Synopses & Reviews
In this seventh installment of James R. Benn’s hit WWII-era mystery series, Lieutenant Billy Boyle goes undercover in the Vatican
Lieutenant Billy Boyle could have used a rest after his last case, but when his girlfriend, Diana Seaton, a British spy, goes missing in the Vatican, where she was working undercover, he insists on being assigned to a murder investigation there so he can try to help her.
An American monsignor is found murdered at the foot of Death's Door, one of the five entrances to Saint Peter's Basilica. Wild Bill Donovan, head of the OSS, wants the killing investigated. The fact that the Vatican is neutral territory in German-occupied Rome is only one of the obstacles Billy must overcome. First is a harrowing journey, smuggled into Rome while avoiding the Gestapo and Allied bombs. Then he must navigate Vatican politics and personalities—some are pro-Allied, others pro-Nazi, and the rest steadfastly neutral—to learn the truth about the murdered monsignor. But that's not his only concern; just a short walk from the Vatican border is the infamous Regina Coeli prison, where Diana is being held. Can he dare a rescue, or will a failed attempt alert the Germans to his mission and risk an open violation of Vatican neutrality?
"A special mission takes Lt. Billy Boyle to German-occupied Rome disguised as an Irish priest in Benn's intriguing seventh WWII mystery (after 2011's A Mortal Terror). Billy must find out who stabbed Fr. Edward Corrigan in neutral Vatican City by the entrance to St. Peter's Basilica known as Death's Door. Since the priest's cousin was a childhood buddy of FDR, solving his murder has the highest priority. Getting through German lines to reach the Vatican is no mean feat, and on arrival, Billy discovers that the authorities have already pinned the killing on a Jewish refugee found with blood on his coat. In addition, Billy has a more personal mission to consider whether to try to rescue his lover, British spy Diana Seaton, who's a prisoner of the Gestapo in a Roman prison. Some developments may be a bit coincidental, but Benn's nuanced portrayal of Vatican politics will keep readers turning the pages. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
James R. Benn is the author of six previous books in the Billy Boyle series: Billy Boyle, The First Wave, Blood Alone, Evil for Evil , Rag & Bone, and A Mortal Terror. He was a librarian for many years. He lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.