Read Rag and Bone by James R. Benn Online


American Lieutenant Billy Boyle is assigned to London by his uncle, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, to investigate the murder of a Russian security officer in the buildup to D-Day. Billy recognizes that this is a politically charged case, pitting Allies against one another, and that he must proceed with caution. The Polish contingent is incensed over evidence that implicatesAmerican Lieutenant Billy Boyle is assigned to London by his uncle, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, to investigate the murder of a Russian security officer in the buildup to D-Day. Billy recognizes that this is a politically charged case, pitting Allies against one another, and that he must proceed with caution. The Polish contingent is incensed over evidence that implicates the Russians in the murder of hundreds of Polish prisoners in the so-called Katyn Forest Massacre, and Scotland Yard thinks this murder of a Soviet officer may be a revenge killing—perhaps perpetrated by Billy’s friend Kaz, a Polish baron in exile. But Billy doesn’t buy it. Can he find the real murderer, exonerate his friend, and prevent Allied relations from falling to pieces at this critical moment of the war?...

Title : Rag and Bone
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781569478493
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Rag and Bone Reviews

  • Sue
    2018-11-24 21:21

    After learning that I was going to receive a copy of the latest entry in this series, A Blind Goddess, through Goodreads First Reads program, I decided it was time to return and catch up with the series. I've enjoyed all my outings with Billy Boyle. This time he's in England, caught up with a complex web of Soviet emissaries who may be more than they seem, the politics of the Katyn Forest massacre massacre which was just becoming known, the English criminal element. and various levels of American and British military brass and British police. All of this due to the murder of one Russian man.It's interesting how Benn works in the reality of life in 1944 Britain in terms of people and situations that we encounter in this novel. He also deals with the moral complexities of life in the time of war. I look forward to continuing with the series.

  • Bob
    2018-11-20 21:35

    I'm about half-way through this book and am thoroughly enjoying it. Those who know me know I've a fetish for all things WWII and Benn's Billy Boyle series tickles that fetish quite nicely. This most recent installment has Billy, a young Boston cop in civilian life, serving as a (now) First Lieutenant in the American army assignd to his Uncle Ike's staff (he's a distant relative to the General through Maimie). Ike once again uses Billy's investigatory skills to solve a crime that could have an adverse impact on military operations.This time around it involves the murder of a Soviet officer serving as a liason in England. The killing surfaces around the revelation of the Katyn forest masscre - which is an event that is both topical to today's society as it is delightfully esoteric enough to satisfy the WWIIophile.Benn knows his subject, getting the history and slang of the period right as well as Bostonia (although I did notice one error referring to North Boston vs. the North End as it's been referred to by locals for at least the past 100 years).I'll be happy when I'm done with this - only because it will no longer be tempting me to stay up past my bedtime to read 'just one more page'.Finished it and it didn't dissapoint.

  • Patrick
    2018-12-09 01:39

    I thought this would be an entertaining whodunit set in World War Two. It is that, but it's also a penetrating look at wartime compromises, a fascinating history, and a richly atmospheric police procedural. As if that weren't enough of an etouffe, Mr. Benn (who, in addition to being an author, is also a longtime librarian) has a knack for focusing on how geopolitical questions impact individual lives. The January, 1944 time frame of this novel was carefully chosen. Benn's gangsters, cops, spies, and soldiers all behave in believable ways. Even the poetry by W.B. Yeats (whom I'd heard of) and Siegfied Sassoon (previously unknown to me) fits the narrative arc perfectly. Anyone who likes a good yarn or a novel that wrestles with big questions would enjoy this book, as would any friend of Poland.

  • Dolf Patijn
    2018-11-23 01:17

    I really like this series. It's a good combination of WW II history and a detective story. Somebody else commented on James R. Benn not being very good at writing about the relationship between Billy Boyle and his girlfriend Diana and in my opinion he's right. In this book they're only together for a few moments though and the rest is a story of murder and mystery. James R. Benn is good at describing wartime England. The events mentioned in the book are historically accurate which makes it more interesting to read. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

  • Barbara
    2018-11-15 23:45

    Yes, the Russians were one of our very strong allies--it was during World War II and when one of their high commands is murdered very viciously, the suspects are Polish expats, who remember too vividly the atrocities of the Russians against Polish army officers. So this is where Billy steps in-to find the murderer. It is complicated as one of his closest friends is a very patriotic Polish officer, now working in England.

  • Margaret
    2018-12-10 17:35

    I am enjoying this mystery series. Billy Boyle comes from a family of cops in Boston, and is a distant relative of General Eisenhower. He works as Eisenhower's private investigator, solving thefts or murders that they want kept quiet so as not to jeopardize the war effort and the Allies alliance. The atmosphere of World War II Europe is very well done, and Billy is capable but not cocky.

  • Sean Jones
    2018-11-27 20:25

    Ripping yarn that returns to the standard of earlier booksEnjoyed this much like I enjoyed the first couple of novels. The writing brings back a historical context but also a great mystery.

  • Ken French
    2018-12-10 22:37

    One of my favorites of this series, partly because it takes place almost exclusively in London (except for a brief excursion to Dover Castle). Since I'm going to be in London next week and am planning a day trip to Dover Castle, it seemed appropriate.

  • Mike Vines
    2018-11-20 19:29

    Great historical mystery in the Billy Boyle World War II series. "Uncle Ike" Eisenhower sends Billy to London to investigate the murder of a Russian, possibly by his Polish friend, Kaz. Another fine effort by Mr. Benn.

  • Joe Carle
    2018-12-05 23:18

    Good story well told with plenty of twists and turns. The WW II setting set some interesting ethical questions with no black and white resolutions. Plenty of moral dilemmas. Historically accurate.

  • Mark Wilson
    2018-11-15 22:34

    The series and the war continueBack in London, Billy Boyle has to find out who is killing Russian officers - and make sure his friend Kaz doesn't take the fall. Good as always....

  • Michael Field
    2018-12-04 19:24

    I always enjoy the Billy Boyle series. Mysteries wrapped within the reality of the Second World War makes for great drama. This series would be great on screen.

  • Cynthia
    2018-11-12 22:20

    Very good historical fiction....once again, I learned a lot about things that happened during the WWII time period. Excellent series!

  • Terry
    2018-12-08 00:31

    A great series. See my earkiewr comments in "Billy Boyle", the first book in this fine series.

  • Carolyn Rose
    2018-11-22 17:17

    Nice mix of fiction and history with a look at the uneasy alliance with Russia. It helped that I had recently watched a number of documentaries about WWII that touched on the Katyn massacre.

  • Kevin Lanahan
    2018-11-24 17:39

    I call book series like this "popcorn books". You can just read them without thinking and before you know it you're done with the book. These have been very readable. There's enough historical stuff to make it interesting and the action is brisk. The main characters have all been introduced in earlier books and the new characters are drawn from Central Casting, so we don't have to spend a lot of time on character development. The action is like in previous books, where Billy makes a bunch of missteps but ends up figuring it out in the end. So no big surprises, just a fun story.

  • Caroline
    2018-11-15 18:32

    Katyn rememberedHaving just spent a month in Poland last May, I had learned of the Katyn massacre and had heard a guide at the Warsaw Uprising Museum blame FDR and Churchill for allowing Stalin to take Poland at the end of the war. "40 more years of repression," the guide said. This novel has lots of great characters well created to obstruct the solving of the crime(s). And if you like poetry...

  • Stewart Wolfe
    2018-11-23 01:37

    Great Reading!There is enough factual information in these books to allow you, the reader, to believe what's being written. While it's all fiction, it's well written, fast paced, and difficult to figure out in advance. The Billy Boyle series is enjoyable, and well worth reading.

  • Beth
    2018-12-06 21:28

    Another interesting investigation by Billy Boyle based on history in WWII.

  • Jim
    2018-12-08 21:23

    the best of the series so far. We see Billy doing real police work while trying to help Uncle Ike keep the peace among members of the alliance.

  • Jan
    2018-12-01 01:46

    This is number 5 in the Billy Boyle W.W.II mysteries. This title especially intrigued me, as it brought back strong memories of the rag and bone man and his horse, calling out to all us youngsters (in the time) to bring the rags and treasurers to the cart. In return we were given gold fishes. However, much to my surprise, it had nothing at all to do with the rag and bone men and their carts and horses, but a line from a poem!Billy has been tasked, once again to find a killer. This time it is a Russian who has been knocked off! Billy gets involved with a lot of spies, MI5 and MI6, as well as new Scotland yard. Finally, yeh, Billy gets promoted, and with a lot of help from his friends, and of course several more murders, he solves the crime of "who dunit". He also has a tassel with the black market and the London underground and holds his own, with the help of Mike, who turns the tables in the Eastend to the Americans advantage, after being made complete twits of by the Eastenders. I am really enjoying these books, as it is the history I know, and the places I have lived, and the writer does an outstanding job of direction. I am in that truck or jeep with Billy, and driving down those roads. So quite brilliant writing. Though, whoever is doing the pre reading missed spelling and words running into each other in this copy on kindle/ipad.At last, the 303 Polish Fighter Squadron were recognized, I have been waiting for this, as Kaz is Polish, and wondered when RAF Northolt was going to get mentioned. Finally a blip, about the wonderful Polish Fighter Squadron were mentioned. Without these wonderful folks there would not have been a London left to write about, they took down many a German plan and saved London during the battle of Britain. The Polish War Memorial is at the roundabout near RAF Northolt and South Ruislip. Ruislip was mentioned once. Nothing about the hole at Uxbridge, however that may be in a future book, Uxbridge was mentioned, as they whizzed through that part of the outskirts of London.I especially like the Author's notes at the end of the book, where he puts fact to his fiction. All in all another enjoyable book. Thanks.

  • Jessica
    2018-12-12 01:35

    I love historical mysteries and Billy Boyle is one of my favorite series. The settings, characters, and main situation are well researched. Told from the first person perspective of Billy Boyle, if you're smart enough you can actually solve the mystery yourself--or at least feel like you almost had it. Unlike a Sherlock Holmes or Jane Marple mystery, there isn't any long drawn out revelation scene where information you couldn't possibly have known is dragged in to tie everything up with a bow. I love Doyle and Christy's work, but Benn is just different--more rewarding.To the book at hand. Boyle has been sent back to England to find and apprehend whoever killed a Russian secret police officer (NKVD) stationed at the embassy in London. It needs to be handled quickly to keep the peace among the Allied powers, which is being threatened by accusations of war crimes committed by the Russians. The accusations are being levied by the displaced Polish government which is currently working out of London. Mass graves containing twenty-two thousand Polish officers and civilian professionals (doctors, lawyers, engineers) were discovered in Katyn Forest. The Polish government has a witness who claims it was the Russians, who at that time were allied with the Germans, that committed the mass murder. The Russians claim it was the Germans. The other Allied powers are more concerned about the immediate problem of keeping Germany pressed on all fronts than dealing with twenty-two thousand people who are already dead. This is the mess Billy Boyle stumbles into. He wades through the politics to find why the Russian officer died and to make sure justice is meted out *despite* the politics as any good Baltimore cop would (and in an incredibly clever fashion!). It is an enjoyable read, and for the history in it, I'd go so far as to say a worthwhile one. And while it has no bearing on the storyline, I would also point out it is a clean read without much graphic violence, language, or sexuality. The truth of everything going on at that time need not be embellished with additional "shock" value to keep the reader engaged.

  • Nikki
    2018-11-27 17:45

    Ever wonder if Danny Boyle from Chris Grabenstein's Ceepak novels and Billy Boyle from James R. Benn's World War II series might be cousins? Although the two series differ in almost every respect, they have one thing in common -- the character growth of the Boyle boys as their series progress. Each starts as a wide-eyed innocent (despite Billy's police experience in South Boston) and through experience and mentoring learns to deal with moral ambiguity, to find his center, and to judge when to live by the rules and when to break them.In Rag and Bone, Lt. Billy Boyle's joyous reunion with Diana is cut short when he's ordered to London. A Soviet officer has been murdered execution-style in a London park, and with plans for an invasion beginning to come to fruition, Uncle Ike, newly named commander of SHAEF, wants no friction among the Allied forces. Returning to London to stay with his friend Kaz, a Polish nobleman in exile, Billy learns of the Katyn Forest massacre, which the Soviets are blaming on the Nazis despite evidence to the contrary. Kaz's outrage is such that Billy considers he may be a suspect in the murder. As Billy discovers involvement by the London underworld and the NKVD, the plot grows ever more complicated. The book starts a little slowly, but picks up speed as it goes along, and there is plenty of excitement toward the end. But the most enjoyable part of the book for me was watching Billy's continued character development.I'm of the generation that, while we didn't live through World War II, grew up with it as recent history, so most of what Benn writes about is familiar to me. However, don't be scared off if you're a younger person who doesn't happen to be a WWII buff. Without being in the least didactic, Benn explains what you need to know to follow Billy's adventures. Highly recommended.

  • Bill Sleeman
    2018-11-22 22:44

    As always an enjoyable read. I especially like the interplay of the Polish government in exile and the Soviet military trying to find ways to work together (or not). Benn has taken a little explored tension of the Allies war effort and built a very good story around it. As I have said in the past Benn is at his weakest in the romance passages - particularly the Billy Boyle and Diane interactions - which are clunky and not at all convincing. It almost seems as if Benn wants to humanize Billy’s reaction to the world around him (hey, crimes still happen) but doesn’t want to invest much effort in doing so. Still it is otherwise an engaging mystery. I also like that the author has expanded the role of "Big Mike" in this installment of the series. The series coves a lot the same territory that “Foyle’s War” has but the American slant is equally as interesting.Finished it last night. A good wind up of the action...hard to imagine though that the lead - Boyle - can manage to solve anything the way he is constantly 'mooning' over his Brit spy lover. Maybe the author could have Diane die in an explosion or something and then Benn's otherwise interesting detective could spend more time developing the case and less time crying over the time away from his lover.

  • Mary
    2018-11-13 17:34

    I enjoyed this book very much. The limning of 1943 London is so vivid. A Russian officer is killed in the same way as the Polish officers in Katyn Forest in 1940: hsnds tied behind his back and a bullet shot into the back of his head. Russia, the US and the UK are allies in this war. The killer must be found and we read about the intrigues and back stabbing amongst allies. The world seemed to be more naive then. People were accepted as they presented themselves. Gentlemen did not spy on each other. Women were vituous until provrn otherwise.Scotland Yard has decided that Bill's Polish friend, Kaz, is the killer. Billy must rescue his friend even though he wonders if the charge could be true. Diplomatc ties must be maintained and Uncle Joe Stalin's feathers must not be ruffled. Billy accomplishes all of this even as he worries over the fate of the love of his life. She is on a special mission in Rome where there are Nazis, Communists, Socialists and refugees from all the war torn countries.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-04 01:26

    The fifth in a series of mysteries set during World War II, which, in plot and characterization attempts to do for WWII what Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd's books do for World War I. I did not find the protagonist, Billy Boyle, as well filled out as I would have liked, but that may not be fair since the four previous novels, which I have not read, probably worked more on back story. However, the plot, and the use of wartime London as the setting, were superbly executed. Boyle, a U.S. Army officer on special assignment, is asked to investigate the death of a Soviet diplomat who has been killed in the exact same way as the 20,000 Polish officers who were executed in the forest of Katyn by Soviet secret police. A very successful use of the Katyn attrocity and subsequent cover up, which continues to rankle. I would recommend this book to patrons who are looking for World War II fiction, as well as to mystery readers.

  • Julia
    2018-11-12 22:19

    Billy Boyle returns to England, part of the advance group for Uncle Ike's new offices. However, he's also sent to dig into the death of an ally, a Russian official who may have come to harm via the Poles. Once again, Benn creates such a great sense of place in this historical mystery. From some of the people of London still living in the Tube long after the Blitz to the unsure feelings between our allies in WWII, Billy and the reader have a lot to learn about human motivation. There is a bit of wistfulness for home in Billy's thoughts, he's been separated from family for over a year. Although in this series, he's surrounded himself with a different sort of family. The displaced Kaz, Big Mike from Detroit and the mysteriously occupied Diana are always on Billy's side. This series has been such a great read overall, I always recommend it!

  • Debbie
    2018-11-18 17:43

    This is about the fifth in a series, but I have not read the rest of the series. Billy Boyle is a Boston cop now, during WWII, attached to Eisenhower who is a distant relative (or maybe Maimie is the relative, I didn't really get that part). When incidents happen that might cause military or political problems for the allies, Billy investigates. In this case the murder of a Russian officer in London might be related to revenge for the murder of the Polish officers in the Katyn woods. The book is not a quick read and the tone is closer to an espionage than a mystery story. A good feel for London under wartime conditions. Made me all the more anxious for part 2 of the latest Connie Willis series.

  • Kathleen
    2018-12-06 23:39

    I think my friend friend Jessica Smith recommended this series. Reminded me of the TV series Foyle's War. Picked up this book because it was about WWII and Polish exiles in London. A mystery read with a historical setting: WWII and Britain and Poland (specifically, the Katyn massacre in Poland - 20,000 Polish Officers were murdered by the Soviets. But, blame was placed on the Nazis.) And, Billy Boyle, is the main character. He is an Irish American Boston cop, now a US Army detective. His uncle is General Eisenhower (really!). I would like to read more of the Billy Boyle series.

  • Chris
    2018-11-13 01:34

    Billy meets Kim Philby and Winston Churchill in this page turner that pits Poles and Russians against each other in the UK over the Katyn Forest Massacre. As usual a criminal element complements the espionage and the body count keeps rising with Billy's best friend, Kaz, the principal suspect. You want the war never to end with these great mysteries that meld history and sleuthing so effectively. Benn does a superb job of introducing several historical events into this tale, not just the Katyn Forest.