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Evil for Evil (Billy Boyle World War II, #4)
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Evil for Evil (Billy Boyle World War II #4)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  388 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Fifty Browning Automatic Rifles have been stolen from a US Army base in Northern Ireland. His “uncle” Ike Eisenhower sends Billy to recover the weapons, which might be used in a German-sponsored IRA uprising. Bodies begin to accumulate as Billy finds unexpected challenges to his Boston-Irish upbringing and IRA sympathies. There are rogues on both sides, he learns.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Soho Press
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My second book with an Irish setting completed in 2 days. While not as poetic as The Secret Scripture by Barry, this World War II mystery also was well written and captured the divisions, hatreds and complexities of what is Ireland. It is set in Northern Ireland where Billy (A distant relative of Eisenhower) is sent to investigate the theft of new automatic weapons, purportedly by the IRA. To do his duty he must work through his divided loyalties, being a Boston Irishman, and sidestep all of the ...more
I can't say why I have a weakness for this series, but in this matter I seem to have about as much insight as Billy Boyle himself. Maybe it’s how Boyle’s American attitude shows itself (and evolves) as, in each book, he is yet again a Southie-fish out of water. Evil for Evil is my favorite (so far): the Irish milieu is nicely realized, the action is fun and Benn seems more confident as a writer.
This is the kindle version. One can tell I am hooked, as after I won the first book from Goodreads, I had to continue the series. This is the third one on my Kindle/IPad.

Lt. Boyle (is he ever going to get promoted) is off yet again, to help Uncle "Ike" win the war! This time he has been lent to the British to help find out who stole guns from an American base. This might not have been so tough, except he is to help out the "orange-men" and everyone who has read these books knows, Billy's family
Learned lots of good background about the Ireland 'troubles' and their impact on Ireland's role in WW2. And the Boston Irish and THEIR impact on WW2. And how things got a little mixed up (mis-remembered?) going across the pond. Helped me to understand more about my Irish heritage from a completely different perspective - the 'troubles' in context of and compared to a bigger war.

This series is always well researched. main character is an Irish Boston cop who happens to be a nephew of Ike, and is
I think this one deserves a 3.5 stars. Having read the two prior books in the series and the newest one, I needed to go back and fill in what had transpired for Billy Boyle and Dianna. This one was just too slow and bogged me down in the beginning half for me to give it 4 stars. The last several chapters is where everything happens and are very well written.
Billy Boyle travels to Northern Ireland to solve a crime. He was told about the Irish struggle as a boy in America and always had a clear view of who was right and who was wrong. His views are drastically changed when he gets caught up in what turns out to be a very muddled situation.
A nice addition to the series. It also describes the situation in Northern Ireland at the time quite well.
Best one yet. Billy is all alone in Ireland on a mission to find some missing rifles that the IRA presumably stole. However, Billy is never alone with his people skills. He quickly connects with a variety of folks some of whom end up dead. The usual theme of graft and corruption twists between suspects and the other theme of mission or terrorism just like in the preceding three mysteries. This one though is more personal as the tension/conflict of an Irishman from Boston working with the Ulster ...more
Another excellent Billy Boyle novel. This one finds Billy investigating the theft of a number of Browning Automatic Rifles in Northern Ireland, possibly by the IRA who may be collaborating with the Nazis. As a good Irish-American whose family gives to Clan na Gael and other IRA supporting groups, he is ill-at-ease in Ulster and also finds that everything is more complicated than it seems at first. I feel there is a bit more landscape description than was strictly necessary but the Irish atmosphe ...more
Billy travels to Northern Ireland to unravel the crime of some stolen automatic rifles. Who stole them? Who are they intended for. Biggest suspect is the IRA which puts Irish Billy in somewhat of a quandary! This was Book 4 of the series and I do enjoy them!
Benn once again spins a tale from a theater of WWII that is off the beaten track. It seems only fitting that "Uncle" Ike would send Billy Boyle off to Ireland to investigate the theft of armaments and ammo from a base there. Billy's cop background helps him dutifully follow up the clues and leads to solve this mystery. Billy's time in Ireland gives him a lot to think about after growing up in a family that comes down on one side of the Irish debate, he reflects at one point that he's not sure he ...more
I haven't read the first 3 books, so I just stumbled upon this book. Usually don't like "series" kinds of books and this one is probably as drawn out as most others. But it was an enjoyable read. Kind of a Mickey Spillane meets WWII kind of writing style. Set in Northern Ireland, this book tells about the Irish religious struggles as a backdrop to the war. Interesting (and mostly historically accurate) premise, but it the end, it's simply a clever "who dun it".... Having figured it out who did i ...more
My least favorite in the series so far. The setting was interesting, Billy finds himself in Northern Ireland, the land of his ancestral enemies. It goes without saying that he learns that while the battle for a free Ireland continues unabated in his hometown of Boston, for those who live on the island, most have come to peace with the situation. But the story was just a tad too convoluted, and the appearance of one character, while interesting, stretched the suspension of disbelief necessary to ...more
Robin Halvorson
very enjoyable series!
Mar 21, 2014 Joan added it
best one ever
This is a fun mysetry series. The protagonist is an Irish police officer from Boston, shipped to Europe for WWII. The twist is that he is a nephew of Mamie Eisnhower who has convinced her husband to put Billy on his staff where Billy will be safe from the fighting. Although Billy finds himself on staff, he is really a private investigator who can look into situations, the outcome of which, might embarass his "Uncle Ike". A fun read, nothing too taxing.
A little light at the beginning; but improves as the reader gets past the "Uncle Ike" relationship and into the development of the story. It became a more compelling read about half way through. Along the way, the story provides insight on the relationship between England, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. Also, there is an interesting side note about the Irish in the American Civil War. An okay read.
Warning - do not read these books unless you are prepared to have your view of the US role in the WWII - and in the world since then - totally changed. This is just more of what is left out of the history we are taught all our lives. Never trust a politician, or the military. Which is redundant, as they are both the same.
Ken French
The earlier books in this series were better. Though I liked the Northern Irish atmosphere, the plot was a little too complicated and the peripheral characters were hard to tell apart. It also could have used Kaz, Billy's sidekick from the other books. Looking forward to the next one, though.
Interesting look in to Ireland during WWII. I think I am enjoying the "history" in this series as much or more than the "mystery"
Anne Macdonald
It was a good idea but the writing was confusing at times. The main character seemed to solve problem / mysteries without letting the reader know what he was thinking. The clues didn't match the conclusions. Good characters who seem to be a bit lost in this method of writing.
Another interesting case from World War II that I am not familiar with at all...this author likes the odd events I guess. As usual it was confusing with lots of characters, lots of people getting killed...the end surprised me. Everything works out for the main characters.
Billy is sent to Ireland to find the perpetrators who have stolen a large shipment of arms. This book was a fun and exciting ride that helped me to understand the motives of both sides in Ireland. Historically accurate...I couldn't put it down.
Billy Boyle's off to Northern Ireland to investigate the theft of 50 BAR's and ammunition. IRA, the Orangemen, British intelligence and an Irish Catholic in the North weave a great tale!!! Hopefully there are more Billy Boyle tales to follow.
Great WWII series. This one is set in Ireland in 1943. Benn does a good job of digging into the tensions between the Catholic and Protestant Irish and their conflicting loyalties. This is a quick read, but thought-provoking.
Ed Dodson
Good continuation of Billy Boyle series, this time in Northern Ireland. I enjoyed the complex and well-paced plot with characters who were well fleshed out and believable. Can't wait for the next.
Sharon Hallman
I love all of the Billy Boyle World War II books. They are funny, have romance, friendship, historical information and fast page turner. Very exciting.
Another great read in the Billy Boyle mystery series. I love the way the main characters are growing & changing, leaving & returning. Keeps the stories going.
Karl K
I found this book different than most mysteries I have read. It bordered on the suspense.
I look forward to reading the earlier Billy Boyle books.
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
Easy reading whodunnits, where even I can figure out the "who", but not so soon as to make the reading pointless.
I thought the plot was a bit hard to follow in this one. Perhaps I just lacked the historical background I needed.
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James R. Benn is the author of Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery, selected by Book Sense as one of the top five mysteries of 2006 and nominated for a Dilys Award. The First Wave was a Book Sense Notable title.
Benn is a librarian and lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.

More about James R. Benn...

Other Books in the Series

Billy Boyle World War II (10 books)
  • Billy Boyle (Billy Boyle World War II, #1)
  • The First Wave (Billy Boyle World War II, #2)
  • Blood Alone (Billy Boyle World War II, #3)
  • Rag and Bone (Billy Boyle World War II, #5)
  • A Mortal Terror (Billy Boyle World War II, #6)
  • Death's Door (Billy Boyle World War II, #7)
  • A Blind Goddess (Billy Boyle World War II, #8)
  • The Rest is Silence (Billy Boyle World War, #9)
  • The White Ghost (Billy Boyle World War II, #10)
Billy Boyle (Billy Boyle World War II, #1) The First Wave (Billy Boyle World War II, #2) Blood Alone (Billy Boyle World War II, #3) Rag and Bone (Billy Boyle World War II, #5) A Mortal Terror (Billy Boyle World War II, #6)

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