As we continue crafting our Fourth Novel in the Tom Stone Detective Story series–One Shot, One Kill–a realization struck me and Lon that Tom Stone is different than some other popular, fictional crime fighters.
He makes sense and he works to make sense of the chaos around him.
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Jack Reacher – Entertaining and Socially Inept
Quirks, tempers, and gruff outsides mark many fictional detectives and thriller heroes. Lee Child’s Jack Reacher is one of the most colorful characters I’ve known. In 61 Hours, Reacher is traveling on a bus that gets stuck in the snow in a town where the police are suspecting a prison break. He has no luggage and makes it clear to the people he meets that he travels light.
Reacher is a former military policeman and looks at every situation through the eyes of what crisis could erupt. He’s witty and lives with a wary eye, waiting for the bad guy to spring into the open at any moment.
And he’s a loner—just like a good thriller hero.
Detective Harry Bosch – The Tough Guy
Slightly different is Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles detective character. Bosch isn’t quirky like Reacher. But he’s cop-tough and gruff. He gives brief, deep guttural answers and is fairly much a loner except for his teenage daughter.
Sgt Joe Friday (Jack Webb) – Dragnet – The Man of Few Words
One of our first blog posts on this site was about Jack Webb’s infamous character who showed little emotion and said few words. Webb played him neutral and said you don’t where he stands on topics like religion and politics.
Detective Tom Stone – Rational, Sane
Then there’s Detective Tom Stone. We realized after writing three novels so far that Stone is the calm one in the center of quirky and desperate characters, like the eye of the hurricane. The rational one who works hard to keep society heading in a straight line so people don’t destroy each other.
In Book One, Tom Stone: A Nitty Gritty Christmas, Stone reluctantly accompanies his partner on the force, Jake Sharpe, and hands out Christmas presents at a group home. He befriends a boy, Andrew, who constantly fights the staff at the group home and can’t sit still. He sees the boy as growing up and heading right into the prison system which is the fate of so many kids in foster care. Through the novels, we see the relationship deepening.
He has two daughters who are middle and late teens and he has worked hard to remain on good terms with his ex-wife Kelly, realizing that both of them focused on their careers instead of on each other. Yet, he and his ex- have given them stability.
Being loyal to friends and family is important to Stone, just as its important to his girlfriend, a savvy black woman Alisha Davidson.
Davidson is the defense attorney for the man that Stone is originally pursuing, Anthony Angelino – a quirky and desperate character who both Lon and I enjoyed creating and shaping. But Stone sees her determination and how she approaches her work and develops deep respect.
Here are links to the books.
Click the titles to see the books in their outlet:
Our work in progress is Book 4 Tom Stone: One Shot, One Kill
If you like short stories, we recommend A Deadly Path – a father-son hike above the Los Angeles foothills turns tragic and uncovers the mystery of an unsolved murder.
Jake Sharpe and his son, Darrell, invite Stone and Andrew along for a hike.
Here’s an Excerpt
The mountains that ran west to east created a wall of wilderness between Los Angeles’ urban sprawl and the High Desert. Unfortunately, the cracks and crevices made great hiding places for crazies. Fugitives could crawl back in for miles, find a campground, or live among the coyotes and bears and surface along the homes and stores that ringed the wilds, stealing food or shaking someone down for money.
Another shot rang out.
Or shoot someone for sport.
Darrell was breathing heavily from panic. He slid across the dirt by his Dad. “What are we going to do?”
“Calm down, buddy,” whispered Jake. “We’ve got options.”
The boulder that protected them was several feet high and wide. Not bad. But Jake had no line of vision and if the shooter was creeping toward them, he could sneak up unnoticed. To the right and closer to the falls was a stack of large rocks that were stacked like a fortress. It was a good hiding spot. Getting behind it and keeping watch on the boulder would give them room to move back and forth.
Down the trail, just a little, was another stack of rocks. It would make sense for them to appear they were running back that way, like they were trying to escape.
Jake looked at his son. “I got an idea.”
“Yeah?” Darrell sounded hopeful as he pressed his back against the boulder. There were no more shots so either the gunman had gotten tired of the torment or else he was picking his way closer.
Jake knelt and locked eyes with Darrell. “See that rock?” A flat stone lay beside him.
“I want to keep whoever’s doing the shooting distracted. Pick it up and throw it down the trail.” He pointed. “Low, so it hits near the rocks.”
“That’s it? That’s your idea?”
“For now. Yeah. I want us to have a little space so we’re not stuck together. Believe me, son, I’m not letting anything happen to you. Now, just toss that stone way down there.”