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Death's Door (2012)

Death's Door (2012)

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4.07 of 5 Votes: 2
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1616951850 (ISBN13: 9781616951856)
Soho Crime

About book Death's Door (2012)

There are a couple of mysteries which this novel seems to solve. Primarily, of course, Billy Boyle, a Boston detective on the staff of “Uncle” Ike (Dwight D. Eisenhower, that is) during World War II, is sent to occupied Rome to find the murderer of an American Monsignor at the Vatican. However, his arrival at the Holy See sets the stage for the author to provide substantial background on the role of various clergy and the Pope on the question of Nazi brutality and the holocaust. Pope Pius XII was much criticized for his silence on the matter during and after the conflict, but the author shows that the reason was to maintain “strict neutrality,” giving the German occupiers no reason to invade the Vatican and take the Pope to Germany “for protection.” The novel provides numerous examples of refugees and escaped POWs being shielded in the Vatican and safe houses throughout Rome.A subplot involves Billy’s attempt to save his girlfriend, Diana, from a German prison, despite orders to solve the murder and not get involved in any way in her rescue. More detail in the book is, however, spent on retrieving Diana from her cell than in identifying the killer. Although an occasional reference is made to Billy’s investigation, until the last few pages name the murderer, almost as an afterthought.Be that as it may, “Death’s Door” is a welcome addition to the fine Billy Boyle World War II Mystery series, and can be read two ways: as a crime novel, or as a detailed historical picture of a controversial sidelight of the war period. The author does an excellent job of describing the effect of the war and German occupation on Italians, Rome, the Vatican and the clergy, and provides a touching portrait of the various characters. With Rome about to be retaken by the Allies as they break through the Anzio bottleneck, we can, and do, look forward to the next chapter. Recommended. A solid entry in this series. I would have given it four stars except for a slight plot fault. A third of the way through the book the main character, Boyle, shows a diamond to another character, Nini and she tells him it's of excellent quality. Then later, two thirds of the way through the book, Boyle thinks, "Kaz and I had kept things quiet about the diamond we'd found in Corrigan's room so far, but it seemed safe to tell Nini." Huh? A few paragraphs later he thinks, "...perhaps Kaz and I should have told Nini about the diamond sooner. It would have helped to know this." I probably wouldn't have noticed the discrepancy if I hadn't zoomed through the book in a couple of days and remembered the first mention. Maybe it can be fixed for the paperback edition. Otherwise, I liked the plot.

Do You like book Death's Door (2012)?

Another solid entry in the Billy Boyle series. I learn a lot about WW2 while reading these

I think this may be my favorite Billy Boyle tale yet!

Loved it! Billy Boyle just gets better and better.

Interesting and good.

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