In war-torn Sicily, a sleuthing soldier risks life and limb to crack a baffling mystery.
G.I. Billy Boyle wakes up in a field hospital in Sicily, baking in the heat and struggling to remember the circumstances that landed him there. A sergeant named Rocko Walters explains how he rescued Billy from an assault by an Italian thug who escaped. It’s the summer of 1943, and the countryside is crawling with invading Germans. Further questions are prevented by the arrival of gruff Colonel Gavin, who arrests Rocko, identifying him as a war profiteer, and takes Billy to headquarters. As his memory returns in dribs and drabs, Billy seizes on a name: Kaz, whom fans will remember as Billy’s brash sidekick in previous adventures (The First Wave, 2007, etc.). It’s a hop skip to his old cohorts and Uncle Ike (Dwight Eisenhower, though the general is only a distant cousin), who makes a cameo appearance. At length, Billy remembers the Italian Rocko referred to. His name was Roberto, and he was a rescuer, not an attacker. Billy sets out to find him but discovers he’s been killed under mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, Rocko is also murdered. Billy’s determination to learn the truth behind both killings 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.