A Kill in the Morning Character Dossiers: The Assassin
The Assassin is the protagonist of A Kill in the Morning and narrates most of the chapters. Although A Kill in the Morning features a lot of historical characters, the Assassin himself is fictional.
Who is the Assassin?
- An agent for the British ‘Service’ (formed from the British intelligence agency, MI6, and the resistance organisation, Special Operations Executive)
- He’s been fighting against the Nazis since he was seventeen.
- The only survivor of the Top Secret ‘Vemork Operation’.
- Now he’s out for revenge.
Here’s the Assassin’s dossier, written from the point of view of the Sicherheitsdienst, Nazi Germany’s intelligence agency:
What’s conflict does he face?
The Assassin faces conflict on three levels:
His internal conflict is between the sense of inadequacy that leads him to try to match his heroes, and his subconscious revulsion at the violent acts he has been required to perform. Having shut down his emotions in response to the brutality of combat, he now knows no other way of living. This conflict manifests itself in what the Assassin describes as his ‘so-called death wish’.
The Assassin clashes with many other characters, particularly:
- Leo, his friend and superior who tries to control him.
- Elliott, the upper-class agent he despises.
- Molly who challenges his views about women.
- The two Nazis, Kaltenbrunner and Heydrich, whose goals he directly opposes.
At the opening of the novel, the Assassin is eliminating the Nazis who killed his comrades. He then becomes fixated on assassinating the man he thinks is ultimately responsible, Heydrich. The external conflict escalates from there, as he tries to reach Heydrich and discovers a far bigger conspiracy.
What’s the Assassin’s personal goal?
The Assassin sees himself as unworthy of his predecessors, particularly the leader of the ‘Vemork Operation’, Reg, who died saving him. His ultimate goal is to measure up to his heroes.
Tell us about A Kill in the Morning
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 has gained 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
The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The most pleasing being this one from sci-fi legend Stephen Baxter:
See A Kill in the Morning Reviews for more details.
Where can I read it?
You can read the opening here: The first two chapters of A Kill in the Morning.
If you’d like to buy A Kill in the Morning then:
- In the UK I recommend Amazon: A Kill in the Morning on Amazon UK, although the novel is also available in bookshops
- In the USA, you can get the novel at A Kill in the Morning on Amazon USA
- In India it’s available at A Kill in the Morning on Amazon India
Roderick Gladwish and Melissa Bailey asked me to write about the Assassin character as part of a chain of connections from writer to writer. Each writer answers the questions about their character and then links to the next writer in the chain.
Sarah Jasmon is the author of The Summer of Secrets, which is due to be published in the summer of 2015. Her main character, Helen, is fascinating, and yes, she has a secret!
Craig Pay is the author of the Canton Station series of cyberpunk novels set on a Chinese space station in orbit around Titan.
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