A Chance Kill – Can individuals shape destiny? Or is it all by chance?

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(PAGE ONE and DYMOCKS NO.1 BESTSELLER. Read A Chance Kill Part I)

An old-fashioned love story weaves through an authentic wartime thriller.

Page One / SCMP chart

Page One / South China Morning Post chart March 2015

Praise for A Chance Kill

“an absorbing tale…will appeal to readers who enjoy mystery thrillers set against a backdrop of the second world war.” Historical Novel Society

Whether [17-year-old] Dyta is in Warsaw, Paris, London or Prague she is always an inspiring element in this book.  She burns brightly in the darkness that surrounds her.” Book Babe

“Expect an action-packed read, where an old-fashioned love story also ensues”  Baccarat magazine

“A tense and tautly written book, sure to appeal to fans of John Le Carre and Ken Follett” SK Mag

“a thoroughly researched historical thriller, which criss-crosses the territories of Europe against the backdrop of the first half of the Second World War. It has the style of a classic British drama” SK Buzz

“Based on true events and meticulously researched”  South China Morning Post

“A ripping good read…one of my favorite books set in the Word War II era” Back Porchervations

 

Based upon my grandmother’s experience, seventeen-year-old Polish catholic Dyta Zając finds herself forced away from wartime Warsaw due to her family’s shadowy connections. Dyta’s time on the run sets her on a path towards confronting the ultimate Nazi.

Half a continent away, an RAF bomber crew embarks upon Britain’s little-known first offensive of the war. In a story of fear versus hope, the unspoken limits of loyalty are exposed and the value of a compromised life is contested. Courtship edges Dyta’s destiny closer to that of members of the RAF crew – and toward the Allies’ most brazen covert operation to strike at the Nazi elite.

But more dangerous than the enemy, however, is the assumption that your enemy’s enemy is your friend…

A flavour from the novel:

The black-uniformed officer ushered Dyta to the open car door. She bent double through the doorway. In doing so, she plucked the capsule from inside the waistband of her skirt and sat down with a cough, her hand politely covering her mouth for a moment. Using her tongue, she carefully moved the pill back from her teeth. She would be strip-searched, beaten, interrogated, tortured and, eventually, killed. The Gestapo man squeezed down next to Dyta, slammed the door and tapped the driver on the shoulder. The car lurched away. Dyta thought over what she had learned and what she had failed to learn: her failures left her no other option.

A Chance Kill roundel

Click to read A Chance Kill Part I

In researching A Chance Kill, I met with professional historians throughout Europe and learned more about Warsaw before it was flattened, Prague’s nest of wartime conspirators, the ‘James Bond’ gadget workshop within London’s Natural History Museum, and Britain’s little-known first offensive of World War Two.

If you like this novel and could help spread the word, it would help me to justify to my wife why I should spare time from my relatively better paid careers (I’m a part-time teacher and journalist) to produce more painstakingly ( – painfully, she would say – ) researched novels. Please tweet, chat and share – and help get A Chance Kill in front of people who will enjoy it. Many thanks, Paul.

Talks/Signings (Hong Kong): When is fiction not fiction? The historical novel and truth – through the eyes of journalist and author Paul Letters and his World War II novel, A Chance Kill (Details below):

Thursday 30 April, 2015, 6.30-8pm, Special Collections, 1/F Main Library, HKU, Pokfulam. Pre-register here for When is fiction not fiction?

Friday 8 May, 2015, 7.30-9pm, Chart Room, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Kellett Island, Causeway Bay. Email paulletters@gmail.com to book for When is fiction not fiction?

When is fiction not fiction? The historical novel and truth – through the eyes of journalist and author Paul Letters and his World War II novel, A Chance Kill  This talk features A Chance Kill, journalism and research for a second novel (set in Hong Kong in 1941) and explores the lack of a fine line – or any line at all – between fiction and nonfiction. Does historical fiction help us to understand the past? Can it be considered as a legitimate contribution to the historical record? What is literary journalism and what does it borrow from fiction? If journalism sways the emotions through the techniques of fiction, and if historical fiction (like A Chance Kill) bows to historical ‘truth’, should we all follow the lead of Hong Kong bookstores (where you’ll often find historical novels and journalistic accounts under “History”) and mix up novels, history and journalism together on our bookshelves?

Follow the A Chance Kill Facebook page or meand I also run a second Twitter feed On This Day In History 75 years ago

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