Just days after the Liberation of Paris, US Army Detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz 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 S...
Just days after the Liberation of Paris, US Army Detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz 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 Ravensbrück, 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 the same camp.
This news is brought by British Major Cosgrove, who 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 detained there. When a second body is found, it is evident that a killer is at work in this high-security enclave. Now Billy must carry out his covert investigation while maintaining his tenuous recovery, shielding his actions from suspicious hospital authorities, and dodging the unknown murderer.
“A fond echo of Agatha Christie or Alfred Hitchcock . . . As always, Benn's research into this largely forgotten—or even unknown—aspect of the war is comprehensive and evocatively detailed. And the real-time damage done to all the characters, who are now almost five years into the conflict, establishes the sort of emotional connection and tension for readers that adds to Benn's virtuosity with the mystery template.”
—The Day, on The Red Horse
“What starts in a sanatorium leads to a high-stakes, dangerous race to find a killer and avert a crisis in the fight against Hitler . . . Chilling echoes of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Prisoner reverberate in every twist and turn of Billy Boyle’s life-or-death mission to unmask a plot in the thick of WWII.”
—Tom Straw, seven-time New York Times bestselling author writing as Richard Castle
“Superlative . . . Benn maintains a high level of tension throughout, and his admirable but flawed lead will engage even first-time readers. This fair-play whodunit stands comparison with the best classic mysteries.”