Read Harm by HughFraser Online

harm

A debut crime novel by Hugh Fraser. ‘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 escA debut crime novel by Hugh Fraser. ‘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... “Hugh Fraser’s Harm is the perfect combination of action, mystery and intrigue. It also features some superbly constructed characters, who develop over the course of the story - which is a rarity in mystery novels.” (Benjamin Maio Mackay)...

Title : Harm
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 25832096
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 298 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Harm Reviews

  • Miriam Smith
    2019-05-18 17:01

    In my opinion "Harm" written by Hugh Fraser is an utterly mind blowing thriller that really hits the spot!! It's gritty, hard hitting, often brutal and with a really thrilling story line I was hooked from the first shocking pages. This explosive story is about Rina Walker a paid assassin who is hired to kill a drug dealer in Mexico, but when the deal goes drastically wrong, things go from bad to worse not knowing who to trust or rely on and we are taken on a seriously wild ride of violence, action and murder! "What makes an innocent girl become a contract killer?" - considering how resilient and tough she has become through her brutal upbringing it's a typical example of nature v nurtured with Rina's learned behaviour being explicitly nurtured. However, I really admired Rina, she's such a likeable bad ass, sexy, strong, nothing scares her and she knows exactly how to get what she wants using mind or body! I love books that have a couple of timelines running through them and I particularly liked reading about Rina's younger years where I felt really strong emotions. The two stories intertwined seamlessly and balanced the story perfectly. Hugh's vivid descriptions of people, living conditions and places are outstanding, and with his expressive and hard hitting writing prose this makes the book so much harder to put down.I've taken so much to Rina I can't wait to read the second in the series "Threat" and I understand there's a third "Malice" coming out this year. It's very hard to believe this is a first novel - (Hugh Fraser is better known as TV's Captain Hastings in David Suchet's Poirot) - Hugh has done exceptionally well writing this book and has gone on to now be recognised as a fantastic crime writer. With a stunning photographic cover showing the two different ages of Rina this is a brilliantly printed book published by Urbane Publications that I can't recommend highly enough. An amazing 5 stars!

  • Christine
    2019-04-28 16:10

    Hugh Fraser is probably best known as the actor who played Hastings in TV’s Poirot. Fraser has written his first novel; an action packed thriller, with a kick-ass lead in Rina.Meet Rina, a strong woman with an interesting career choice. She is a paid assassin. The story moves between 1956 and 1974, as we see the experiences and people that shaped her. What made a young girl become a killer? And what did Rina go through as a child? In 1974, Rina is working in Mexico, hired to kill. This does not exactly go to plan, when Rina wakes up to find a severed head in her room. Rina uses her charm and wit to get out of very tricky situations, involving drug barons and people who seek to use her.I was very moved by the descriptions of Rina’s poverty stricken childhood in London. We get very realistic depictions of a family barely surviving in a slum. Rina’s mother is an alcoholic single parent, struggling with life. Thieving is the only way to survive and people like Rina and her family do whatever they can to get by. It is not entirely unexpected that Rina would end up being introduced to the criminal element in this part of London.This book really captured my imagination, as I followed Rina though her harsh and disturbing childhood in London to the heat and danger of the Mexican drugs trade. There is something very compelling and exciting about her, a woman who fights and does not give up. Beautifully written, it is very hard to believe that this is Hugh Fraser’s first novel.Completely recommended. I hope Hugh Fraser has a few more adventures for Rina up his sleeve!

  • Richard
    2019-04-26 20:01

    As a debut novel, it has everything you could wish for in this crowded market. It is a credible thriller about a female contract killer. Set in 1974 across Mexico and Texas, USA it is a tale of what can go wrong on a hit. The book continues with this story every other chapter. I'm between we have our protagonist growing up in 1956 as a 15-year-old carer for her alcoholic Mum and two younger siblings.Both stories are quite riveting and the younger version of our trained assassin is seen as a product of her poverty filed existence. Leaving school early, not really mastering reading and writing but streetwise, prepared to do almost anything to keep her family alive. The question of nature or nurture is explored in part and the harshness of her decisions leaves you lacking real empathy for her.As an adult, a simple contract blows up in her face and she falls under the control of drug lords and DEA agents and never gains control of her own destiny. Her past has taught us if nothing else she is a survivor and perhaps what drives her on is a love for her family.Full of action scenes, rough violence and sexual exploitation abound. What lets the story down for me is the constant changing of sides and motivation. However, this is a product of her upbringing, Rina does not really know who to trust and all relationships seem to end suddenly or with violence.Where the book fails is that in the process we never get close to any character and In Rina we have an antihero figure who it is hard to like and get behind. There is so much here for further books and it will be interesting to see where that goes.

  • Mike Lewis
    2019-05-04 20:07

    Totally gripping-I loved it! A great story with a strong and feisty female character. We follow our heroine back and forth from the colour and excitement of Mexico, to damp grey 1950's London. Twists and turns draw us in. What drives her? What is her secret? How far will she go? Can she survive everything that life throws at her? Certainly hope so, such a strong character surely must have many more adventures to come…..

  • A
    2019-05-23 18:16

    Hugh Fraser's debut novel is full of excitement and drama that thrills and shocks and keeps you gripped at every turn. I was totally drawn into Rina's world and loved the contrast between her cold, harsh introduction to life and the heat and non-stop action in Mexico. The well-thought plot keeps you guessing, the characters are exciting and believable and I just hope this isn't the last we've seen of the superb Rina Walker. Brilliant.

  • Brooklyn Tayla
    2019-05-23 20:08

    This is a freaking absolute must - read. It's easily, hands down; the best thriller/new crime novel that I've ever read! Hugh Fraser takes us on a wild ride with his main character, Rina, who I freaking love. But seriously. I'm so glad there's a sequel coming! Bring it!

  • P-W
    2019-05-25 15:03

    Cracking read with a kick-ass heroine I hope we see more of. Loved it! Hope there's more to come.

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-05-12 13:07

    Harm is a really excellent thriller from the pen of Hugh Fraser - Better known as Captain Hastings in ITV's Poirot -but about to be known for something quite different if this is anything to go by.We meet Rina - she is a paid assassin - told over two timelines, one while she is "on a job" in the 70's and where everything that can go wrong is going wrong and also in flashback to the 50's showing us her path and what has led her to where she is today.It's an intuitive bit of writing when it comes to character development - seeing how Rina was, what she went through, how she lived - all leading up to what she is doing now, running from drug dealers and generally getting into trouble. She's kick ass though so is likely to get out of it - hence the "thriller" aspect of the whole thing.The real intrigue of this one though is in the human interaction and the examination of why we do the things we do. Rina as a youngster growing up had litte choice in the matter - living in poverty, with danger on the streets from lowlife criminals and even danger in her own home - some of it is really emotive stuff. But then even so its a bit of a jump from tough girl to killer and the hows and whys of that make for a great if often sad story.In the "present" timeline there is a lot of action, a fair few edge of seat moments (which are not exactly missing in the past either) and a rollicking good adventure. Violence yes (Although you know you are going to love Rina when, upon awakening to find a severed head on her pillow does not immediately scream like a girl or even have a rabbit in the headlights moment) but also a lot of depth of plot and a growing understanding of just how Rina can do what she does and do it all with barely a flicker. A really most excellent read - the ending was kind of abrupt for me but to be fair the story had been told and there may not have been a way within the narrative scope to even that ending up - still I hope that Rina returns. Ooh look. Rina Returns. I've come up with a title. Not a very good one granted - but as long as we get to see this character again I'm going to read it no matter what the title.Good stuff.Happy Reading Folks!

  • Katherine Marson
    2019-05-19 16:11

    Rina Walker is no ordinary women. Hired as an assassin in Acapulco, Mexico in 1974 she wakes to find her current employers severed head in her hotel room. After managing to escape she finds herself being captured by a Mexican drug dealer. Somebody badly wanted Rina in Mexico - but why? She quickly discovers they need her skills to eliminate Enrico Gonzales, the Minister of Justice. She soon meets Lee, an American who was also captured for the same mission. As the mission begins, is there anyone Rina can trust? Trouble appears to be at every corner. What caused Rina to take such an unorthodox career move? Family means the world to Rina and when her sister is under attack she does what comes naturally and defends her leading to the death of a local gangster. After covering up the death, she discovers someone else knows what happened and is prepared to blackmail her. It's 1956, Rina is only 15 and she soon finds herself delving into the murky underworld of London. How far will Rina go to protect her family?As a debut novel I was very impressed. Loved the way each chapter jumps between the present day and the past. Rina is a very complex but likeable character you can't help but like and feel for. A women who never seems to have had it easy and who hides her real self away. I hope this isn't the last we've seen of her. Would love to learn more about her in future books.

  • ~ Cariad ~
    2019-04-26 15:25

    I loved this audiobook - LOVED!My God, housework was never so much fun before audiobooks - these days it'd be impossible for me to even contemplate trying do stuff around the house without one on!!Straight into what will hopefully be a terrific book 2, I mean one can't really go wrong... gangland London (I literally used to live a couple of streets away from the main streets in the book - and that's always fun to read!), a lesbian contract killer with a dysfunctional family life and history, dual time periods of her young self and Rina now through alternate chapters, starting in the 50's and moving forward through time (a really interesting way to have written it) and the hope of a HEA for Rina - whichever way she swings - is all good for me!!THEN!!! Add ANNIE "The Dog's Bollocks of Narration" ALDINGTON to the mix and OMFG a whole other level of AWESOME is reached *sighs happily* ...it doesn't get much better than this friends!

  • Marina
    2019-05-08 18:20

    Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.Whenever I hear the name Hugh Fraser, the very first thing that pops up in my mind is his very famous role of Captain Hastings from my favorite TV series „Hercules Poirot“. I was so delighted when I heard that he has written a book. But HARM is nothing like HERCULES POIROT series. So who ever expected a new Agatha Christie's novel must be very surprised. I am not using the word 'disappointed“ , because this book is far away from disappointing.Meet Rina, modern and beautiful woman with faces, a contract killer, a death angel. She is a stunning woman, and men often mistake her beauty for stupidity. But she is far away from stupid. Most of everything, she is tough and knows how to survive. Life hasn't been easy for her. Men took advantages on her since young age. They still do, but now she lets them do that, and that's how she uses them.Rina kills people for money, but she kills bad people, not just anyone. She has a sense for justice. She would never hurt an innocent person, enough harm has been done to her. It all started when she was a teenager. Her father's business partner rapes her many times. But when he tries to rape her nine-years-old sister, she kills him. His brother blackmails her, she has to murder another person for him. One act of violence triggers another one, one murder leads to another. In the world of gangs where local mafia rules the neighborhood, there is no going back.The author has created a real kick-ass heroine. We can observe Rina's life since her early childhood till the present day. Rina is an anti-heroine. On one side, she kills people for money and she fights like hell when trapped. On the other side, she is in the search of little peace for herself far away from man's violence. 'Cause she has had it enough. We can follow the story of young Rina, a young girl full of hopes and dreams, all that destroyed by the fear of the shadow of the man entering her bedroom. Her mother is a person that I literally want to kill by myself, what kind of mother allows someone to rape her daughters and not even bother about it? Parallely, we follow Rina in the presence, chasing her next target and in the same time trying to escape being a target. He is not naive anymore, nor helpless at all. She fights not just for her, but for every abused woman that comes along her way.HARM is a story centered around an assassin with a soul. Rina is a hell of a character. Fulfilled with adrenaline, violence, sex and kick-ass moments, this story is anything but boring. You might expect a nice old-fashioned murder like I did, but you'll find yourself positively surprised by the adrenaline rush that hits you from the very first page of the book. My advice: Don't expect anything, just read! You will totally enjoy this read!My opinion; 4,5 / 5.

  • Margaret
    2019-05-08 18:24

    Most people would be familiar with Hugh Fraser as an actor than a writer. He was the dashing and urbane Captain Hastings to David Suchet's Poirot.Hugh has turned his not inconsiderable talents to writing. "Harm" is his first novel. Rina Walker is an assassin. The story swaps between 1956 when she started down the path, and 1974 when most of the novel takes place. In 1974 Rina goes to Mexico to take out the head of a drug cartel...everything goes to hell and Rina finds herself fighting for her very survival."Harm" is well written and well plotted and zaps along at an almost frenetic pace. Hugh Fraser also has a lovely way with the English language, his turn of phrase being both colourful and picturesque."Harm" is an excellent addition to the thriller genre. A warning for the more faint hearted. It is violent. Graphically so in some places. And some of the violence is sexual. It may not be your cup of tea, so considered yourself duly warned.

  • Mel
    2019-05-07 16:24

    I enjoyed this, perhaps more than I should have. It was a very cinematic book, one that was a quick read and you could picture unfolding like a film before your eyes. It was set in two different time periods, alternating between the 50s and the 70s. When it started the 70s felt like period Bond, very flash, very dangerous, and the 50s was hardcore poverty and reality, eventually the two periods both shifted slightly into having crime, danger, and real human drama. Rina I found likeable, she was queer in a time when such things weren't accepted. She was poor and trying to care for her family as best as she could. She was also amoral in that she did whatever it took to protect herself and the people she cared about. There were a couple things that bothered me about the book, one was the use of rape as a plot device. Something I'm not sure male authors should really do. It was a triggering point in one part of the story, but felt unnecessary in others. As a woman whose been sexually assualted it's not really something I think is appropriate to include in entertainment. It was used to justify murder and sexual promiscuity, which kinda defeated the gender equality of her as a female antihero. In that male antiheros never have to suffer like that to justify their attitudes.The other thing was there were about three times when the lesbian talked about sex or masturbation in a VERY male way. Which made me go, er no it really doesn't work like that. This was the first lesbian mystery/crime novel that I've read that has been written by a (presumably) straight male, instead of a queer woman, and I'm afraid that it showed. But despite the "technical difficulties" Hugh still wrote an interesting and likable queer woman as his heroine. I shall definitely be reading the 2nd volume.

  • Michelle Ryles
    2019-05-24 16:30

    Wow – what a rollercoaster and a stonking debut from Hugh Fraser. This was another one of those books that you can't put down. It is evident from the start that Rina is a very strong female lead character. As we delve into her background, we find that she’s had such a hard life looking after her young siblings and alcoholic mother but surrounded by an amazing female support system. She's suffered so much that it's not surprising she has turned into a contract killer - she has nothing left to lose.The writing was so vivid, perhaps too vivid sometimes – the scene near the end with Carmela still churns my stomach when I'm thinking about it now! There are some surprising twists as you don't know who is on which side in Mexico, and the way the deal goes down between Lee and Manuel really was inspired - all I'll say is metal joints! The flashbacks to Rina's teenage life in Notting Hill really captured the essence of the era; men in dark smoky pubs and women at home with the kids living in poverty. Rina reminds me of Sydney Bristow in Alias and I wouldn't be surprised to see Harm picked up for the small screen.There were a few same-sex love scenes but they were written with enough subtlety so as not to disturb even the most faint-hearted reader. With her history, it's hardly surprising that Rina would avoid men at all costs.Hugh's writing is excellent; I really hope it's not the last we hear of Rina Walker!I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  • BookwormDH
    2019-05-27 18:28

    Acapulco 1974: Rina Walker is on assignment. Just 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 exploits 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 violent revenge and murders him. Innocence betrayed, Rina faces the brutality of the post-war London underworld - a world that teaches her the skills she needs to kill...An interesting and fast-paced thriller with good characters.Brilliant writing. The author doesn't hold back with his descriptive dialogue. The problem I found was the flow of the book. It wasn't difficult to switch between the two time periods, but within the same time periods, the book jutted and skipped, missing out what I thought were important parts.A good read, though.

  • Bill Todd
    2019-05-20 14:29

    Consider Poirot’s bemused Captain Hastings and the stern but fair Duke of Wellington in TV’s Sharpe. These portrayals give absolutely no clue to the hard-hitting style and content of actor Hugh Fraser’s first crime novel.Rina Walker is a contract killer. When a planned hit in Mexico goes badly wrong Rina is seized by a drug gang who want to use her lethal skills.The action is fast and brutal – the book certainly lives up to its title of Harm – and the story runs in tandem with the no-holds-barred account of Rina’s childhood in a London slum and how she became a killer.Both storylines are full, fast and compelling, almost books in themselves. Each tends to slow the pace of the other but Rina and her two stories are strong enough to drive the narrative forward. I look forward to Fraser’s second Rina Walker novel, Threat, which is due out in June.

  • Tracy Shephard
    2019-05-27 14:06

    Don’t let ‘the image’ of Hugh Fraser color your opinion of what you ‘think’ this read might be like.I was pleasantly and hugely surprised at the depth of violence and despair of the characters, and from the first chapter the pace of this quite brilliant novel grips and intrigues.Rina, the central character, is one that grabs your sympathy, approval and admiration. She is a ruthless killer, and not one to be crossed but she is also loyal and a born survivor. This story is split, telling of Rinas growing up, a poverty stricken and very tough existence and a predicament that she now finds herself in.This is an impressive and action-packed thriller, and was a one sit read for me. I just had to get to the end to see how it all panned out for her.It is one that will astonish.

  • Caron Allan
    2019-05-10 17:13

    Brutal and compulsiveThis story races along and pulls the reader with it, there's little time to stop and think as Rina lurches from one mind-numbingly awful situation to another. A thrill ride, yes, but not for the faint-hearted.

  • Audiothing
    2019-05-27 13:24

    http://audiothing.blogspot.com.au/Review I loved this story!It isn’t often that I get so deeply immersed in a story so quickly. Half-way through the first chapter I knew I’d find it hard to stop reading, or, in my case, listening ….Rina, beautiful, strangely compelling Rina, discovered that the reason for her abduction was because the drugs lord needed her to kill an enemy. His logic for choosing Rina was because of her ability to attract men and, of course, her job skills. Her pay off would be generous but would she live to collect?From then on there follows an amazing adventure made all the more hairy by Rina not knowing who she can trust …The story moves between 1974, Rina’s adult years and 1956, when Rina was fifteen years old and caring for both her siblings and her incapacitated mother, they were living a desolate and demeaning hand to mouth existence. People did what they had to do in order to make life a little more tolerable, Rina, at fifteen years old, committed her first hit.The story is utterly compelling from the very beginning to the very end, the characters are vibrant and diverse, and the writing style is clean, uncluttered and flows beautifully. The vivid descriptions of the living conditions endured by the poor are quite moving: the over crowding; the unsanitary conditions and the ever present fear of eviction.It’s the use of the parlance of those times and the inclusion of little details which adds both authenticity and flavour to the story. Not many people have to “pull the chain” in the lavatory these days, and certainly nobody has to deal with the old telephone kiosks with their button A and button B. The story stayed with me long after I finished it, wondering how Rina came to be that person who kills for money, the bigger question though is how on earth did the author get me to be rooting for her!NarratorNarrated by Annie Aldington, a renowned British actress and voiceover artist. Her talent is obvious from the very start of this high quality recording. For me, one of the most important qualities of a good narrator is the ability to produce well differentiated and consistent characters, a talent that Annie has in abundance. I also admire her ability to portray emotion - or lack of - in her characters, there no overacting here. Excellent job which added to my enjoyment of this book.Source: Own copy

  • Don
    2019-05-05 18:25

    Hugh Fraser_HARMLike many other novels the lure and first chapter sounded promising. However the good part there ended. From there on it appeared to tell a story of a detective who was either a drug runner, murdered her husband or was doing her job. I just couldn't follow. Maybe it was a book to read rather than listen to.Chapters often seemed to end with the lead female character in a state of undress and heading for a bedroom with another female, only to find to be followed by a page, or chapter, which was apparently unrelated.At one instance Rina, the lead character was in Mexico preparing for a drug running rip into the United States. Lo and behold turn the page, so to speak, and she was boarding a plane, in the USA, bound for England.Unfortunately the narrator, in my opinion did little to help separate characters, plots or settings. As previously stated I believe narrators make or break audio books. In this case the narrator was middle of the road leaning towards the lower end of the scale.As mentioned, I read the blurb, and liked the concept of the plot. However, I did spik the date mentioned and di not note that it was 1974 and magazines were still apparently publishing articles about how Jackie Kennedy decorated the Whitehouse.I also listened to an included preview of the author’s next offering, which after Harm, I won't be borrowing.It will be interesting to see the Goodreads reviews for Harm, as I am giving it a lowly ONE star. It was interesting to see other readers' ratings. Apparently I am only one of two who feel this way.

  • MMayes
    2019-05-20 13:10

    Cycles of violenceA fast-paced thriller/crime novel, which is particularly good in terms of description of period and setting. I imagine it would make an exciting and dynamic film; indeed, many of the descriptive passages have the terse clarity of screenplay directions. Ultra violent in places and at times sexually explicit, it offers a neat structure that makes use of a dual narrative (set in the 50s and 70s, respectively), illustrating why the central character has turned out the way she has. The plot keeps the reader hooked by means of sudden reversals in the fortunes of its heroine, Rina Walker. A central message of this novel would be that violence and abuse undeniably breeds more of the same.

  • Art
    2019-05-21 21:21

    Phenomenal!The greatest thing about this is that I was able to get a free copy of this book. Having said that, I would gladly pay full price! The story relentlessly grips you from the first page and doesn't let up until the last. Very well written dialogue, apt descriptions of the countryside, fast-paced action, even a little romantic twist thrown in for good measure. Highly recommended for any fans of old school action and adventure! Absolutely cannot wait to read the next book!

  • Martha
    2019-05-16 18:05

    Not my usual kind of reading, but definitely kept my attention from the beginning and throughout. The words painted a vivid picture and was intense at times. Mr. Fraser writes the story in a way for the reader to be drawn into this different world. Being able to visualize the places and people made for a fiercly enjoyable reading experience. Sometimes the picture painted was a bit too graphic for me, but most of it was necessary to further the story.

  • Jim D
    2019-05-26 16:20

    What a neat find! If you like action packed books with a well drawn out heroine, this is the book for you . She is forced into a life of crime to save her family in 1950's England and ends up being a first class assassin . Th book rotates between England, Mexico, and Texas and is so fast paced i couldnt put it down. Thankfully, the ending, while satisfying, begins a trilogy of this young woman. Definitely worth reading if you like strong female action characters..

  • Jack Swanzy
    2019-05-02 13:11

    This story features simplistic, unrealistic action sequences with fairly good main character development. It starts with a florid scene description, which made me hesitate about reading on, but the author recovers by chapter 2 and paints a convincing picture of Rina's backstory, which is told in alternating chapters with good effect.

  • alexander silagin
    2019-05-25 16:19

    Great readI read the second book first but it the end it didn't matter. Good writing, good story, good characters. Enjoyed it a lot. Bright light amidst bleak novels. Looking forward to new one coming in a month!

  • Kath
    2019-05-11 20:09

    So, Captain Hastings has written a book. Well, it's his alter-ego Hugh Fraser actually but you know what I mean! That in itself was enough to pique my interest but, when I read the blurb and found out it was a crime/thriller/action book, I knew I definitely wanted to read it. And read it I did. Devoured it really! Start to finish in a day, only stopping for life's necessities. Totally gripping and absorbing and I had a blast whilst reading it!We meet Rina, a paid assassin on assignment in Mexico in 1974. A relatively simple assignment on paper but then there are... complications which spiral Rina out of her control. Pulling her hither and thither until she really doesn't know what way is up, let alone who to trust. Finally she decides that she will just have to go with what is happening, follow the commands of those who will keep her alive in that current moment. These action packed, high-octane chapters alternate with flashback chapters describing Rina's life in the 50s as she is growing up in London. Her background, home-life, friends and family, and these chapters describe key events in Rina's life that show how she ended up on the path that she finds herself on in the present (70s).In Rina, Hugh Fraser has created one heck of a character. Circumstances force her to grow up too soon but she never shies away from the additional, unwanted responsibilities that have been forced upon her. She's kick-ass, feisty, clever, loyal and pretty fearless. I want her in my corner when the chips are down for sure! Other characters in the book are all just as well described and, in the flashback parts especially, develop nicely throughout the book. Character actions, interactions and behaviours are all congruent with their defined personalities which made them all come across to me as totally believable. I do admit to being a little shocked at some of the language in the book but these were in context with both character and situation and I had to remind myself that it's Hugh Fraser who's the author and not Hastings!The action kicks off right from the first page and doesn't let up until the last. Some of the action was so thrilling that whilst I was reading, often I forgot to breathe and when the respite came, I found myself totally out of breath! Descriptive parts complement the narrative and thus enhance it rather than distract. I was especially moved by some of the descriptive elements in the flashback chapters. One of the things I really loved about this book was the setting of the two threads. I can't really explain why but the descriptions and actions described in the 70s Mexico chapters complemented those of 50s London perfectly. Maybe the polar opposite opulence against squalor of the two, alongside the constant of Rina's strength throughout had something to do with it. I would be interested how the author came to choose those two time/place combinations when originally plotting the book. Anyway, whatever it is that makes it work, to me it worked perfectly!By the end of the book I felt that I had really got to know Rina. I guess I'd almost started to consider her to be a friend - as much as you can befriend a character in a book anyway - and I really didn't want to leave her. She's another one of those characters that you really shouldn't like, definitely shouldn't root for cos she's a wrong 'un, but you just can't help yourself. A definite anti-hero. I'm a sucker for them!I know that some people have concerns or prejudices against so called "celebrity authors" but, if you do, please put them aside for this book. As a début in this genre, it is one of the best I've read and I read a LOT. I understand that this is the start of a series or at least there is a follow-up out soon. I'm definitely putting that on my watch-list.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Rose
    2019-05-12 13:10

    Well hello there Rina! Nice to meet you. I don't want to cross paths with you but would love to see you in action. Kicking butt with your bare hands and taking names. Always maintaining your composure and completing the job.Your loyalty to your family showed your true love. Stepping up to take care of them no matter what you had to do. It took a lot of guts to endure the pain, watch your mom suffering, and lose your dad and still trudge on. The devil visited and you took him out. You had a taste of blood and it was now vengeance for the better. Not quite a modern day Robin Hood but you took care of everyone in your circle. I hate how you kept your word shared your worth and were stabbed in the back. Put in a position you couldn't say no too. However you got to see some of the world. People were losing their heads to meet you. That should make you feel good. Your very own entourage and personal accommodations. I want an entourage. I want some people! The postcards you could have collected from all the cities you visited. Although postage would have been hard to come by from some places along with a pen to write it with. In the end love is over estimated and family will always leave you wondering.

  • Victoria Goldman
    2019-04-28 15:28

    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.

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-06 14:13

    As a child in 1950's Britain, Rina was forced into a life of crime. Now, 20 years on, she is in Mexico on a hit by choice, but she soon finds herself embroiled in a complicated game of cat and mouse, with so much doublecrossing going on that in the end, I just couldn't keep track of who were the good guys and who were the villains. It's an adrenalin-fuelled, explosive, fast-paced read with the body count climbing as high as the Mexican temperatures. Despite having a female lead, it will appeal to readers of both sexes and I was pleased to see a softer side to Rina coming out towards the end of the novel.