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Poirot’s partner returns with third instalment in crime thriller book series

PUBLISHED: 13:32 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:32 06 June 2017

Hugh Fraser at home in Woodbridge. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Hugh Fraser at home in Woodbridge. Picture: PHIL MORLEY


A Suffolk based actor and author, known for his role as companion to Hercule Poirot, is sending the heroine of his crime novel series on a third ‘visit to the dark side’.

Hugh Fraser, who played Captain Hastings opposite David Suchet’s detective in Agatha Christie’s Poirot, releases the third part of the Rina Walker saga on June 15.

The Woodbridge resident wrote Malice following two earlier novels, Harm and Threat, which follow the central character’s adventures trough London’s 1960s criminal underworld.

Inspiration came from the city street photos of Roger Mayne and Bert Hardy along with the author’s own experience of Notting Hill before its mid-20th century redevelopment.

Previous books found Walker hired by a Soho vice king to investigate the disappearance of girls from his clubs, and wreaking revenge on a local gangster for attacking her younger sister.

This time, she is assigned to kill the rival of a West London crime boss a task that pits her against a more sinister enemy.

An overview of the plot promises big twists along the way and even hints at another novel, with Walker “ready for her next adventure” by the story’s end.

Mr Fraser said his on-screen experience helped provide the skills necessary for cultivating a character to watch ripen.

“Acting gives you access to dialogue, and the words on the page inform the characters, bringing them to life, so that as a performer and as a writer their personal traits develop organically,” he explained.

“This is invaluable when creating characters in my novels.

“I have no set writing process and tend not to plan the story in advance. Once I have established the setting, Rina seems to take over.

“It was a pleasure to ride shotgun with Rina again on her latest visit to the dark side.”

Malice, already available as an e-book, is released by Urbane Publications on June 15.

Publishing director, Matthew Smith said the books offered something genuinely original to even the most avid thriller fans.

“The third book in the series sees Rina continue to evolve as a character both more confident in her deadly abilities, and more assured about her motives and her relationships,” he added.

“Hugh’s peerless recreation of the 60s locations, characters and vibe give the book a compelling background.”

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