Harry Hunsicker: he killed Bob!
Excerpt from the interview by Gary Warren Niebuhr in the August/September 2006 issue of Mystery News
Lee Henry Oswald. Dallas, Texas.
Does that have your attention? The name combined with the location might be a bit off-putting. Depending on your age, it might make you avoid the new series of PI novels written by Harry Hunsicker. If you did, you would be making a major mistake, for once again St. Martin's Minotaur has managed to launch a new voice that uses the tenets of noir within the PI genre to give a fresh twist to the knight errant.
There is no way to approach this series without dealing with the name of the character. Here is the back story. Lee Henry "Hank" Oswald was born in a small town in western McLennan County in central Texas. His father was a gambler, a drunk, and beat his mother. And because his father bore the name Lee Oswald, he was just mean enough to pass it on to his son. If the punch line from the Johnny Cash song A Boy Named Sue has any truth in it, this act by Hank's father was the first step in making Hank the confused and angry man who is the central character in this two-book series.
In both books, Hank takes both a physical and a mental beating. "I'm trying to go easier on Hank. He did have a rough go of it on Still River. That's a natural occurrence with a first time writer though, pile on the conflict and the easiest way to do that is physically." Besides his father's gift, Hank's background also prepared him for a life of violence. Hank joined the Army the summer after his high school graduation. While he rose to be a hand-to-hand combat instructor, he was the worst shot in his unit. As a Persian Gulf War vet, Hank saved the life of a fellow soldier named Olson in Irag in 1991. Olson eventually played linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys, but now lives a gay life with his partner Delmar who is a rare arms dealer. These two characters provide Hank with some backup when he needs it, despite Delmar's jealousy of Hank and Olson's friendship. I asked Hunsicker where Olson and Delmar came from and he replied, If you find out, please let me know. I have no idea. Some twisted version of Bubba. I knew I wanted to take the demented sidekick someplace new."...
Harry Hunsicker is by day a real estate appraiser in Dallas. Does a career in real estate appraisal give Hunsicker an enhanced understanding of the city? "Dallas is a very fragmented town, with a river splitting the city in two between the haves and the have-nots. Even though I grew up here, I never knew about some of the other areas until I became an appraiser and began working all over the region." Does the Dallas tourist bureau approve of Hunsicker's books? "I hope not. I hope they take out full-page ads and buy billboards denouncing my books."
Read the complete interview in the August/September 2006 issue of Mystery News