About the Book
Publisher: Forge Books (March 3, 2020)
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.
Praise for Blame the Dead“The title of this riveting, finely crafted novel may be Blame the Dead, but I blame author Ed Ruggero–for keeping me up at night, reading “just one more” chapter then another and another. Whether your interests lie in a well-wrought mystery, a classic cop story, historical settings or first-rate military fiction, this thoroughly enjoyable novel set during World War II checks the block. Great pacing, compelling characters, solid research and a fiendishly clever plot add up to non-stop reading excitement.” ―Ralph Peters, author of Cain at Gettysburg and Judgment at Appomattox
“This book is a lot of fun, written with an insider’s feel for the U.S. Army and its history.” ―Thomas E. Ricks, author of The Generals and Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
“Ruggero’s story sets itself apart with the vividly rendered field-hospital setting and the focus on the battle-hardened nurses. A solid choice for WWII-thriller fans.” ―Booklist
“At the start of this exceptional WWII mystery and series launch, Lt. Eddie Harkins, an MP who was once a Philadelphia beat cop, comes across a murder scene near Palermo, Sicily…. Ruggero plays fair with his readers and makes the carrying out of a homicide inquiry in wartime both exciting and plausible.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Ruggero uses his military expertise to create a vivid and unconventional setting for a murder mystery, crafting an intriguing quagmire of institutional corruption to challenge his everyman hero.” ―Library Journal
Happy day late book birthday! Blame the Dead is a gritty and raw mystery book set in the middle of WWII. Phew, that was a mouth full but it got the major plot across. I think the most effective part of this book is that it is so (sometimes brutally) honest. The characters are in the midst of war, so you are oftentimes not seeing any of them at their best. And as it was mentioned in the beginning, many of them never really had a best. These characters are tired, hungry, cut-off, and trying to survive.
So I want to focus my review on the nurses in this book. The unsung heroes, as you might say. This cast of women swear just like all the men they work with and have to appear even tougher than anyone else on the warfront in order to protect themselves. There is rampant rape and sexual assault in this workplace and none of the women go unscathed. Yet they persevere because they know just how good at their job they are, and in war these sets of expertise are needed. I dunno, maybe it’s my faux sailor’s mouth that just really appreciated their brutal honesty. But, I can say that they were definitely my favorite part of the book.
Now, this book is written in a very sharp manner, but there is still A LOT of description. Which was quite jarring at first and I struggled a bit to keep everyone straight. But, once I got used to that and got in the zone and flow of things I was all set to devour this book. I also want to point out that even though this book touches on some really dark topics I still found myself giggling and chuckling. There is a good amount of humorous parts and characters to lighten up some of the harder to swallow (and graphic) plots.
About the Author
Ed is the author of eleven books, including Duty First: West Point and the Making of American Leaders, a study of leader development at the US Military Academy; and Combat Jump: The Young Men Who Led the Assault Into Fortress Europe, July 1943, which became a one-hour docudrama on The History Channel. Ed is also the co-author of The Leader’s Compass, a fictional story of how one leader developed a personal leadership philosophy. His most recent book is The First Men In: US Paratroopers and the Fight to Save D-Day.
After his graduation from West Point, Ed received his commission in the United States Army and served as an infantry officer in a variety of leadership positions, followed by an assignment teaching at West Point. After his service, Ed continued to share his insights about leadership, leading to his career as an author, public speaker, and trainer.
Ed is the founder and principal of The Gettysburg Leadership Experience, The Concord Leadership Experience, The Valley Forge Leadership Experience and the Normandy Leadership Experience, four distinct experiential learning programs in which participants walk the grounds of great military struggles and learn battle-tested leadership lessons that will help them meet today’s business challenges.
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– 5 Winners will receive a Copy of BLAME THE DEAD by Ed Ruggero
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ENDS: MARCH 23, 2020
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*