Tuesday 20 December 2022

Eastgate - J.D. Kirk - Robert Hoon Book 4

Robert Hoon Book 4
ISBN 9781912767687

This was the twentieth story from J.D. Kirk that I have given a read, over the last 10 months. I have also read three under the names Barry Hutchison and Barry J. Hutchison. I am hooked. I have read all the books in the DCI Logan and Robert Hoon Series. According to Kirk, the Hoon series is at an end. But I hope not. And the next Logan book is not due for a few months. So I am going back and reading his earlier works under the Hutchison names.

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 the next level. At first it appears to be one thing, but Hoon soon figures there is more at play here, and pieces it all together. 

The description of this novel is:

“Former Detective Superintendent, Bob Hoon, has had one hell of a year.

After being repeatedly beaten, shot at, blown-up, and tortured, Hoon is looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas drinking heavily in front of the TV, while pointedly ignoring the older sister who has invaded his home.

The world, however, has other plans.

When a routine trip to an Inverness shopping centre is interrupted by a squad of heavily armed Santas, Hoon, his sister, and an old army colleague find themselves trapped alongside several hundred terrified hostages.

With so much potential for bloodshed, the police gathering outside the centre can only wait, watch, and try to negotiate with the terrorists within.

But patience has never been Hoon’s strong point.

And so, if he and everyone else in the centre are going to make it home for Christmas, Hoon is left with only one choice.

He’s going to Die Hard the **** out of this thing.”

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 see the intelligence that led Hoon to rise to the rank of Detective Chief Inspector. We also see that he is willing to sacrifice for others. And even though he has a past filled with mistakes, he will do what is right. 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.”

This story reads like a mashup of Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and Fatman. But instead of a Saint Nick who heals from wounds you have Hoon willing to push through injury, pain, and likely his own death to save others and foil a huge plot! Like Die Hard it takes place during a single day, and what we at first think is happening is by far not the whole story. Like Lethal Weapon we have a few going against the many, mainly Hoon, his sister Berta, and Iris. There are a large number of kidnappers who have taken over a whole mall. They have hundreds of hostages and a ridiculous demand. As they are rounding up everyone in the mall Hoon gets missed. And soon he is off causing problems. He never says “Ho ho ho now I have a machine gun.” But he quickly takes out several adversaries and ups the any quickly. 

I have said before; 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 in this story he is just the wrong guy in the wrong place. And he is going to spoil a lot of people’s plans for the holidays! 

I want to warn readers that this story is violent, bloody, brutal and full of language, the language just as strong as the others, and if not more violent, but by far more gory. It is not for all readers. That being said it is an excellent thriller with a lot of action. It is a great story in an excellent series. I am looking forward to reading more of the Logan and hopefully Hoon novels and books from Kirk’s other pen names. It is an excellent read for fans of Reacher and Bourne, or anyone who loves great action flicks or books. It is an excellent Scottish thriller! Yet again 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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