The Lovely Bones

Hal Heckler Character Analysis

Samuel’s older brother Hal is just as involved with and invested in the Salmons’ healing. He runs a bike shop on the edge of town, and, in the wake of Susie’s murder, he asks everyone who comes through whether they might know anything about Susie’s killer. Eventually, Hall discovers a lead in the form of a Hell’s Angel customer whose mother was murdered, years earlier, by a man who made dollhouses—George Harvey. Hal is a friend to Buckley and a support to all the Salmons—especially Grandma Lynn, who nurses a benign crush on him over the years.
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Hal Heckler Character Timeline in The Lovely Bones

The timeline below shows where the character Hal Heckler appears in The Lovely Bones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Samuel is standing by the church door, dressed in all black. His older brother Hal stands beside him. Grandma Lynn introduces herself to Samuel as “the evil grandma,” and then... (full context)
Chapter 10
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...retreat, though he is less of a brain and more artistic—his hero is his brother Hal, who recently dropped out of high school and now runs a bike shop out near... (full context)
Chapter 12
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...Nate’s mother, who comes to take Buckley. She then calls Samuel, who sends his brother Hal to pick Lindsey up on his motorcycle and bring her to the hospital. When Lindsey... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...thinking she was George Harvey. As Abigail and Len enter the visitors’ area, she spots Hal Heckler sitting there, and recognizes him as Samuel’s brother. Though Len wants to sit down,... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Hal Heckler, still in the visitor’s area, watches Abigail and Len—hair and clothes mussed—walk back down... (full context)
Chapter 16
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...hands in silence, and are surprised to find that they are not the only ones there—Hal and Samuel Heckler are there too. A bunch of yellow daffodils are on the ground,... (full context)
Snapshots
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...packed up and left. There has been no sign of him. One day, Lindsey asks Hal Heckler to give her a ride to the police station, so that she can find... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Buckley, now ten, spends more and more time in his fort, allowing only Hal Heckler, Nate, and Holiday the dog inside. Hal helps Buckley to waterproof the fort, and... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Hal Heckler has, for eight years, been asking his network of biker friends for help in... (full context)
Chapter 17
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...in his den, Jack Salmon plays with an old snow globe that Susie once loved. Hal Heckler has made it back from the ceremony on his motorcycle, so the fact that... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
At four o’clock, while Hal and Lynn are baking brownies in the kitchen, the doorbell rings. It is Lindsey and... (full context)
Chapter 21
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...has changed, though the sinkhole has definitely expanded. They look around and wonder aloud if Hal Heckler still owns the bike shop on the other side of the railroad tracks. Ruth... (full context)
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Susie checks in on her family. Hal, Samuel, and Buckley are at a bike show in a nearby town—the bike shop is... (full context)
Chapter 22
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...back a piece of heaven [she has] never known.” She instructs him to drive to Hal Heckler’s bike shop. Ray asks Susie if he can kiss her again, and she lets... (full context)
Chapter 23
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Hal buys Buckley a drum set, and it is waiting for him when the Salmons all... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Hal spots someone through the blinds, and announces that Ray Singh is on the porch. Hal... (full context)