Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Chance Kill: Darkly Ironic WWII Thriller by @LettersPaul, Review & #Giveaway

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Please join author Paul Letters as he tours the blogosphere for A Chance Kill, from April 6-10.
Publication Date: February 26, 2015
Silverwood Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 300
Genre: Historical Fiction

02_A Chance Kill_Cover A Chance Kill is a wartime thriller where an old-fashioned love story forges through a conspiracy of authentic, action-filled adventures.
Based upon the author’s grandmother’s experience, seventeen-year-old Polish catholic Dyta ZajÄ…c 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. 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…


It was Dyta, the female protagonist, who attracted me to this novel.  I hadn't read a book dealing centrally with a non-Jewish Polish woman who is involved in the struggle against the Nazis.  All the books I'd previously encountered that took place in Poland during WWII were focused on Jews trying to survive the Holocaust.  So this is an unusual perspective for me.  Dyta also has some formidable skills that would make her stand out in any context.
Paul Letters likes to employ dark irony.  I enjoy the cleverness of irony in the context of satire. In a serious novel dark irony intensifies tragic events and gives them more impact.  I appreciate that this is the author's goal. Dark irony shocks readers.  It makes a dark book feel even darker.  Those who are familiar with my reviews know that I don't prefer dark fiction.  Yet whether 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. I always hoped as I was reading A Chance Kill that she would ultimately prevail regardless of the tribulations that she experienced.

I did notice that this author has a tendency to utilize expository lumps for the purpose of characterization as if he wanted to get characterization out of the way so he could focus on action.  For me, action scenes that contain little in the way of characterization seem very dry.  If  I'm not reviewing a book, my normal habit is to skim the details.  I had to fight that proclivity while Tom, the RAF pilot male protagonist, was battling Messerschmitts.

Both the protagonists are well-intentioned people with blind spots based on assumptions.  They grow beyond their assumptions to become stronger individuals.   The crucible of war also shapes their lives in ways that they never expected.  Tom is not as unusual as Dyta, but he is courageous and tries to be principled.

Let me point out that although this book contains romance, it definitely isn't part of the romance genre.  Letters is under no obligation to provide his readers with a HEA ending.  From a relationship perspective, this book ends on a cliffhanger note.  There will be a sequel, and we will presumably find out whether the romance survives.  

Since I am interested in aviation, I wanted to find out more about the planes that play a part in A Chance Kill.  I was particularly intrigued by the  RAF's Mosquitos which were known as Mossies. They were faster and more maneuverable than anything that the Germans had, and they were made of wood.  Here's an article about them on Wikipedia.  I was so impressed with them that I'm giving this book an extra bike.


Buy A Chance Kill

Amazon UK

About the Author

03_Paul Letters_AuthorAuthor Paul Letters deals with a physical disability (which is twisted and transposed to a character in A Chance Kill). It prompted Paul to change his life and give up full-time teaching to write. He studied history, education, international affairs and literary journalism at the Universities of Cardiff, Oxford and Hong Kong.
Paul is from England and now lives in the jungled fringes of Hong Kong. He writes freelance journalism, most often for the South China Morning Post, and is currently working on a World War Two novel set in Hong Kong.
For more information please visit Paul Letters’ website. You can also find him on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter. Follow the WWII 75 Years On Twitter page for daily tweets on what happened in history 75 years ago.

A Chance Kill Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, April 6
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, April 7
Review at Books and Benches
Spotlight at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Wednesday, April 8
Review at Quirky Book Reviews
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Thursday, April 9
Review at History From A Woman’s Perspective
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Friday, April 10
Review at The Great Reads!
Interview at Back Porchervations
Guest Post at History From A Woman’s Perspective
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

A Chance Kill Giveaway


  1. Great review. I think it is the different perspective that caught me too.

  2. This sounds like an exciting read with lots of history. My kind of book! I have added it to my TBR list.