Published 30th June 2015 by Armstrong Nyman
About the Author
Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hasting in Agatha Christie’s Poirot, and the Duke of Wellington in Sharpe. His films include, Patriot Games, 101 Dalmatians, The Draughtsman’s Contract and Clint Eastwood’s Firefox.
A debut crime novel by Hugh Fraser. ‘What makes an innocent girl become a contract killer?’
Acapulco 1974: Rina Walker is on assignment. Just another another quick, clean kill. She wakes to discover her employer’s severed head on her bedside table, and a man with an AK 47 coming through the door of her hotel room. She needs all her skills to neutralise her attacker and escape. After a car chase, she is captured by a Mexican drug boss who needs her radiant beauty and ruthless expertise to eliminate an inconvenient member of the government.
Notting Hill 1956: Fifteen-year-old Rina is scavenging and stealing to support her siblings and her alcoholic mother. When a local gangster attacks her younger sister, Rina wreaks revenge and kills him. Innocence betrayed, Rina faces the brutality of the post-war London underworld – a world that teaches her the skill to kill…
Hugh Fraser is probably best known as the actor who played Hastings in TV’s Poirot. Fraser has written his first novel; an action packed thriller, with a kick-ass lead in Rina.
Meet Rina, a strong woman with an interesting career choice. She is a paid assassin. The story moves between 1956 and 1974, as we see the experiences and people that shaped her. What made a young girl become a killer? And what did Rina go through as a child? In 1974, Rina is working in Mexico, hired to kill. This does not exactly go to plan, when Rina wakes up to find a severed head in her room. Rina uses her charm and wit to get out of very tricky situations, involving drug barons and people who seek to use her.
I was very moved by the descriptions of Rina’s poverty stricken childhood in London. We get very realistic depictions of a family barely surviving in a slum. Rina’s mother is an alcoholic single parent, struggling with life. Thieving is the only way to survive and people like Rina and her family do whatever they can to get by. It is not entirely unexpected that Rina would end up being introduced to the criminal element in this part of London.
This book really captured my imagination, as I followed Rina though her harsh and disturbing childhood in London to the heat and danger of the Mexican drugs trade. There is something very compelling and exciting about her, a woman who fights and does not give up. Beautifully written, it is very hard to believe that this is Hugh Fraser’s first novel.
Completely recommended. I hope Hugh Fraser has a few more adventures for Rina up his sleeve!
Many thanks to Hugh Fraser for my lovely review copy!