Death’s Door: A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery

James R. Benn. Soho Crime, $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-61695-185-6
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.)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012
Release date: 09/04/2012
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