Troubled Water

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Title: Troubled Water
Author(s): Donna L. Perna
Cover Artist(s): Suzan Lovett
Date(s): 1996
Medium: print
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
Language: English
External Links:
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cover by Suzan Lovett

Troubled Water is a 193-page gen Starsky & Hutch novel by Donna L. Perna.

It was conceived as a charity zine.

This zine has a cover by Suzan Lovett. It does not contain any interior art.


From an ad in the Black Bean Soup Newsletter in 1996:

All proceeds to be donated to the pediatric Aids Foundation. The story focuses on the relationship as Hutch helps his partner recover both physically and emotionally from kidnapping and torture.

Regarding Reproduction

Comments in "Black Bean Soup" in 1996 from the author:

I'd like everyone to know that we are now officially sold out of 'Troubled Water' (the last 34 went at Media West last month) and I'd also like to say a very big thank you to everyone who bought a copy. I'm thrilled to say that we sold over 80 copies of the zine in less than 6 months with some many contributing more than the required amount ($15). Because of the caring and generosity of this fandom's followers, I was able to send a check to PAF today on their behalf for $1,500. Isn't that amazing? And we did it together! Also, since we don't plan to reprint the zine, everyone should feel free to make copies on their own if they want to read it, but I'd like to ask anyone who does make a copy to send a little something to PAF in return. Of course, it's not required that you do so, but they'd sure appreciate it and there's no better feeling in the world than knowing you've helped in some way. Thanks again! [1]

In February 2012, fans contacted the author to verify if the permission to copy was still in effect. The author confirmed that while paper copies were fine, she did not want the zine circulated in electronic or PDF format. And that donations to the Pediatric Aids Foundation would still be welcomed. [2]

Introduction: From the Zine


That’s what I suddenly and very happily realized when I finally typed the words "THE END" on this, my very first story, and printed out all 193 pages. Amazing! A novel had materialized from what started out as nothing more than an attempt to put some of what I’d been dreaming about for the past twenty years down on paper. For whatever reason, the idea to actually write any of this own had just never occurred to me until an equally S&H-devoted friend suggested I give it a try. And Cathee, I'm still not sure whether to hug you or strangle you for that seemingly innocent suggestion!

Now to get the real picture here, you have to understand that until the moment I actually started to write this story, and saw the S&H 1dreamed about come to life on paper, I would have sworn to anyone who asked that I hated to write. But there was something so intriguing about just seeing their names in a story 1was creating that I found once I started I couldn’t stop! I was obsessed! It’s all I thought about day and night for months. I lost incredible amounts of sleep, forgot to go buy groceries, couldn't concentrate at work... All I wanted to do was WRITE!

I needed (and got!) tons of encouragement along the way... an ever growing cheering section of very good S&H friends who hungrily devoured every chapter as I wrote it, told me how great it was, gave me suggestions to make it even better, and begged me for more! How could I go wrong with that kind of undying support? I owe them a million thanks!

As you read I hope you enjoy the story, the characters, and the relationship portrayed here. This is how Isee these two men... not perfect, but always there for each other... caring, supportive, and compassionate with one another... forgiving faults and loving 'in spite of as much as 'because'... partners and best friends, no matter what. Me 'n Thee, always and forever. S&H are what friendship should be.

Reactions and Reviews


In this extreme hurt/comfort novel, Hutch must help Starsky recover from both the physical and psychological effects of being kidnapped and tortured by a group of thugs interested in obtaining the name of an informant. The novel is emotionally written and I enjoyed it, but it is not for the squeamish, as Starsky’s injuries and torture are described in detail and he goes through a great deal of suffering. The scenes of Hutch taking care of his partner are well done and tender and the characters' reactions to this horrible situation seem genuine. I would recommend this novel to h/c fans, with the caution that people be aware that the torture was very sadistic. [3]

Occasionally, I have seen "Troubled Waters" [sic] lumped in with novellas like "Long Road Home", and having read both, I have to make a distinction. "Troubled Waters" centered on Starsky's recovery from kidnapping and torture, and included some wonderful h/c moments between S&H. The torture he had endured was horrible, but we hear about it in retrospect, via evidence that is uncovered, Starsky's accounts (though these are fairly sparse since he is trying to work through the trauma of what has happened), and what we can conclude from his injuries.

In "Long Road Home", the reader has to live through extended, explicit descriptions of gruesome, sadistic torture while he is receiving it. Though we are told in summary form what happened in "Troubled Waters", it is far less detailed and explicit. I'm not saying there's no violence in "TW", because there is. I just feel it was tastefully handled, and not excessive in light of the novella's theme. [4]


It is gen, but oh, it's GOOD gen, especially if you love the h/c. [5]

It's probably my favorite zine, Starsky really takes a lot of walloping in that story! [6]


  1. ^ from Black Bean Soup v.2 n.21 (1996)
  2. ^ source: Starsky & Hutch Livejournal, February 27, 2012
  3. ^ from Black Bean Soup v.2 n.26 (July 1996)
  4. ^ from Black Bean Soup v.2 n.38 (October 1996)
  5. ^ source: Starsky & Hutch Livejournal, February 27, 2012
  6. ^ source: Starsky & Hutch Livejournal, February 27, 2012