Thursday 18 August 2022

Westward - J.D. Kirk - Robert Hoon Book 3

Robert Hoon Book 3
ISBN 9781912767632

This was the tenth story from J.D. Kirk that I have given a read, over the last few months. 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, which is about the pace the Hoon books are being released. 

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, and this one maybe even more so. The Hoon books are more thriller’s than mysteries. This story took the Robert Hoon saga to a whole new level. This one was not the race the previous offering was. But going home is never an easy decision, neither is asking for hel.

The description of this novel is:

“Disgraced ex-cop Robert Hoon has crossed the wrong people for the last time.

Having struck a humiliating blow against the criminal network known as the Loop, Hoon has been targeted by the Alphas, an elite squad of assassins who will not stop until he is dead.

Outnumbered, outgunned, and on unfamiliar territory, Hoon’s only chance of survival lies several hundred miles north, in a place he knows better than anyone else on Earth.

He swore he’d never set foot there again, but almost four decades after he left, Bob Hoon is finally going home.”

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 even more of his redeeming characteristics. We find out a fair bit more about his past. This story has no preface or afterward by Kirk, but 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.”

At the end there is confirmation of a fourth book. 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 3 and if a pre-ordered of the next in the series was available it would have been ordered. I started this the day it released, and read it over a few very busy days at work and home. It was terribly hard to put down. 

Hoon 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 after his quest to recover his friend’s daughter, a friend who he owes a lot, he now knows about The Loop and though he might not be able to get them all, he is determined to make a serious dent in their operation. But in this story he is kidnapped, beat up, chased all over the country, all because of a stupid ostrich. But as Hoon prepares to make a last stand reminiscent of Skyfall, he turns to one of the few people he ever really looked up to. And even pulls in a few surprising allies. 

I want to warn readers that this story is violent, bloody, brutal and full of language, the language just as strong as the others, but maybe not as violent. 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 two. 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. It is an excellent read for fans of Reacher and Bourne. It is an excellent Scottish thriller! Top marks.   

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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