BLUE MADONNA  by James R. Benn

BLUE MADONNA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Normandy invasion serves as backdrop for an army detective’s toughest assignment yet: proving he's innocent of a trumped-up charge while rescuing a brave group of Resistance fighters.

May 30, 1944. Despite being in handcuffs, series hero and first-person narrator Billy Boyle (The White Ghost, 2015, etc.) cheerfully welcomes the reader into his yarn, though he has no idea why he’s being taken to the office of unimpressive Col. Sam Harding. Capt. Boyle, it seems, is charged with five counts relating to alleged black-market operations. In short order, Billy is busted to private and sent to the slammer, but there’s a twist: an officer is on the way to the jailhouse to ask for volunteers for a dangerous mission. Billy doesn’t have to be asked twice, although uncertainty about the assignment makes him nervous. A shootout proves to be Billy’s intro to his comrades in the mission: Blake, the aptly named Big Mike, and Kaz, his sidekick on all his previous military probes. Their destination is London, and the ultimate mission is the safe passage of a group of Resistance fighters out of danger. It certainly doesn’t hurt morale that many of these are beautiful young women. Meanwhile, what we will later know as D-Day looms. In the mix, but also on the back burner, is catching a black market ring, the Morgan Gang, which might be responsible for Billy’s false arrest.

Benn’s 11th Billy Boyle mystery has snappy dialogue, satisfying action scenes, and much interesting history about D-Day.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-616-95642-4
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Soho
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016




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