Comes the War (Eddie Harkins, 2)
It is April 1944, and the Allies are preparing to invade France. Lieutenant Eddie Harkins is in England, on orders to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), when an American civilian employee is murdered. Eddie’s put in charge of the investigation, but his superiors settle on a suspect very quickly. Ordered to close the case but doubting the guilt of the accused, he continues his investigation, aided by his driver, Private Pamela Lowell, a smart and resourceful ally.
This is a fascinating look at the Allied forces in WWII England in 1944 prior to D-Day. It combines a fictional murder investigation with actual World War II history in a compelling way. The political fights between the commanding generals and the air-versus-ground-war philosophies are intriguing. The narrative contradicts some history books on the effectiveness of the air campaign during the war, particularly the raids of Major General James Doolittle, which may have caused thousands of unnecessary deaths for no real strategic gain.
I also learned that General Dwight D. Eisenhower was so upset by the pushback from the Army Air Force and Royal Air Force generals against his plans that he threatened to quit his command and return to the United States just a few months before D-Day. I have read many books set in World War II, but this one really made me want to read more about the military history of the day.
The characters are well developed, and the murder mystery and investigation are interesting and engaging, with many twists and turns. I would recommend this book, the second in the Eddie Harkins series, both to fans of World War II history and those of crime/thriller fiction.