‘Stealth’ is book 4 in the bestselling Rina Walker series, following ‘Harm’, ‘Threat’ and ‘Malice’
Published by Urbane Publications
Available in ebook and paperback (4 October 2018)
My thanks to Kelly of Love Books Group Tours for the invitation to take part in the tour for Stealth, book #4 in the Rina Walker series by Hugh Fraser. For my turn today, I’m delighted to share a guest post from Hugh, who I am sure that many people will remember from his time as Captain Hastings in the TV adaption of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
Agatha and I
As an actor who is associated with the work of Agatha Christie, as it has appeared on Television, I have frequently been asked if Agatha Christie has influenced my own recent attempts at crime fiction. When considering the question I am reminded of the time when we made the Poirot series and how little attention I paid to the plots of the films when we were shooting them. When filming you tend to focus on the scenes you’re doing on that particular day, and as the script is nearly always shot out of sequence it’s easy to cease to be aware of the overall story, and as I was playing a character who never knew what was going on anyway, it was probably quite appropriate in my case.
It was only when I subsequently recorded the books as audio books and studied Agatha Christie’s work in detail, while preparing them, that I realised how skilfully and intricately constructed her plots are and how much detail they contain, with so many sub-plots and red herrings woven into the narrative.
When I attempted to write a crime novel of my own, I came to understand how difficult it is to construct a coherent and believable story and how much hard work Agatha Christie put into creating her stories.
The other aspect of her books that became apparent to me when I recorded them was the vast number of characters that she created and the clarity and definition of each one. I’d often have a list of forty or fifty characters and each one of them, from the pompous, purple-faced major blustering and ranting in the drawing room to the adenoidal maid, who opens the front door to the visitors and is never seen again – each would be given a distinct appearance, manner and personality and all brought to the page with remarkable economy.
What was also apparent, although rather less admirable about her work and quite salutary to a modern reader, is the casual racism and anti-semitism which appears occasionally, particularly in her earlier books. That is not to say that I think that Agatha Christie was particularly racially prejudiced – I believe it was no more than a reflection of the prevailing culture at the time during which she was writing and a reminder that attitudes have changed for the better since then.
After doing the TV series and the audio books and undergoing such a thorough immersion in Agatha Christie, one might have assumed that when I came to write a crime novel myself it would bear some resemblance to the genteel and sophisticated world in which her books are set.
Unfortunately it turned out to concern the rather dark activities of a lesbian contract killer from the London slums.
I hope that my books, in spite of their dissimilarity to those of the Queen of Crime, will provide some entertainment and enjoyment for my readers.
| About the Book |
When a step out of line means a fight to the death…
London 1967. A working girl is brutally murdered in a Soho club. Rina Walker takes out the killer and attracts the attention of a sinister line-up of gangland enforcers with a great deal to prove.
When a member of British Military Intelligence becomes aware of her failure to fulfill a contract issued by an inmate of Broadmoor, he forces her into the deadly arena of the Cold War, with orders to kill an enemy agent.
Rina needs to call upon all her dark skills, not simply to survive, but to protect the ones she loves.
| About the Author |
Hugh Fraser is best known for playing Captain Hastings 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. In the theatre he has appeared in Teeth’n’Smiles at the Royal Court and Wyndhams and in several roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also composed the theme to Rainbow!