Benn posits the existence of recently declassified files that reveal a mission Billy Boyle, Ike’s personal investigator, undertook in the Pacific theater of World War II between the second and third novels in the series. At the behest (read “royal command”) of Joe Kennedy Sr., delivered by arrogant shit Joe Kennedy Jr., Billy and Kaz are shipped off to Guadalcanal. There younger Kennedy son Jack has discovered the body of a murder victim while recuperating from injuries suffered from having his PT boat sunk. Billy’s job is to clear his name, never mind if he is guilty of the murder or not. Social rank hath its privileges, especially if thy name is Kennedy. Billy and Jack have met before the war in Boston, which doesn’t help.
A lot of interesting period detail, one of Benn’s trademarks in these novels, especially here that of the Australian Coastwatchers, those forward observers made up of native islanders and white planters who were so vital to the Allies for gathering intelligence on Japanese forces in the South Pacific. Also some excellent perspective on the American have and the have nots, and that’s all I’ll say about that, except that you’ll hear Benn grinding his teeth as he writes. Mine did a little, too.
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