wow, this book is very suspenseful, as Martin Edwards said it would be. I mean, an Italian Prisoner of War camp, with escape attempts being enacted, and tunnels being dug...and a reputed informer has been murdered, apparently, in a manner and in a location that could compromise the best chance for escape. the book has dropped me among the prisoners - especially the "escape committee" - who have been for several months conducting surveillance and digging projects, all under the eyes of many guards and the rather ruthless Colonel in charge...and now, there's a body to deal with, as well as obfuscation when it comes to avoiding tipping off the Italians as to when and where he died.
it seems Goyles, of the prisoners, will be the amateur detective charged with solving the crime, while everyone is in charge of being extra-careful from this point on. meanwhile, the precious tunnel must remain secret, no matter what corpses suddenly, impossibly, get found in it!
so I decided to tackle Martin Edwards' Introduction to this before finishing The Count of Monte Cristo. this was a very informative Intro! I learned there is a film version of this, well-regarded, called The Danger Within; I learned that Gilbert had been a Prisoner of War himself; I learned that this is an "Impossible Crime" novel, with a small list of suspects to pick a murderer from. and I have a great feeling about this one because Smallbone Deceased by Gilbert is one of my favorites (it was also reissued recently)!
I have read two other Murder Mysteries set in POW camps, though one deals with the camp long after it has been shut down. A Study in Murder by Robert Ryan was a 5-star book for me - unexpectedly amazing - and is one of his Mysteries starring Dr. Watson, who is in a prison camp in the book. The Moon Tunnel by Jim Kelly is also terrific, as were most of his books.
This was NOT a romance, not even in the broadest sense, but simply torture porn.
75% of this book was just torture scene after torture scene between a sadist, a pain slut and an idiot. None of it was even remotely arousing or sexy, but just cringeworthy and painful to read. I skimmed through most of it.
The rest consisted of boring dialogues, repetitive explanations, and a plot that hasn't really moved any forward since the last book. I really don't care about any of the characters enough to find out what's gonna happen to them, nor do I want to continue with this series.
And that's why I call it quits here.
~ 2 stars ~