Hank Carson Blog

The Hank Carson Travel Journal

Hank Carson is the creation of Bruce Alan Jensen, the author of  Murder On The Wine Train. Bruce developed this character with parts of his real-life history. As a part of creating this character, Jensen created a background that would influence him in the first novel and throughout the subsequent stories.

Prior to his appearing in the Murder On The Wine Train, this character had to have experiences that influenced the character’s life. A major part of this occurred during Hank’s experiences after he left the employ of the LAPD as a homicide detective.

The following series of blogs are all fiction and not a significant part of the novel. These create some of the protagonist’s background prior to getting into writing as a free-lance writer and returning to solving criminal situations, most of which are totally unexpected. I hope you enjoy Hank’s recent travel experiences.

Please provide your feedback about this series of fictional stories and how they reflect on the protagonist in the novel series; Hank Carson.

Bruce Alan Jensen: I welcome your comments, email me at bruce@bjensenauthor.com

The Hank Carson Journal Begins here:

Here I sit in front of my computer thinking about my life. I loved my job at the LAPD but that all changed with a bullet. I moped around my apartment in LA for over a year, visiting art galleries, beaches but mostly stayed home and drank. Reading daily newspapers, made me mad and more depressed. Then I switched to novels, psychology books, and even tried to self-evaluate my depression. How did I get from there to traveling and writing as a loner? One day a friend, Brian, whom I first met at a UCLA art function suggested I visit my love of Italian art. I took the opportunity to travel to Europe. I loved Italian art and architecture, so Italy was my first place to visit.

But first I should start with how it all began:

I grew up in Fremont, CA. I’m not sure what I wanted to be when I grew up but after high school, I chose a college. I ended up graduating from Fresno State University with a major in Criminology and a minor in Art History.

Still not sure what to do with my life, I took my degree and ended up in the Navy for a few years. After leaving the Navy, along with a wife and daughter, I got hired on at the LAPD. Sadly, after a few years of seldom being home, edgy a lot and spending more time involved in the underside of life, and not enough with my family, the marriage failed. Nine years as a detective and what did I have? No family, no life and then to make it complete I got shot. No, job.

sml2aLAPD BadgeI was a very effective detective with the LAPD and never have thought the case I was working on would be my last. I never dreamt that it became solved because the prime suspect in a robbery shot me in the shoulder. All those years and never being shot except on that fateful night, a bullet took me out of the game.  It had been hard for me to come to grips with the idea that I put two 9 mm slugs into the young man’s heart. I had no choice. If he had gotten off one more round, it would have been me laying there dead not him. That was the only time I ever shot someone. No matter how tough you think you are, you never forget something like that!

I had to have a mandatory psych evaluation, a requirement for every officer-involved shooting. The department thought it would help. I also spent time in therapy. I’m sure it helped somewhat but the incident, that’s what they called it, still lingers in my head.

Being a detective wasn’t possible any longer; all I was cleared to do was a desk job or retire with a 50 percent disability income. A desk job! No way would I survive sitting at a desk. I took the disability and retirement.

My psych-eval therapist suggested I write a journal, to jot down my feelings, both sad and happy. That would give me the opportunity to describe and focus on my emotions, regrets, guilt and more. I wanted to get away from the US crime scene, so I took advantage of my free time and went to Europe and saw some wonderful art that I had studied in college.

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