Friday 17 June 2022

Southpaw - J.D. Kirk - Robert Hoon Book 2

Robert Hoon Book 2
ISBN 9781912767618

This was the fifth novel from J.D. Kirk that I have given a read. I am hooked. I will read all the books in the DCI Logan and Robert Hoon Series. Right now I am reading 2 Logan and then inserting a Hoon.

After reading the first book in the DCI Logan Series, A Litter of Bones, I picked up the first Hoon and the next few Logan. I had picked that one Bones for a few reasons, but mainly because authors Alex Smith and JE Mayhew have both recommended the author and series. I am a big fan of Smith’s DCI Kett novels and Mayhew’s DCI Will Blake Series. And having ripped through both of their series and slowing working through all of Mayhew’s others works I decided to give this one a try. I can see the comparisons with both Smith and Mayhew’s works. I would set the DCI Logan stories right in the middle, Smiths are darker and more brutal, and Mayhew’s typically focused a little more on the mystery. The Hoon stories on the other hand are proving just as dark and brutal as Smith’s. The Hoon books are more Crime thriller’s than mysteries. The stories race from start to finish at break neck speeds and a few necks get broken along the way.

The description of this novel is:

“Ex-Police Scotland detective, Bob Hoon, has made himself some powerful enemies.

Following his brutal search for the missing daughter of an old army colleague, Hoon is being hunted by the Loop, a secretive criminal cabal with members in very high places and a tendency to eliminate all those who stand against it.

Unfortunately for them, Hoon has never been one to back down from a fight, and he isn’t about to start now. Instead, he’s going to burn their whole damn organisation to the ground.

But first, he’s going to have to get inside.

He may be a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking psychopath with a death wish, but Bob Hoon is about to do something he hasn’t done in years.

He’s going undercover.”

I said before that the character of Hoon is over the top. He exemplifies the stereotypes taken to an extreme. But in this story we see some of his redeeming characteristics. Kirk in the afterword of the first Hoon Novel informed us that:

“This book was always going to be a challenge.

When I first introduced the then Detective Superintendent Bob Hoon in my DCI Logan crime fiction series, he was so foul-mouthed and unpleasant as to feel almost irredeemable. A larger than life bully with a penchant for bad language, Hoon was a deliberately over the top caricature—a barely human monster who existed largely to make the lives of the other characters that bit more difficult.
Some readers hated him. Others, inexplicably, adored him. And, as the series progressed, I took a perverse delight in making Bob that bit worse in every book. He was a thug, a drunk, and an ever present pain in the arse.

In late 2020, I first had the idea of giving Hoon his own novel. It was ridiculous, I knew. Here was a character so thoroughly unpleasant that even if readers enjoyed his scenes, surely they couldn’t cope with a full length novel in which he took centre stage? Surely they couldn’t actually empathise with such a man and cheer him on?

I tried to push the idea from my mind, but Hoon—because this is what he does—soon forced his way back in. The man is nothing if not persistent, and before long I had stopped thinking about whether it was possible for readers to root for him, and had started thinking about the how.”

And the series originally planned as a trilogy now has a fourth book announced. I sort of hope this and the DCI Logan Series become like Douglas Adams trilogy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, of 6 books. Or like Piers Anthony’s Xanth which started as a trilogy and it now has a total of 45 books in print and 3 more announced. I am hooked on the character of Hoon I have read 2 and pre-ordered the next in the series. Hoon reminds me think of Alex Smith’s DCI Kett, especially his short spell off the force. He is over the top, foul mothed, and eager to use violence as a blunt instrument to find out what he needs to know. He is not above manipulating people. But he is on the quest for find out what happened to a friend’s daughter, a friend who he owes a lot. He has leads to chase he will leave no stone unturned. And he will put himself in the part of harm and risk, not only on this mission but for a young boxer he meets and takes under his wing. 

I still want to warn readers that this story is violent, bloody, brutal and full of language. It is not for all readers. That being said it is an excellent thriller with a lot of action. This offering was not as graphically brutal as the first. But some of the crimes being alluded to are even worse. A great story in what is shaping up to be an excellent series. I am looking forward to reading more of the Logan and Hoon novels and books from Kirk’s other pen names.  

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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