A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin
|A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Its 1950s Europe and the Nazis have it in their grip. This is a world in which Churchill was assassinated and history was altered. Can one covert operative infiltrate the very heart of the Nazi machine and still its beating? Find out in Graeme Shimmin's 'A Kill in the Morning', a pulp action novel with more than one twist.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: June 2014|
|Publisher: Bantam Press|
|External links: Author's website|
The Nazis are amongst the most infamous group that has ever walked the planet. They may have been evil, but there was something pantomime about them that has made them the perfect foil for countless cheesy action films and pulp fiction. To enjoy these you have to disengage yourself from the history and see the Nazis of fiction as separate from those of real life. Can I enjoy a book like A Kill in the Morning set in an alternative 1950s were the Nazis have taken over mainland Europe and are building an ultimate weapon? Can a maverick secret agent take out SS Commander Reinhard Heydrich and change the tide of history?
Kill is a great mix of pure pulp entertainment. Shimmin has combined a slightly campy Bond style hero with a pulp ‘Commando’ comic style and a twist that you won’t see coming unless you figure out what genre the book is. The first two thirds of the book is great fun. Our nameless hero starts off on a covert mission to save some Jewish prisoners still trapped in Concentration Camps in the 1950s. The action begins then and does not really stop until the very end.
For the pulp action of Kill to work, the alternative history aspect needs to make sense; how did the Nazis gain control of mainland Europe? Shimmin does a good job of making a believable alternative in which Churchill was assassinated in 1942 and his successor sued for peace. Probably the best aspect of the alternative history is that it is not laid out in pages and pages of explanation, but weaved into the book during natural conversations; improving the feel of realism.
Where the book begins to waver slightly is towards the end as Heydrich's true plan comes into focus. The book almost switches genres from action to something entirely different. The final act did not work quite as well, but the way in which it dovetailed into what we consider our own history was well done.
Is A Kill in the Morning a masterpiece of the written form? By no means, but what it is, is entertaining. This is not a look at the real National Socialist Party, or what they may have become, but a camp action thriller that plans to shoot first and ask questions later. The female characters may be strong, but they fall into bed with the hero. The action may be brutal, but one character has a shield of electricity. Essentially, this is high camp and enjoyable at that.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin at Amazon.com.
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