone in his misery. Itís January 1944, and heís trying to figure out why he has been dispatched to Naples in his sixth outing (after Rag and Bone). If youíre new to the series, Billy, a police detective back home, works for his Uncle Ike (yes, that Ike) as a military private investigator. Simply put, the general trusts Billy because heís family. In this captivating episode, a serial killer from the inside (dubbed the Red Heart Killer because he leaves playing cards on his victims) is targeting Allied officers, moving systematically up the ranks, and itís getting pretty tense in the officersí quarters. Billy is under the gun to find the madman before he runs out of cards. VERDICT Jump right in with this winner of a historical detective entry; donít worry if you havenít read all the others (I hadnít). Benn does a superb job of simultaneously capturing the personal anguish of war and creating a splendid adventure novel.
The September issue of Booklist says A MORTAL TERROR is:
"Solid wartime adventure, well grounded in historical detail, and boasting a challenging mystery to boot."
Rag And Bone
"Öthe novelís scenes of London under siege are stark and poignant."óThe New York Times Book Review
Evil For Evil
A twisting, turning plot drives Bennís gripping fourth WWII mystery ... As an Irish-American sympathetic to the Republican cause, Billy struggles to remain impartial as he investigates the various factions on both sides of the Catholic-Protestant divide. Benn offers no easy answers in this rich mix of Irish history and wartime intrigue."
"... a sleuthing soldier risks life and limb to crack a baffling mystery...Billy's determination to learn the truth takes him into the heart of Sicily's complex criminal dynasty, as deadly as the encroaching German army. Another bracing cocktail of period action with a whodunit chaser from the increasingly authoritative Benn."
The First Wave
The pursuit of truth in wartime is never as dangerous as when it forces a choice between the greater good and the life of a loved one. For Billy Boyle, that choice is as hard as the unforgiving rocky landscape of Algeria where the American Army receives its baptism of fire in WWII.
Billy Boyle is the youngest member of the Boyle clan in the Boston Police Department. A tightly knit Irish family, their fierce loyalties extend little beyond each other, Ireland, and the police force where Billyís father and uncles also serve. The year is 1941, and they have paved the way for Billyís promotion to Detective through the time-honored traditions of politics and patronage. Then World War II breaks out. The familyís political connections secure Billy a commission and post with a distant relative of Mrs. Boyleís, a general serving with the War Plans Department in Washington D.C. where Billy is to safely sit out the war. Unfortunately for the Boyles, that unknown general is Dwight David Eisenhower, who whisks Billy off to England when he is appointed Commander of U.S. forces in Europe . This is definitely not what Billy expected, nor is really qualified for. He must rely on his native wits to keep himself alive and avoid humiliating his family as he conducts his first investigation into the death of an official of the Norwegian government in exile.