A Dark Song of Blood

Written by Ben Pastor
Review by Anne Clinard Barnhill

A Dark Song of Blood is the third book in the Martin Bora series of crime mysteries by Ben Pastor, set in 1944 in Rome as the Allies fight their way up the Italian peninsula, the German army, the Gestapo, and the SS vie for power, though their world is falling apart. In the middle of this chaotic time, three murders occur. Baron Martin von Bora, an officer in the Wehrmacht, is called upon to solve these cases. First, a German embassy secretary falls “accidentally” to her death. Following this, a cardinal and a society lady are also found dead. These events play out as the larger events of the war surround them.

Readers might wish to try the two previous novels first, as the beginning of the third is somewhat difficult to get into. Characters appear quickly and in large numbers; determining their relationships to each other and to the plot is challenging. However, the plot contains enough twists to satisfy fans of this genre.