J.D. Rhoades on my kind of hero


I couldn’t have planned this, but it’s the perfect follow-up to my post, My Kind of Villain. Today over on Murderati, fellow North Carolina thriller author J.D. Rhoades, the master of a subgenre he affectionately calls “redneck noir,” talks about how he doesn’t like his heroes perfectly capable or perfectly good:


Problem is, far too many thrillers–some of them extremely popular–feature heroes I can never quite accept as human. Instead of realistic people who feel fear, doubt, tension, you get Bolt Studly, the mavericky, two-fisted, fearless ex-Navy Seal/CIA Agent whose only flaw is that he rushes headlong into the action. I much prefer my action heroes with some vulnerabilties: Charlie Fox, Jonathan Quinn, John Rain, to name just a few. Even Jack Reacher got a lot more interesting when he began to face the possibility he could lose.

Living where I do (right next to Fort Bragg, headquarters of JSOC) and doing what I do as a day job, I’ve met quite a few Special Ops soldiers. No SEALS, but plenty of Rangers and Green Berets, and a few guys I’m pretty sure were Deltas (the haircuts are the giveaway. You meet a guy around here who says he’s in the Army and he’s got hair down over his ears, you’re most likely talking to someone from Delta). They pretty much run the gamut you’d expect of any group of young men: some are great guys, some are blustering assholes. Some are quiet, unassuming family men, some have, shall we say, messy personal lives. A very few, quite frankly, I’m concerned to have walking around loose. And, I imagine, you get the same spectrum in SEAL Team Six, the people who took down OBL.

Right on, brother! I like heroes who ARE afraid of getting shot, who aren’t sure they can do it, who react emotionally to people dying around them or to having to kill another person. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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This article has 2 comments

  1. J.D. Rhoades 05/04/2011, 2:08 pm:

    Thanks for the shout out, Bryan!

  2. DymnDyeds 07/03/2011, 2:32 am:

    thanks for the interesting information

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