Hock Hochheim has been writing fiction and non-fiction for publication since the late 1970s. His first book was titled the Great Escapes of Pancho Villa. Now out of print, you might still be able to find a copy of this on the internet somewhere. There are many qualities that separate Hochheim from his peers as a writer. First is his extensive background in law enforcement during a time in Texas when there was no S.W.A.T., no cameras, no cell phones and much wider latitude in deportment. During his career he filed thousands of cases, many involving, drugs, gangs, organized crime, prostitution, murder and more. Hochheim’s understanding of the criminal mind, and the varied and unusual circumstances that cause people to commit crimes is what makes his books realistic, his characters multi-dimensional and his action scenes incredibly convincing and real.
In those days when Hochheim wasn’t fighting crime, he’d often sneak off to his car, his kitchen table late at night, or sometimes the library where he’d find a quiet corner and write down the stories of characters he knew as well in his head as the real life ones he arrested during the day. He filled spiral binders with stories about criminals, heroes and victims from all walks of life. You don’t work as a law enforcement officer for 23 years without learning a a great deal about what makes people who they are–good and bad. So often the books and television shows we see are based on how people who have never known a criminal think they should behave. Hock knows. He’s been there. During his lifetime he’s chased the bad guys for real, he’s been beat up, hospitalized and done his share of violence as well. He’s witnessed the blood, the carnage in and out of streets, houses, businesses where real crimes took place. He’s chased down the criminals, arrested them, and testified at their trials. He’s dug up the bodies, bagged them and hauled them back to the lab. During that time he developed and honed an instinct that many times kept him alive. These criminals haunt his dreams at night–still to this day.
Hochheim’s been on the wrong end of death threats, assaults and lawsuits over the years–many times. And all this time and experience finds its way into Hock’s books as he writes. That experience is what separates the men from the boys in the art of writing crime based fiction, and writing non-fiction about crime. There simply is no substitute for being that guy looking down the barrel of the gun toward the criminal, or finding the criminal looking down their gun barrel at you.
“The first time I read one of Hock’s books I intended to give it a quick glance while soaking in the tub, but I became so engrossed that long after I ran out of hot water I kept reading. Finally, the water grew so cold my arms started shaking hard enough I could no longer hold the book–it was that interesting. I simply could not put it down even long enough to get out of the tub. When the cold finally did drive me out, I went to bed and kept reading until I finished the book in the wee hours of the morning. My arms were sore for days afterward simply from tension that developed as the plot unfolded. At the time I didn’t know Hock, but I immediately knew what he wrote was the best thing I’d ever read–and it still is.” — Margaret Eden, Publisher