JACK (JOHN) HARDACRE
• Height – 5’8”, short for a policeman, just over the limit
• Parents – Sylvia and John; still live in the house in Clapham. Jack visits fairly often, dinner, tea on the lawn at the back. Sylvia worries about him and his job, can fuss. John doesn’t, more phlegmatic. Sylvia is a housewife, gardener, part of the WI and runs the local gardening club, part-time dinner lady at local primary school. John is a civil servant in MOD in central London, HEO grade.
• John once took his girlfriend, Karen, home. Parents didn’t know what to do !
• Girlfriend – Karen; comes from Solihull; parents teachers;
Hardacre is a loner; nice but cynical and sees things straight; not a politician so loses out on promotion as not tactful but truthful; has learned to keep his head down; superb shot, wins prizes at international shooting competitions for both pistol and rifle, could have been a marksman.
He’s not had many girlfriends, would like love and not just a good time, hopes he’s finding it with Karen but she’s a loner too – part of why they get on – so neither has suggested moving in with the other after 18 months of good relationship. They stay at each other’s flats and enjoy that, enjoy being able to go to their own home afterwards. Both enjoy good food, especially French and like the Jardin des Gourmets in Greek Street with Xavier and Mario. Hardacre love single malt Scotch whiskey and is quite a connoisseur, particularly liking the smokies and Islay. He’s taught Karen to like them too.
Karen has a dance partner, an ex-boyfriend called Keith. They still get on well and dance together often and with the troupe a girlfriend of theirs runs doing shows in London clubs. Keith is a bit of a lad, comes from Peckham and has brothers into snooker and the Peckham gang mafia. His worst offence has been smoking dope and his passion is dancing so he has no interest in being a gang member. Hardacre has been careful not to use him as a snitch as he considers him family, much to the annoyance of his commander who thinks that ridiculous and believes Hardacre should use his girlfriend friend to help him catch criminals, especially as they’re (in his opinion) “weird”. Hardacre obstinately refuses, which goes against him in the promotion stakes.
Hardacre is somewhat psychic, has premonitions, knows things about people, knows what they’re going to say, where they’ll be. His hunches usually work out. His boss and colleagues find this useful and always ask him for his ideas. To some extent this counteracts his unusual (for a copper) moral stance with regard to Keith, however it’s still “weird”.
Hardacre’s food and drink preferences are unusual too, although he does like real ale and is a member of CAMERA. He’s not good on a night out with the lads in a pub, often bored and without the usual sleazy small-talk. He doesn’t treat women as objects or as inferior. He loathes football and golf but is quite good at cricket and tennis. He can fence and ski too although he’s a real beginner at the latter, has only been skiing twice. The tai chi again makes him weird to his colleagues although several of them have had cause to be grateful when he’s got them out of a fight with it.
Despite living and working in London for much of his life, Jack has a very strong connexion to Exmoor in south-west Britain. He had three particularly strange experiences there. the first time was when he met a witch who cured his father of shingles. Then he met her again over a very strange suicide affair. And the last time he met her was when he was investigating the strange death of Professor Bryde. That affair culminated, for him, in his actually seriously wounding the villainess with magic. He'd never known he could do that although he always believed it was possible ... for others.
Uses the following people's images for their avatars: