The year after god invented dirt I came up with the idea of developing Turner Hahn and Frank Morales . . . the two homicide cops that are the main go-to guys in this book. Uh . . . . maybe I'm stretching the time line a little bit about when Turner and Frank came to mind . . . but you get the general idea. It was some time ago.
I've been reading the detective/mystery genre for more than . . . . uh, hell! That long?! . . . . fifty goddamn years! Half a fracken century. And yeah, over the last fifty years I've seen a lot of trends come and go in this venerable old fart of a genre. Some good. Lot's on the 'what the hell!?' side of the coin.
Take, for instance; the 'main chartacter' or 'hero' of our imaginations. Over the years we've seen the demise of the Phillip Marlowe kind of guy . . . you know, the honorable wreck of a near-alcoholic who fights in the back alleys of crime trying to right the world in a world that doesn't care anymore . . . to the certifiably homicidal killer molded in the guise of Lee Child's Reacher, or Robert Crais' Joe Pike. Or we have Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne. (note how I put the spy/adventure sub-genre into the mainstay of mystery/detective? Sorry, that's just a tic of mine).
Don't care how you want to slice and dice it; look deep into the psyches of all three characters listed and you have to agree these guys would rather kill you than look at you. Not that I'm saying it bad, mind you. So happens I like to read all three of them. With my preference leaning toward a good Jason Bourne tale.
But the point is this; what happened to the honorable, traditional, god-I-need-one! . . . traditional hero?
I think it's time to resurrect'em. Sure, there are authors and characters out there that I haven't read that will undoubtedly fit this bill. But when Turner and Frank came along I hadn't seen one for decades. I read and read and never found a story, or a character, I truly thought satisfied the needs I had for a good book/series/long term relationship.
So I decided to create them. Two of them. Make them homicide detectives. Make one just as good, and as interesting, as the other. Make both of them have their own unique characteristics. Individually Turner Hahn is an equal to Frank Morales when it comes to solving a homicide case. Neither plays the traditionally second-fiddle to the other. Each bring to the detective team talents uniquely their own. Not the least of which is their respective sense of humor.
Yeah. A little humor in a good 'whodunit.' What the hell! Don't care what the 'experts' say; I find that a little humor in even the darkest of stories makes the darkness even more bleak . . . and the story even more compelling.
In A Taste of Old Revenge Turns out to be a three-dimensional human being. You find out that he has his weaknesses as well as his strengths. You find out about what happened to his mother and father. About the farm he grew up on. About suddenly becoming unimaginably rich. And about what the sudden acquisition of vast wealth does to his relationships with his peers in the police department. And you get to meet Turner's grandfather. Brother, are you in store for a surprise here! Gramps is one interested dude.
You get to meet Frank Morales' wife. His kids. You get to taste and appreciate Frank's intellect. He may look like a genetic throwback to pre Cro-Magnon Man . . . but the guy is one smart critter! Best of all, you get to see Frank as the head-investigator in his own homicide case. See how he ticks. See how he moves.
I like these two guys. Each is what I think a 'hero' should be. Each have their own foibles. Their own susceptibilities. Their own strengths. But at the end of the day you'll come to two definite conclusions. They are both interesting to be around. And they are both honorable.
There are a number of Turner/Frank novels coming down the pike. At least three more novels in the immediate future already started. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping A Taste of Old Revenge will kick start the series into high gear.
But really, that depends up to you, the reader, doesn't it?
But hell! What do you have to lose by throwing down five bucks and loading it up on your e-reader? Ya can't even go to McDonalds and have a burger and fries for five bucks! Give'em a try. I betcha ya won't be disappointed.