Kiwi spy thriller gets good reviews

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THRILLER: David McGill holds a copy of his latest book The Plot To Kill Peter Fraser.

By David Haxton

Paekakariki author David McGill's latest novel, a spy thriller, is getting favourable reviews.

His book The Plot To Kill Peter Fraser is an engrossing story about real people and real events, except for the assassination plot, which never happened.

The book features Prime Minister Peter Fraser who returns to New Zealand in 1945 after playing a major part in shaping the United Nations.

"In the process he has made powerful enemies, who are aware he has dissolved his country's Security Intelligence Bureau," Mr McGill said.

"The Commissioner of Police charges Detective Delaney with tracking down ex-Nazi assassins through Wellington's black market underworld before they can strike a prime minister refusing security.

"It is my second outing for Detective Delaney, who was protecting a scientist on Somes Island in 1935 in The Death Ray Debacle.

"I wanted to continue with the detective and to recreate another period of Wellington history, drawing on a professional lifetime as a journalist and author writing about the capital's heritage."

Mr McGill said it was also an opportunity to explore Fraser's career, which reached a pinnacle in 1945.

"I knew his granddaughter, the actress Alice Fraser, and she told me stories about how he inspired her career.

"In my novel she has a crucial part to play as a 10 year old."

The book took about two years to write.

"It took that long to do the research and then keep it from swamping the narrative, working out how to marry real events and the kind of intrigue I enjoy reading in the likes of Graham Greene and John Le Carre.

"I was aware that an Australian reviewer of my previous book did say the sheer amount of detail did make the balance between thriller and historical retelling a bit wobbly.

"This time it was pleasing to have a New Zealand reviewer saying the Fraser book 'unfolds with twists, turns and lots of action' and she liked New Zealand 'plonk in the middle of international political history', with Wellington 'a cosmopolitan city of cabarets, cliques and conspiracies'.

"I set out to have action in every chapter."

The book is on sale for $29.95 at Unity Books and Whitcoulls in Wellington as well as at the Paraparaumu Library Murder in the Library gathering from 6.30pm on May 29 or via www.davidmcgill.co.nz with free postage.

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