Hunter Kerr - created by Michael Fowler
Introducing Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr.
DS Hunter Kerr is a ‘fly by the seat of his pants’ detective, who doesn’t always lead by example, but his moral compass is to always do right by the victims and bring the bad guys to justice, (whether it be by fair means or foul).
Hunter started his existence as a rookie cop in my early writings; in 1995 he appeared in my first police procedural ‘Loitering with Intent.’ The essence of that book was based on some of my own early experiences as a cop, which I dramatised into fiction. Though I shared many of those chapters with fellow writers at writing groups it never saw the light of day as a published piece and still sits on my shelf in my study. However, I have re-written sections from it, and those pieces have been woven into a novella (Black & Blue) and released as an e-book by Caffeine Nights: It is within the first chapter of ‘Black & Blue’ that I reveal why Hunter became a cop; at the age of 16 years, his first love, Polly Hayes, was murdered and he promised her parents he would catch the person who killed her.
So how did DS Hunter Kerr become established within the fictional ranks of British detectives?
In 2006, after 32 years as a cop, retiring as a Detective Inspector, I embarked upon writing that novel I always promised myself. Inspired by the works of Ed McBain and Lynda LaPlante I plucked Hunter Kerr from ‘Loitering with Intent,’ gave him Detective Sergeant status and set him within the fictionalised environment of Barnwell Major Investigation Team. Though very enjoyable, and certainly cathartic, writing my first full length novel wasn’t an easy journey. Though I had written several short stories and attempted a novel you could say I was out of my comfort zone. For the first 18 months I just spewed out the story and once I was happy with the plot I began the difficult part of learning how to free up and develop my prose.
(Heart of the Demon was motivated by a real murder case in the next town to where I live, in which a psychopathic spree killer revealed how many people he had killed by the turning over of a playing card – end of spoiler)
In 2012 Caffeine Nights published that book and since then Hunter has appeared in three more novels. His next investigation sees him tackling his most dangerous and evil villain to date: Shadow of the Beast is released on the 6th October.
Developing Hunter as a well-rounded character has been deliberately slow – I set out to create a series featuring him and therefore introduce more of what makes him tick with each book. It would be fair to say though that many of Hunter’s characteristics mirror my own, and certainly the emotions he experiences when involved in an investigation come from my own memories.
I’d like to think that readers of Hunter Kerr will embrace him as their hero. If you have any comments about him or my books you can always contact me via my website www.mjfowler.co.uk.