Matt Helm prequel available

A 1963 re-issue of Death Of a Citizen

Death Of a Citizen, the original Matt Helm novel.

A prequel novel to Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm series of novels is out.

Matt Helm: the War Years is AVAILABLE ON KINDLE. The author, Keith Wease, says he has permission of the Hamilton family. Here’s how he described it on

Although a cold-blooded killer, Matt Helm has a superb sense of humor, a sharp opinion on just about everything, and is quite capable of falling in love (or lust) during his missions. This book is about his WWII experiences, from his initial recruitment into the agency, his training, and his missions during the war. Matt Helm fans will know the ending, but it would be a “spoiler” to mention it here.

I have been a Donald Hamilton fan since the 1960s and, when he died, decided to write the prequel. Having read the Matt Helm series several times, I researched everything Donald Hamilton wrote about Matt Helm’s wartime experiences and his pre-war life. Incorporating direct quotes from the books, and my own imagination, I filled in many of his mission details (including, of course, the one featuring Tina, who shows up in the first Matt Helm novel, Death of a Citizen) and added several of my own, trying to keep the narrative authentic to Donald Hamilton’s style.

The book was approved by Donald Hamilton’s son (who is CEO of the company holding the rights), who told me that I had “captured Don’s voice quite successfully” and that it was “All in all, a quite good read!”

Hamilton wrote 27 Helm novels, starting with 1960’s Death Of a Citizen, through 1993. Hamilton also wrote an unpublished 28th novel that the family is holding onto in case a new Matt Helm movie develops. Hamilton died in 2006.

Titan Books has also republished the first four Helm novels: Death Of a Citzen, The Wrecking Crew, The Removers and The Silencers.

6 Responses

  1. If the book is a poorly written as the ‘product description’ and the crap cover, it will be excruciating … While the book may be ‘approved’ there is certainly no commercial power behind it … You would think a NEW Matt Helm book would get at least a little of the same type of publicity that a new Bond or Sherlock book garners …

  2. The Titan Books reprints of the early Helms are now available at Amazon.

  3. I’ve read it and found it to be a great read. You’re right in that at this moment it is just a self published ebook by the author, but that may change if the hardback rights are picked up. Helm books are not generally politically correct and the MSM has never for years beaten the drum for Helm. But if you ARE a Helm fan, this book is right for you.

  4. I’m confused. If D. Hamilton sold the Matt Helm rights in perpetuity to Columbia (Sony) for all present and future Helm books and movies in the 60’s how could Hamilton’s OK the rights to this book?

  5. Last we heard, Dreamworks had purchased an option on all the Hamilton Helm novels. Not sure Columbia’s deal was in perpetuity.

  6. Check further and you might find that Dreamworks’ deal for the rights is with Columbia/Sony. When I tried to get the rights just before Dreamworks stepped in they seemed to be in perpetuity with Columbia /Sony which surprised the #$%# out of me. If not was the Dreamworks deal with Hamilton’s son?

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