by guest blogger J.H. Bogran
One of my favorite board games when I was growing up was Clue. Do you remember throwing out your hypotheses about the place, the perpetrator, and the murder weapon? Miss Scarlet with the revolver in the ballroom! No? Perhaps Professor Plum with the wrench in the conservatory. I usually got the room and the person right; it was the murder weapon that always gave me trouble.
Just like in the game, the murder weapon is an important component of thrillers. Sometimes they become indelibly associated with the character. For example, the literary James Bond with his Walther PPK, even when he’s used others. You must remember one of the spy’s more formidable adversaries was the Man with the Golden Gun!
Weapons come in all shape and form. To borrow from other popular movies: Dirty Harry and his S&W .44. Jason’s machete is just as fearsome as the white hockey mask. The deadly Bride with her Hattori Hanzo steel. Ice picks terrified me after watching what Catherine Tramell can do with them.
Or this from an exchange in Live Free or Die Hard:
Matt Farrell: "You just killed a helicopter with a car!"
John McClane (played by Bruce Willis): "I was out of bullets"
See what I mean? As writers of thrillers, we strive to make our characters believable, but also, we love a good sidearm. They are more than a trait; they help add depth to the character, to make him or her unique.
It should not come as a surprise that researching for the perfect weapon is one of my favorite parts when developing a character or a story. I’ve been to gun shows, liked the official N.R.A. page, and the Sig is a favorite, of course. I’m always on the lookout for the next best thing.
Take this gem for example: the ASP, a handgun developed specifically for the Secret Service. How neat is
that? I couldn’t pass on it; a character in my upcoming novel
Highland Creek carries an ASP. The only bad thing is that he likes to
brag about his weapon.
In my short story, The Assassin’s Mistress, the lead character's love for guns is up until he uses them for a job. Then he disposes of them just as quickly as you toss an umbrella after the rain stops.
Deeds of a Master Archer, the lead character is a present day Marine. He loves his government-issued weapons: M-16s, rocket launchers, grenades, the works. But when he travels through an earthquake-induced portal and discovers dragons are the new enemy, he relies on tried-and-true weaponry: a bow and arrow.
Readers: What is the strangest weapon you can remember?
Writers: What is your weapon of choice?
J. H. Bográn, born and raised in Honduras, is the son of a journalist, but he prefers to write fiction rather than fact. José’s genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw a twist of romance into the mix. His works include novels and short stories in both English and Spanish. He’s a member of the International Thriller Writers where he also serves as the Thriller Roundtable Coordinator.