‘Watches of the Night,’ by Sally Wright

Watches of the Night

I find, as I work my way through Sally Wright’s Ben Reese series of mysteries, that I enjoy the books that center on Ben himself most of all. Watches of the Night, the fifth of them, set in 1962, is one of those.

Ben is having some trouble at work as the story starts (after a flashback to World War II). His university’s integrity-challenged new president is putting pressure on him to collude in an illegal act. His immediate boss, the chief librarian, is aiding and abetting the president.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, Kate Lindsay, a widow to whom Ben is attracted, receives a shocking package in the mail. It’s the eye of her late husband, killed nearly 20 years before in combat. Ben is planning a trip to Europe on archive business anyway, so he agrees to talk to her. Little do they know that they’re uncovering the secrets of a powerful, ruthless man, who will stop at nothing to keep his past covered. Before they’re done there will be murder and Ben will face a nightmare out of his own past.

I was particularly impressed by the treatment of war scenes in Watches of the Night. One doesn’t expect (because “one” is a famous sexist) that a female writer will handle battle situations well, but I found those parts in this book (and there are many in flashbacks) extremely good.

Also Ben’s and Kate’s cautious courtship passes a milestone this time out, which is nice.

Mature themes, but no profanity. Recommended.

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