Just days after the Liberation of Paris, Billy and Kaz are brought to Saint Albans Convalescent Hospital in the English countryside. Kaz has been diagnosed with a heart condition, and Billy is dealing with emotional exhaustion and his recent methamphetamine abuse. Meanwhile, Billy's love, Diana Seaton, has been taken to Ravensbruck, the Nazi concentration camp for women, and Kaz's sister, Angelika, who he recently learned was alive and working with the Polish Underground, has also been captured and transported to Ravensbruck.
This news is brought by (retired) British Major Cosgrove, whose asks Billy for help, unofficially, in solving what he thinks was the murder of a British agent recuperating at Saint Albans. The convalescent hospital is really a secret installation for those in the world of clandestine warfare to recover from wounds, physical and emotional. Some are allowed to leave; others are deemed security risks and are kept in virtual imprisonment. When a second body is found, it is evident that a killer has found his or her way into this high-security enclave.
About the Author
James R. Benn is the author of the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries. The debut, Billy Boyle, was named one of five top mysteries of 2006 by Book Sense and was a Dilys Award nominee, A Blind Goddess was longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, The Rest Is Silence was a Barry Award nominee, and The Devouring was a Macavity Award nominee. Benn, a former librarian, splits his time between the Gulf Coast of Florida and Connecticut with his wife, Deborah Mandel.
Praise for When Hell Struck Twelve
“An especially fine example of Benn’s long-running series . . . the emotional journey that is evoked by the talented Benn along the way is strong, vivid, and completely authentic.” —Mystery Scene Magazine
“Vastly entertaining, decidedly literary . . . Benn writes with a brutal and evocative skill about the grim and bloody reality of a situation and environment reflecting the cumulative cost of war.” —The Day
“U.S. Army detective Billy Boyle is still one of the coolest characters out there.” —Suspense Magazine
“I’ve read every book in James R. Benn’s series, reviewed most of them, loved all of them, and this is the best one yet.” —BookPage, Starred Review