Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Harm by Hugh Fraser

By Hugh Fraser
Published by Urbane Publications (2 November 2015)
ISBN: 978-1910692738

Publisher's description
‘What makes an innocent girl become a contract killer?’
Acapulco 1974: Rina Walker is on assignment. Just another another quick, clean kill.
She wakes to discover her employer’s severed head on her bedside table, and a man with an AK 47 coming through the door of her hotel room. She needs all her skills to neutralise her attacker and escape. After a car chase, she is captured by a Mexican drug boss who needs her radiant beauty and ruthless expertise to eliminate an inconvenient member of the government.
Notting Hill 1956: Fifteen-year-old Rina is scavenging and stealing to support her siblings and her alcoholic mother. When a local gangster attacks her younger sister, Rina wreaks revenge and kills him. Innocence betrayed, Rina faces the brutality of the post-war London underworld - a world that teaches her the skill to kill...

My verdict
Harm explores how a tough teenager becomes an assassin.

The plot switches between Acapulco in 1974 (with the grown up mysterious Rina) and London in 1956 (with Rina as a teenager). Rina's teenage years weren't easy, with plenty of exposure to sex, drugs and violence at a young age, so it's not surprising that she learns very quickly how to survive. But she's also very loyal to her family and anyone who needs her help.

There are some great characters and plenty of action, shocks and twists to keep the reader intrigued. I felt the book finished a little abruptly and would have liked to have known more about what happened to Rina next. But overall this was a very enjoyable read.

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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