By Alan Hescott
Two agents – one in England, one in Germany; both against Hitler – both determined to save him. Why?
Publication date: July 2020Buy
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1944, The German generals have tried and failed to kill the Fuhrer. Disappointment in London is slowly replaced by relief in some quarters, as realisation dawns that without Hitler Germany could still win the war. Major Jago Craze, commanding officer of the Special Operations team charged with assassinating Hitler, changes his order to his agents on Obersalzberg, from killing the beast, to protecting him from his own turncoats. Britain is divided and many would welcome an alliance with a Prussianised Germany as an ally against Soviet Russia.
Elements at MI6 and a shadowy British fascist group, The Link [that really existed], want Hitler dead to help the formation of a Nordic alliance. They declare ‘war’ on Jago and he is vulnerable, not just to their threats on his life, but because he is homosexual and fears the British police in the same fashion that Gabriel Zobel, Jago’s agent on Obersalzberg, fears the Gestapo.
Gabriel is a Swiss soldier of fortune who has served in the Condor Legion fighting for Franco in Spain, and the Nord Division of the S.S. fighting the Russians above the Arctic Circle. He is a decorated war hero of the Reich. Wounded twice, he now commands the Fuhrer’s close bodyguard, known colloquially as the Old Hares. Ironically, he is also a British agent. Jago and Gabriel, so different in many ways, have one thing in common: they are both in love for the first time and this puts them both in danger.
Alan was born into a working-class family in West London; his grandfather was a local road-sweeper and his dad worked as a labourer at a papermill. He left his secondary modern school aged 15 and a few years later went to drama school. Alan trained as an actor and worked in theatre and television. He was a member of Richard Eyre’s company at the Nottingham Playhouse. During this time Alan began to write.
His plays have been produced by The Derby Playhouse, The Leicester Haymarket Theatre, The Arcola, and The Nottingham Playhouse.
Alan has written extensively for screen and for radio. He was nominated for a Writers Guild Award, and has written for BAFTA award winning television.
In his sixties Alan returned to university. Saving Hitler is Alan’s first novel, and came from an idea he had while undertaking post-graduate studies in the Department Of War Study at King’s College London.
It felt like coming to from an operation, as he had that time in his childhood when he’d had his tonsils removed; befuddled by the dregs of the anaesthetic and being shaken awake by a nurse. The confusion and panic were the same. Two figures loomed over his bed. They were made shadows by the smoke that was attempting to smother him. He was pulled roughly out from under the sheets and upright, where the sudden heat made him want to crouch back down. He was drowning in air, in thick clogging air. He felt his lungs working like bellows, desperately seeking to fill him with fresh oxygen, only to be frustrated by the smoke.
They pulled him to the door in the corner of his basement bedroom that led to his tiny courtyard garden. The door was open already and hanging from hinges. Jago was bundled through and a great waft of smoke followed him, as if it too were trying to escape the blaze. He had seen no flames but the scorch in the air had made the assumption of fire inescapable. As he bent double and threw up, supported by the firemen, he realised he had been rescued and that he had been bombed.
- 20th November 2020 Shared World
Update on Wolf Trap’s launch party: I have done my best to cope with this new world of the virus, but now I have to confess to being totally zoomed out. So, for those of you who generously pledged for the launch party can I ask you to hang on for a little bit longer? When it’s safe for us all to meet again I’d like to hold a book party at the Union Club in Soho. I want us to be able to get together…3rd May 2020 WHEN THE ALL-CLEAR SOUNDS
Having a book published in a time of plague can seem like a disaster but compared to people really suffering it’s a high-class problem. Basically, the launch party has to be postponed until a healthier time. Those people kind enough to pledge for the event will be invited to later party; not so much a launch as a celebration.
There’s so much comparison to war in our current emergency. I have…7th November 2019 Wolf Trap
SAVING HITLER will be published in March 2020, but it will have a new title; WOLF TRAP. I am learning the ways of a new industry – the name of a real historical figure in the title suggests the book is a work of non-fiction. So, a story I have lived with for five years now has a new name. It’s as if a child on its first day at school is given a fresh identity, but I understand why and I will get used…22nd July 2019 A big thank you to all my supporters
We've done it! Just under 6 months after the novel went live on Unbound we have reached our target and we're now fully funded!
Thanks to everyone who has pledged. It means a great deal to me that we're there and we can now move on to the next, very exciting stage of getting the manuscript ready. I'll be keeping you up to date with my progress as the novel goes through the editing process, and it…24th May 2019 The Forgetting School
We're really getting there - we're very close to our target. With a handful more plegdes we'll be 3/4 of the way there. Last week Unbound were promoting the novel in their 'Almost There' campaign, and it's exciting to see us getting close. With each new pledge I remember that's one more person reading the story I've written. I am grateful for everyone who has bought a copy of the book. I have one…18th March 2019 International Women's Day and Saving Hitler
What has International Women’s Day to do with my novel Saving Hitler? Celebrating the Day made me think about who my female heroines are. Which women had affected and shaped my life? Out of a sea of possibilities floated three obscure women. Women that in weird and wonderful ways re-entered my life as inspiration for characters in my book.
I was useless at school, dyslexic before the word existed…10th February 2019 Looking back at the research now that we've reached the half way point
Today the pledges broke the 50% barrier and we are now more than halfway to our goal. Feeling a bit overwhelmed I picked up again the cause of all the fuss. I looked through the manuscript of SAVING HITLER for the first time in months. I came to the section where my protagonist Jago Craze discovers the extent and reach of Fascist groups and societies in wartime Britain. I write of his amazement in…1st February 2019 One author in search of some readers
Now that I’ve hit the 30% target I thought it was about time I updated you on the progress of getting Saving Hitler published.
I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to everyone who has pledged so far. You never quite know with this kind of project whether your work will capture people's imaginations or not, but there’s a hidden crowd funding rule that those projects that hit 30% in their…
These people are helping to fund Wolf Trap.
Rhel ná DecVandé
Meg Gordon Sussman