Book Review: Blood Alone James R. Benn

April 18, 2024


Blood Alone by James R. Benn is the third book in the Billy Boyle World War II Mystery series. The series follows the former Boston cop solving mysteries in war time Europe while giving the reader a history lesson.

  • 336 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Soho Crime
  • Language ‏ : English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 1569475954

Book Review: Blood Alone James R. Benn
My rating for Blood Alone4
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I read the several Billy Boyle mysteries a while ago, but I saw this book at a library sale and picked it up immediately. At first, I couldn’t remember the supporting cast, but soon the author reminded of who’s who. That being said, this book contains major spoilers for the first two books, but since Billy has amnesia that information is needed.

We seem to forget how the war affected Italy. Blood Alone by James R. Benn makes sure to remind us that the impact was not just on US troops, or Billy, but also on the civilian population.

The author packed a lot into this book, it moves fast and the pacing is uneven. From the American mafia helping the war effort, to the invasion, and of course, a mystery in which Billy is the center of. I think that if I wasn’t already somewhat familiar with the events, both stateside and abroad, I might have gotten lost. The book would have also greatly benefited with the addition of a map, or maps.

This book was much more introspective than the first two, even though Billy’s relationship with Diana was put on the back burner. Being that there are many more books in the series, I’m sure that the relationship will get more page time, but I’m looking forward to reading it myself.

Mr. Benn did a very good job weaving history with fictional mystery which kept me guessing to the end. I loved that much of the book was as historically accurate as possible.


Billy Boyle wakes up in Sicily, Italy, with amnesia. He doesn’t remember what happened, or even who he is, but he does have a yellow silk handkerchief which seems important.

Gradually Bill remembers the reason he was sent to Sicily by his uncle, General Eisenhower, to contact the head of the Sicilian Mafia before US troops land, with a handkerchief from Lucky Luciano.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got bought boo.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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