Tag Archives: book

On The Thrill Begins – Shutting Places Down Like Eliot Ness

Many of you may not know this, but my road to publication came with some major potholes. As part of the Tough Times series on The Thrill Begins, I explain how I started to feel Untouchable – in a very bad way.

http://thrillbegins.com/2017/05/11/shutting-down-places-like-eliot-ness/

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway has been hired to look into the year-old homicide of a prominent businessman who was gunned down on his estate in Central Pennsylvania. When Galloway arrives, he determines the murder could have only been committed by someone extremely skilled in two areas: Skiing and shooting. He believes the assailant should not be too difficult to identify given the great amount of skill and athleticism needed to pull off the attack. When he discovers the victim’s property is next door to a biathlon training camp, the situation becomes significantly more complicated.

Galloway makes plenty of enemies as he sifts through stories about lucrative land deals, possible drug connections, and uncovers evidence suggesting the homicide may have been elaborate suicide. As he attempts to navigate through an unfamiliar rural landscape, he does his best not to succumb to an old drug addiction, or become confused by one of his occasional hallucinations. Oh, and a Pittsburgh drug gang enforcer known as The Lithuanian—if he’s even real—is tracking Galloway and wants to take his eyes. Galloway would rather keep those.

In Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

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5 Things You Learn When Your Preschooler Sees the Summer Olympics for the 1st Time

My child is not yet 5 years old, therefore this is the first time she has really seen the Summer Olympics on television.  When I first turned it on, I expected her to show zero interest in the games since many of the sports are completely alien to her (inexplicably, they don’t do a lot of Whitewater Canoeing at her preschool).  So, I figured she might ask a couple of general questions and then demand these shining spectacles of human accomplishment and perseverance be replaced by reruns of Paw Patrol.  I was extremely wrong.  It turns out when innocent eyes view the Olympic Games for the first time, you learn some things.

1.  Swimming is awesome

Young children can relate to the sport of swimming since they are still trying to learn the skill.  Many kids my daughter’s age can stay afloat to a reasonable extent and therefore understand and respect the general mechanics of the various strokes.  Other kids, like mine, still struggle with the basics and the only stroke they demonstrate is the lesser-known Plummeting Anchor.  My daughter watched in amazement as athletes shot through the water as if the act of swimming required little or no effort.  She also observed that none of them appeared to be wearing “floaties” or water wings, which may inspire her to shed her crutch sooner than later.

SwimCarnival 010

2.  Volleyball makes sense

Some events are more difficult to explain than others.  However, a preschooler can easily pick up the basics of volleyball since there is one ball and a net separates the two sides.  My child had never seen a volleyball match, but was absolutely fascinated by a women’s match between the U.S. and China.  And when I explained that most of the women were taller than her daddy, she gazed on in amazement as she surmised giants really do exists.

3.  Springboard Diving defies belief

Somehow I’ve taken for granted that there are people who can do somersaults and twists in the air before heading downward and knifing into a pool of water.  To eyes which have never seen this, it’s a phenomenon that defies all explanation.  My daughter quickly grasped the basic concept, but became impatient when divers stood on the springboard to collect themselves.  She couldn’t understand how they could control their excitement at having the opportunity to bounce off the board and splash into the blue (or later green) water.

4.  Synchronized Swimming may kill all of us

Much like her father, my child quickly became bored by this event.  At one point she yelled out, “I wish water didn’t exist.”  Confirming my suspicion that if she ever finds a genie in a bottle, we’re all toast.

genieLampHeart

5.  Fencing is anticlimactic and not at all like Star Wars

Imagine the disappointment on my sweet daughter’s face when, in spite of the competitors wearing cool masks and wielding “swords”, not one of them lost a hand prior to learning the true identity of a parent.  Additionally, not one competitor seemed to identify with the Empire or the Rebellion.  Instead, they all represented boring entities like actual countries.  Also, from the way some of the fencers whined about points, it was pretty clear none of them had trained in the Dagobah system and they probably needed to toughen up a bit.

Overall, watching the Olympics with my little one has been a fun experience.  The beauty of the games are that if my daughter is bored by one event, there is always another one to watch.  While she is less interested in some of the events I’d like to watch (distance running), many of the other events have become the subjects of long conversations that have led into general discussions regarding competition, nationality, adversity, and expectations (she asked me if I’d ever won a marathon).  In fact this Olympic Games may end up being my favorite of all time, even if nobody loses an appendage.

What has been your favorite event in 2016?  Comment below.

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

A New Book Scheduled for Release in 2017!

I’m excited to announce that my fourth novel, Bolt Action Remedy, has been picked up by Down & Out Books and is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2017.  This mystery introduces a new protagonist named Trevor Galloway.  He has been hired to solve a cold case that revolves around a biathlon training facility.  Galloway has a habit of making enemies and a little bit of difficulty distinguishing which of those enemies is real.  I can’t wait for you to meet him!  Thanks to all of the readers who keep providing me with the motivation to keep cranking out the words.  You are the best.

J.J.

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

RESOLVE Featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It’s Pittsburgh Marathon time and since RESOLVE was set against the backdrop of that race Megan Ryan (no… not THAT Meg Ryan) of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote up a nice story.

Most impressively, I somehow managed to take a photo that makes me look even meaner than the previous ones that have appeared in various publications.  It’s not intentional… REALLY!

Pittsburgh Post Gazette article

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

AVAILABLE NOW!

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

Resolve

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

Legacy cover

 

Moments with the Badge: Pregnant Drunks, Presidents, and Poorly Thought-out Suicide Attempts

I’m frequently asked if I draw upon my experiences in law enforcement for my writing.  I do, but rarely do I use any specific incidents.  The reason I avoid doing this is that I want my work to feel authentic to the reader and sometimes law enforcement is actually stranger than fiction.  I’m often concerned that if I refer to an actual event when writing a novel, the retelling of the real story will end up feeling too unrealistic – even for fiction.  However, I do try to take bits and pieces from my past and integrate those experiences into my books.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of some of these moments and I came up with 10 which I think demonstrate how the profession of law enforcement is unlike any other.  Some of the events were absurd.  Some were enlightening to me at the time.  Some involved coincidences that are difficult to believe.  All of them show why we should never assume what a “normal” day might be for a person carrying the badge.

1.  As a patrol officer, once I was dispatched to drive my patrol car past a spot where someone was shooting at cars that were traveling past that spot.  Think about that for a moment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2.  Several years ago, I was part of a major manhunt for an individual believed to be in Washington, D.C.  We had a one hour briefing and a dozen agents were tasked to methodically check various parts of the large city.  We had maps.  We had equipment.  We had detailed plans.  We were prepared for long days of scouring the streets for this needle in a haystack.  At the conclusion of the briefing, I drove out of the office parking garage and immediately spotted the individual who happened to be walking past our building.

3.  I had to write a report about the Vice President shooting his hunting partner in the face.  Oddly, this event only happened once in my career.

4.  The first time I tried to kick in a door, I bounced right off.  The same thing happened the second and third times.  I came to the conclusion that cop shows on TV might be a tad bit unrealistic.

5.  During a foot pursuit through a Virginia shopping mall, a suspect ended up on a ledge and threatened to jump.  I said, “Go ahead.”  He jumped.  He had been 6 feet off the ground.  Shockingly, he lived.

jump

6.  As a rookie agent at the 2000 Democratic Convention in L.A., I was instructed not to let any of the scheduled greeters onto the airport tarmac until the White House staff showed up with a verification list.  The staff member did not show up until Air Force One was landing, so I couldn’t allow the greeters to meet the plane.  President Clinton exited the plane (expecting greeters) and began waiving to an empty runway.  It was an embarrassing moment for the White House and I had to explain to a supervisor that I had followed procedure.  I had followed the rules, but it was an uncomfortable situation for a new agent.  At the time, I thought I might be in big trouble.  Years later, an officer with the Secret Service Uniform Division in D.C. (who had no idea I had been in L.A. for the convention) told me the story of one of the “strangest moments he had seen in his twenty years on the job”.  He then recounted the incident on the tarmac in 2000.  I just nodded and said, “Yeah.  That sounds weird.”

7.  I once worked a case in which I interviewed a counterfeiter in Richmond, VA.  We knew the suspect had been using counterfeit money to buy drugs, but did not have enough evidence for an arrest.  I told the suspect that law enforcement was the least of his worries if he continued to rip-off drug dealers.  He responded with some unkind words.  A few months later he was murdered in a field outside Richmond.  Years later, I was having dinner at a restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA (344 miles from Richmond) when the waiter decided to make small talk.  It turned out he was from Richmond and had been friends with the murdered counterfeiter.  I never went back to that restaurant.

8.  The only time I had to fire my weapon in the line of duty was at a rabid raccoon.  It did not bite me.

9.  I was once assulted in the line of duty by a drunk, pregnant lady.  She bit me.

teeth

10.  I once chased a guy down a busy D.C. street.  He had a shirt hanging off one arm, making it appear that he was wearing a cape.  The radio traffic from one of the other agents came out, “Hensley is chasing some guy with a cape.”  The response from one agent on the radio was, “Why is Hensley wearing a cape?????”

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology