A Kill in the Morning
A Kill in the Morning is a spy thriller written by me, Graeme Shimmin, and published by Transworld, a division of Penguin Random House, in 2014.
It’s an action-packed, fun spy thriller in the style of classic thriller writers like Ian Fleming, Alistair Maclean and Robert Harris. Reviewers compared it favourably to Robert Harris’s Fatherland, Alistair Maclean’s Where Eagles Dare, and Ian Fleming’s Thunderball.
A Kill in the Morning: High Concept
James Bond versus the Nazis.
A Kill in the Morning: Title
The title is an allusion to Ian Fleming’s A View to a Kill. Fleming himself was referring to the traditional song, D’ye ken John Peel? – the full line being ‘From a view to a kill in the morning’.
(For more on titles, see How to Choose a Title For Your Novel)
A Kill in the Morning: Logline
After unknown assailants assassinate his mentor, a British agent attempts to carry out a revenge attack on the chief of German secret service, but when he reaches Germany everything he thought he knew about the world is brought into question.
(For more on loglines, see The Killogator Logline Formula)
A Kill in the Morning: Tagline and Teaser
The Tagline of A Kill in the Morning is: “Never Let Evil Out of Your Sights”.
This is the teaser that appeared on the back cover:
The year is 1955 and something is very wrong with the world. It’s fourteen years since Churchill died and the Second World War ended. In occupied Europe, Britain fights a cold war against a nuclear-armed Nazi Germany.
In Berlin, the Gestapo is on the trail of a beautiful young resistance fighter, and the head of the SS is plotting to dispose of an ailing Adolf Hitler and restart the war against Britain and her empire. Meanwhile, in a secret bunker hidden deep beneath the German countryside, scientists are experimenting with a force far beyond their understanding.
Into this arena steps a nameless British assassin, on the run from a sinister cabal within his own government, and planning a private war against the Nazis.
Now the fate of the world rests on a single kill in the morning…
A Kill in the Morning: Summary
Warning: Includes spoilers. Skip this section if you haven’t read A Kill in the Morning.
It’s 1955 in a world where Britain and Nazi Germany made peace in 1941. The Nazis are still in power in Germany and engaged in a nuclear-armed Cold War with Britain and the USSR.
In Germany, a British assassin kills an SS officer, and attacks a Nazi concentration camp. After the attack, he encounters Kitty, a member of the White Rose resistance group, and helps her escape from a Gestapo dragnet. Whilst recuperating in the Hotel Adlon, they observe Reinhard Heydrich, head of the SS, and his pneumatic concubines, the Mitzi twins.
The assassin returns to England, where it becomes apparent that he attacked the camp unofficially. He mentions his contact with Kitty to Sir Stewart Menzies, his mentor and chief of British Intelligence. Menzies tells him to discuss it with German spymaster Wilhelm Canaris who has defected to Britain. They visit Canaris, but during the meeting, an enemy assassin murders Menzies and Canaris.
The assassin goes off the rails, vowing to kill Heydrich, who he believes to be behind the murders. Against orders, he leaves Britain with Molly Ravenhill, Canaris’ bodyguard, with whom he begins an affair. They flee to Israel, where they meet Reuven Shiloah, head of the Jewish intelligence agency.
Reuven agrees to help them get into Germany to carry out their revenge, if in return the assassin plants a mine on a ship in Bari harbour, Italy. The mission to plant the mine goes wrong and the Italian Navy captures him.
The Italians give the assassin to the SS. They test him with a deadly assault course, which he beats. Impressed, they pass him on to Heydrich. For sport, the SS leaders hunt humans at their headquarters, Wewelsburg, and he is to be their prey.
At Wewelsburg, the assassin re-encounters Heydrich and the Mitzi twins, as well as Molly and Kitty, who the SS have also captured. Provoked, Heydrich exposes the conspiracy behind the 1941 peace treaty. Later, the Mitzi twins take the assassin to their boudoir, where they reveal Heydrich is building a super-weapon called ‘Giant’.
Next morning, the manhunt begins. Following the Mitzi twins’ advice, the assassin and Kitty escape and begin searching for Giant…
(For more on summarising stories, see How to Write a Novel Synopsis)
A Kill in the Morning: Awards
A Kill in the Morning has won several awards:
- Won You Write On’s Book of the Year award.
- Won ‘Superlative’ Award in the Turtledove Awards, run by alternatehistory.com.
- Shortlisted for the Terry Pratchett Prize,
- One of five Book Plank Debut Novels of the Year.
- Considered for the Arthur C. Clarke Award
Published by Transworld
The judges shortlisted A Kill in the Morning for the 2013 Terry Pratchett Prize. The novel sufficiently impressed one of the judges, Simon Taylor, of Transworld, to enter it into the acquisitions process at the publishing house, which led to Transworld publishing the novel. Simon Taylor commented:
A Kill in the Morning was one of the standout prize submissions from the off and has a lot of fans at Transworld, who not only loved the story (such fun!) but were also hugely impressed with both the writing and the confidence of the storytelling.
Transworld, are part of the Penguin Random House Group – one of the biggest publishers in the world. Transworld publishes authors such as Terry Pratchett, Dan Brown, Lee Child, Frederick Forsyth, Andy McNab and many other huge names.
A Kill in the Morning: Reviews
Science-fiction legend Stephen Baxter endorsed a Kill in the Morning:
It has had lots more glowing reviews, which are summarised in A Kill in the Morning Reviews.
Alternative History Vehicles in A Kill in the Morning
A Kill in the Morning features a variety of alternative history aircraft. Some of them, like the Rotodyne gyroplane, came close to production. Others, the Focke-Wulf Ta-183 for example, were still on the drawing board when the Red Army arrived in Berlin. Some, like the Avro Vanquish below, are credible designs but more speculative.
See Alternative History Vehicles in A Kill in the Morning for more.
A Kill in the Morning: Mood Board
The ‘mood board’ below represents the style of the novel.
We used this mood board when we were designing the book cover. You can see the cover below.
Want to Read It?
Read the opening for free by clicking here or on the cover:If you’d like to buy A Kill in the Morning then: