11 October, 2021

#GuestPost :: The Trouble with Hoon by J.D.Kirk, Author of Northwind (Robert Hoon Thrillers #1) #Mystery #Thriller


Former soldier. Ex-copper. Current man on the edge.

Shunned by his old colleagues, and dividing his time between a dead-end job and the bottom of a whisky bottle, former Police Scotland Detective Superintendent Bob Hoon’s life is a mess.

Then an old face from Hoon’s Special Forces days turns up asking for help: his teenage daughter has been missing for months, the police have drawn a blank, and he needs the kind of help that only Hoon can provide.

And besides, Hoon owes him one.

From the Highlands of Scotland, to the mean streets of London, Hoon’s relentless hunt for the girl will see him make new friends and encounter old enemies. Enemies who know what happened to the girl. And to hundreds more like her.

But Hoon’s been given something that makes him dangerous, something he thought he’d long-since lost: a purpose.
He may be a disgraced ex-copper, a barely-functioning alcoholic, and a borderline psychopath, but Bob Hoon still believes in justice.

And he’s just the foul-mouthed **** to dish some out.

Book Links:

The Trouble with Hoon

It was asking for trouble, really.

When I first created the character of Detective Superintendent Robert Hoon, nobody was every supposed to like him. Not really. As the foil to the lead character in my DCI Logan series, Hoon was everything that could possibly be wrong with a boss. He was perpetually angry, constantly belittling everyone around him, and explosively—if creatively—foul-mouthed.

And yet, despite all his many, many faults, and my best efforts to make him as unlikeable as possible, I started to get regular emails from readers who couldn’t get enough of him. They found his outbursts and put-downs hilarious, and soon I was getting more emails about Hoon than about any other character in the series.

That’s not to say they were all positive. For every Hoonigan who adored the cantankerous old goat, there was another who (rightly) despised him. Readers who would literally skip his scenes rather than endure his bad attitude and even worse language.

I tried to get rid of him at one point. Around midway through the current DCI Logan series, Hoon leaves the police force. I thought that would be the end of him, but suddenly, out of nowhere, he appeared in the next book, taking me completely by surprise.

He showed up in the book after that, too. And the next one. They were never big parts—a few lines here and there, or a short scene—but those readers who loved him were over the moon.

What’s more, a few of the readers who had previously told me how much they hated him admitted that maybe, just maybe, their opinion of him was softening. Now that he was no longer in a position of authority, I was able to offer a few glimpses of his softer side, and even his biggest detractors seemed to be warming to him just a little.

And that’s when I got to thinking…

Could I take this monstrous, awful human being and give him his own novel?

Could I remain true to his character and yet somehow get readers not just to tolerate him, but to root for him? To cheer his victories and worry over his safety?

Could I turn this mostly two-dimensional ‘angry boss’ caricature into a living, breathing character that could sustain a full book?

It would be difficult, I knew, but the more I thought about it, the more determined I became to give it a try. And not just one book, either, because why go easy on myself? No, I’d do a trilogy! Three full novels about one of the most horrible people in the DCI Logan series, killers included.

Everyone I spoke to about it said it was madness. They said it couldn’t—or possibly shouldn’t—be done.

And yet, here we are, with the release of Northwind, the first book in the trilogy, and I’m nervously waiting to find out if all those naysayers were right!

I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, and writing this book was definitely that. It would have been easy to make Hoon ‘nicer’ for his solo adventure, but that wouldn’t be fair to readers, or to the character as he currently stood.

I knew the character couldn’t just be Bob Hoon in name only, he had to be the same character readers already knew from the Logan books, complete with quick temper and filthy mouth.

Of course, 70,000 words of a man angrily swearing would rapidly become pretty tedious. With more time to spend in Hoon’s company, I realised that it was an opportunity to show other aspects of his personality. Nobody, not even him, is furious all the time, so I got to discover what he was like when his blood wasn’t boiling.

I got to explore his past, and to find out what made him the man he is today. I got to see him through the eyes of those who’ve known him longest, and discover what really makes a man like Hoon tick.

The result is, I hope a far more complex and richly drawn character than the one readers are used to, while retaining all the elements they love—or love to hate.

At this point in Hoon’s life, it has been several months since he left the police. He has spent most of that time watching the world pass him by through the bottom of a whisky bottle. But, when an old friend from his military days turns up asking for help, Hoon is giving something he thought he’d long-since lost. 

Something that makes him very dangerous.

A purpose.

I’ve written a dozen DCI Logan novels, but Hoon’s first solo outing was harder to write than all of them. It was also arguably more fun, and freed from the shackles of police procedure, Hoon really gets to enjoy himself, too!

Now, I just need to wait and see if Hoon has managed to win over any of his harshest critics.

I’ve a feeling they’ll be in touch to tell me, soon enough…

About the Author:

JD Kirk is the pen name of multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, and writer of comics, Barry Hutchison.

Born and raised in Fort William in the Highlands of Scotland, Barry/JD (take your pick) wanted to be a writer from the age of nine, after a kindly librarian wrote his name on the spine of a notebook in which he’d written a terrible short story and put it on the shelf.

Since then, he has written over 140 books for children as Barry Hutchison, over 15 books for adults as Barry J. Hutchison, and is now thoroughly enjoying murdering people as JD Kirk.

Barry still lives in Fort William with his wife and two children.

He has no idea what the JD stands for.

J.D.Kirk on the Web:

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