Monday, March 23, 2020

Review: Blame the Dead by Ed Ruggero

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The nurses of the US Army's Field Hospitals, mobile units that operate just behind the battle lines, contend with heat, dirt, short-handed staffs, the threat of German counterattack and an ever-present flood of horribly wounded GIs. At the 11th Field Hospital near Palermo, Sicily in the bloody summer of 1943, nurses also live with the threat of violent assault by one of their own--at least until someone shoots Dr. Myers Stephenson in the head.

Enter Eddie Harkins, a tough former Philadelphia beat cop turned Military Police lieutenant, who is first on the scene. Although he has never been a detective, Harkins soon finds himself the lone investigator, either because the Military Police are under-staffed or because someone in power thinks this rank amateur will never get close to the real killer. When the hospital commander tries to derail Harkins' investigation by transferring or harassing key witnesses, it becomes clear to Harkins that the unit is rotten to its core, that the nurses are not safe, and that patients who have survived Nazi bullets are still at risk after they arrive at this place that is supposed to save them.
Harkins fights--and worries that he is losing--multiple battles. He is driven to give hope to nurses who just want to do their life-saving work, to right at least a few of the wrongs around him, and to do penance for sins in his own past. The one bright note for Harkins is a rekindled relationship with Kathleen Donnelly, a nurse from Harkins' old neighborhood; but even that is complicated when Donnelly becomes a victim. 

My Review: 

Blame the Dead is my first introduction to Ed Ruggero’s writing. I thought it was pretty good. It is set during the second World War at Palermo, Sicily in 1943. Readers are introduced to Military Police Lieutenant Eddie Harkins. He is investigating a murder of Dr. Myers Stephenson, who was found shot in the head. I was often left hanging as to who could possibly want the doctor dead. The plot is pretty fast paced that made me not want to put the book down. It was full of action, adventure, mystery and suspense.

I am giving Blame the Dead four and a half stars. I would love to read more by Mr Ruggero in the future. I think readers who enjoy Historical Suspense will definitely want to pick this one up.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

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