the 5th Ben Reese mystery
In 1961, a soldier’s widow receives a grisly package lost during WWII. A Scientific Tech Team that post-War archivist Ben Reese had taken behind-the-lines when he was an intelligence scout in WWII leads to murder in Scotland in 1962 – and to a terrifying death in Tuscany only Ben can prevent.
This is the first Ben Reese with direct scenes from World War II. They show people and events often referred to in the first four books: Ben’s experiences as a scout in the war; the firefight in which he was wounded; his flight to a hospital in Paris, strapped under a Piper Cub, which ultimately saved his life; his relationship with his fiancé; his fear of marriage if he’s permanently disabled; his decision, finally, to make her the wife we see him mourning in the first four books; his search for God while in the hospital that leads him to read the holy books of the world’s great religions, then make a decision that takes him home.
Available as an ebook and in print from Amazon, B&N.com and IndieBound
I really enjoyed doing the science and renaissance art research for Watches Of The Night, as well as that on the Tech Teams the U.S. and Britain sent into German occupied territory during and after WWII. I also loved studying the settings, and wandering around them myself – especially Tuscany in the middle of March when the winter here in Ohio seemed entirely too gray and relentless. Trying to fit all the pieces together – archival, historical, personal – and layer them into a plot that made sense of them kept me intrigued, and scrambling too, the whole time I worked on the book.
But I was most moved personally by writing the scenes of Ben in WWII. The way he was wounded in the Saarbrucken Forest, and got back to the States alive, to face years of surgeries and rehabilitation is exactly what happened – exactly – to the real-life archivist/ex-WWII scout on whom I’ve based Ben.
Describing it accurately meant a lot to me, and, I think, to him as well. He doesn’t talk about the war (except with his wife, and with me for the books). He deliberately put those years behind him, and set out to make a life for himself that would help a lot of people quietly from the archival edge of academe. His English professor wife, who (like Jessie) was with him in the hospital, has mentored her own students as deliberately as he did. Which means that even today, when they’ve been retired for years, not too many days go by when a now middle-aged ex-student doesn’t write, or phone, or visit because of how much the two of them meant when it mattered most.
When he told me a couple of years ago that helping me with the books has given him some sense of closure on the war, I realized right then, that regardless of how I’d looked at it before, writing every Ben Reese book has been worth the time and effort for that reason alone.
What They’re Saying:
“Any reader…will soon become enamored of the sexy widower protagonist Ben Reese, a university archivist and combat veteran. Watches Of The Night is the fifth in….[the] series and it really makes you want to go back and read the other four … ”
Ohioana Quarterly, Ohio’s Book Review Journal, Spring 2009
“…Poignant in delineating Reese’s combat wounds and rehab…”
Kirkus Reviews, April 1st, 2008
“…Ben Reese is based on an actual archivist/ex-scout, who serves as a consultant…The plot hinges on events that took place in the 1940s, showing the importance of preserving and remembering the past…In choosing to make her protagonist an archivist, Wright is undoubtedly helping to make our line of work more widely recognized.”
New England Archivists Newsletter, July 2009
“…Wright tells Ben’s story and unravels the mystery by shifting back and forth between the 1960s and 1945…The effect is perfect for building suspense…Sally Wright is a very good storyteller.”
Armchair Detective, July 2008