A Ben Reese Mystery - Ben Reese, university archivist and part-time investigator, is alarmed when his old friend Kate Lindsay receives a disturbing package. It contains her husbands eyeball, retrieved from the front line and posted arriving twenty years later. Kate needs some answers so decides to visit veteran Ross MacNab, but when MacNab commits suicide hours before she arrives, Kate fears foul play. Bens suspicions, meanwhile, rest on another war comrade, but army records show he died years before . . .
About the Author
Sally Wright is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she earned a degree in oral interpretation of literature. She has also completed graduate work at the University of Washington. Ms. Wright is the author of "Publish and Perish," the debut of the Ben Reese series, "Pride and Predator, "Pursuit and Persuasion (an Edgar Allan Poe Award finalist), and "Out of the Ruins. She lives with her husband in northwestern Ohio, and she travels widely to research the Ben Reese booksto England and Scotland for earlier titles in the series, to America's southeastern coast for "Out of the Ruins.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Watches of the Night is the fifth Ben Reese mystery series. Ben Reese is an archivist at a private Ohio college. He served in Europe during World War Two, which provides a rich, intense backdrop to this tale, which is set at the end of 1961. Long time fans of Sally Wright know that her hero, Ben, was in the army and wounded. Readers picking up Watches of the Night as a first experience of the series may feel as if walking in on the middle of a conversation between comfortable old friends. We learn through bits of scenes set back in 1945 on the Western front of Ben's experiences during the war, and particularly of some of the atrocities he witnessed by men on his own side. These crimes haunt him. Kate Lindsay, a widow of a friend of Ben's from that era, receives a shocking package that had been lost in the post for sixteen years. Her curiosity leads her to track down the sender, who was found dead the day before she arrived to visit him in the asylum. She calls upon her friend Ben to help her learn more about the man and his family. The discoveries set in motion an ever unraveling picture of crimes dating back to World War Two, but eventually lead Ben to closure for his pain. Wright's intimate details create settings which feel as though the reader can walk right into them. Ohio, Italy, the Welsh coast, and a mental hospital in Great Britain are presented naturally. Her characters are menacing or charming, devious or appropriately withdrawn. Wright's habit of shifting time and place and head can be a bit disconcerting until the reader adapts. About half way through the book her cast of old friends listed in the front became appreciated. Watches of the Night was an engaging journey into the past. Lisa Lickel
University archivist Ben Reese was a scout in World War II. Kate Lindsay, a longtime friend, receives a package 20 years after it was mailed. It contains the eye of her husband killed in World War II. Ben served with her husband.
Ben and Kate set out to discover the identity of the sender and why it was sent. A person from the past hunts Ben and the memories of war.
The story jumps back and forth from the 1960s to 1945. While I'm sure the author did a great job portraying the war scenes, I didn't read them as I am just not into history. I love Ben and Kate, though. Their chemistry and detecting skills are terrific. I like how they work together and build off each other even through great distances between them.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more in this series.
Why have I not encountered Sally Wright's writing before? I recently got a copy of Watches of the Night, her fifth mystery featuring college archivist and ex-WWII scout Ben Reese, and I'll definitely be seeking out the first four and hoping for more. The time setting of this book is one that is not often encountered. The "contemporary" section is set in 1961 and 1962, with the flashbacks going back to 1945. Each segment is given a date, which prevents confusion. The geographical settings range from southern Ohio and Kentucky to Scotland, England and Italy, with side trips to NYC and the Hudson Valley, in the "present" day, and along the front lines in Belgium and Germany during the war. Each setting is evocatively described, with a feeling for the history of a place as well as its climate, topography, and flora. The protagonist, Ben Reese, and his friend and co-investigator, Kate Lindsay, are just the sort of people one would like to know in real life. Other characters (helpfully listed in the front of the book, along with a drawing of a pivotal location in the story)are also well drawn, and even the villain has a believable backstory. The story begins when Ben's friend Kate receives a shocking package, delivered by a conscientious employee of the Dead Letter Office. Sixteen years after his death, her husband's eye has been sent to her in a bottle of alcohol. Who could have sent it? She enlists Ben's help in finding out. This is one of those books where the reader knows what the villain is up to before the detectives do, but that in no way detracts from the suspense. Ben's WWII training stands him in good stead as the book reaches its thrilling climax. I highly recommend Watches of the Night.