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Blame the Dead    by Ed Ruggero order for
Blame the Dead
by Ed Ruggero
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ed Ruggero's Blame the Dead immerses readers in the chaos and confusion of the US Army's 11th Field Hospital in 1943 Sicily. There, many ordinary people do their heroic best in extraordinary times, while some few abuse and exploit their positions for their own gain.

Military Police lieutenant Eddie Harkins was a Philadelphia beat cop before he enlisted. First MP on the scene of the murder of Dr. Meyers Stephenson, he ends up leading the investigation, despite his lack of experience.

He soon learns that there's something rotten in the management of the field hospital. Nurses are constantly sexually harassed. One was raped. Another died under suspicious circumstances. Despite push back from the hospital commander, Colonel Walter Boone, Eddie persists in digging for the truth.

Eddie is helped by a childhood friend working at the unit, nurse Kathleen Donnelly, and by his elder brother Patrick, a chaplain in the Eighty-Second Airborne Division. Patrick persuades Eddie to take on a discharged paratrooper as driver. Colianno, and his family in Palermo, turn out to be very useful to the investigation.

It's an engrossing read as Eddie, Kathleen and Colianno uncover a dangerous spy (though a good man) and grand theft, as well as multiple murders - a challenging case for a beat cop, but Eddie does get his man. Don't miss Blame the Dead.

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