B.R. Stateham has created a resilient and popular character in Smitty. His hit man is a subtle balance of hard and likeable, no mean feat. Stateham’s writing never disappoints, as his latest Smitty tale, There Are No Heroes, shows.
Smitty how would you carry out a hit on a high profile figure and escape detection?
Of course this is a speculative question which has no linkage into reality whatsoever. With that in mind, let me say that the direct approach is out of the question. Too many witnesses, too many unforeseeable factors eliminates this approach. Indirection, even subterfuge, is required. That and large amounts of time needed in researching the target’s peculiarities. Where does he go, what time does he get up, what daily routines does he exhibit. Everyone has a routine in their daily life. Death, many times, comes when one least expects it and never observes it until it is too late.
Tell us about your latest assignment and your connection to a man called B.R. Stateham.
Currently you could say I am between assignments. There was a situation a few weeks back where I had to assist an agent working for an unnamed governmental agency in obtaining a briefcase of confidential information. Fortunately the briefcase was obtained with little fanfare. However my assistance resulted in the necessity of removing myself from the public for a few weeks.
As to my relationship with B.R. Stateham; let us just say that I am acquainted with the writer and find his lurid, but of course quite fictional, tales of my cases quite entertaining to read.
What is your weapon of choice and have you ever carried out a hit using a fruit or a vegetable?
The choice of weapon depends upon two things: (1) the client’s wishes, and (2) the ability and ease of making a quick retreat from the kill zone.
Sometimes a client will make certain request to ‘send a message’ to the survivors of a hit. A clear and succinct announcement informing others of the client’s intentions. That means sometimes a bomb will be used that explodes with the largest audience present. Or sometimes poison will be used at, say, a dinner party where the quarry dies in a most . . . unusual . . . fashion. Again, with an audience looking on in macabre fascination.
But my preference is a switch-blade. A weapon that makes the hit up close and personal. A death should be up close and personal, don’t you think?
As to the last part of your question; using a fruit or vegetable as a weapon. Once there was a hit where I used a Tangerine to suffocate a particularly nasty racketeer who had an inability to breathe through his nose.
So Smitty what are you up to and tell me about the women in your life.
Several potential clients are mulling over asking me for help. One, interestingly enough, is a boy of about fifteen or sixteen who wants me to prove his father is innocent of a charge of murder. All the evidence suggests otherwise. I’m leaning toward accepting this one.
As to the women in my life . . . let us just say only two have seriously affected me; my wife (deceased) and a high class prostitute by the name of Charlene Hicks. We’ll not discuss the why or how of my wife’s sudden death (or the equally sudden death of my twin brother at
approximately the same time) but if you’re interested, B.R. Stateham has penned a quite colorful story about this incident entitled There Is No Johnny–Just Call Me Smitty. The story can be found in the first volume of the Call Me Smitty anthologies that is available as an ebook.
As to Charlene Hicks . . . you’ll soon be reading about her in a book called Retribution. For some reason B.R. Stateham suspects a longer, more informative expose of one of my contracts would be welcomed by the public. I am told it is the first full length novel of my, shall we say, rather adventurous life. It should be out sometime this year.
Smitty thank you for an insightful and entertaining interview.