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First Wave
Billy Boyle Mystery #2

by James R. Benn

      Young Lieutenant Billy Boyle, formerly a Boston policeman, is to land in Algiers, a French colony garrisoned by the Vichy French.  Along with U S Army Major Samuel Harding, he is to contact the Free French to arrange the surrender of the Vichy French force to the US troops. His intelligence mission reveals the struggle between Vichy French traitors, the Free French forces, and the German occupiers.

The two are taken into custody by the Vichy French.  He finds his ex-girl friend, Diana, a British spy on the same mission disguised as a rebellious student, also in custody.  A British commando group frees them.

Back in friendly territory Billy finds a sergeant's throat cut and vital morphine and penicillin supplies stolen.   While investigating this, he discovers a drug smuggling network involving black marketers in league with the enemy, which diverts the medical supplies to the Casbah. There are more murders of enlisted men and Billy finds it difficult to determine the suspects.

First Wave gives an action-packed adventure in a rarely explored area of World War II. The atmosphere of intrigue, deceit and betrayal by the forces in theater (the Free French, the Vichy government. the German occupiers and the US Army) are thoroughly portrayed.  The characters are true to life with Billy a likeable, intrepid "Yank" in foreign territory.

The dialogue is crisp and conversational and the descriptions of the country are vivid and real.

Reviews of other titles in this series

First Wave #2
The Rest is Silence #9

The Book

Soho Press
September 2008
Trade Paperback
Historical Mystery / World War II Algeria

The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2008
© 2008