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A Blind Goddess: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery    by James Benn order for
Blind Goddess
by James Benn
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Racial politics within the U.S. Army during World War II accounts for one of the strains of this latest Billy Boyle mystery. The first all African-American battalion preparing for combat, the 617th Tank Destroyers, are stationed in England. Despite a warm welcome from the British, the American infantrymen in the area aren't quite as accepting.

When one of the men in the unit is unjustly accused of a murder it becomes all too apparent he is not going to get a fair shake because of his race. Captain Billy Boyle is asked by a childhood friend to see what he can do to exonerate the soldier.

At the same time, Boyle is also handed a bizarre case by British intelligence - to look into the death of an accountant and the disappearance of a young girl. Not only is the connection between these two events and the US Army unclear but Boyle also quickly discovers he will not be allowed to question some key witnesses.

Given the fact that the 617th is billeted in the area, Boyle can divide his time between these two seemingly disparate cases. Seemingly is the operational word here because as his investigation proceeds you'll see the cases converge.

This eighth Billy Boyle mystery has already been lauded as one of the best novels in the series. Not only is it a gripping and exciting suspense story but James Benn also explores the issue of race which did present a problem in the US military at the time.

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