Tag Archives: Chalk’s Outline

When it Rains it Pours – Bouchercon: An Apology to Those I Sprayed on a Flight

Well…that escalated quickly.

I thought I would cruise through autumn by celebrating the release of a new book while taking an peaceful journey to a mystery convention. I hadn’t planned any large book release events this time around and figured I’d keep everything online. It would be easy to manage and, you know…smooth.

Forgiveness Dies was released on October 14th.  Upon the release, I had not yet received my box of paperbacks since they were not coming from Amazon, but rather from a different distributor. Therefore, as has been the case with a couple of my books, some readers have received the final version of the paperback before I ever had a chance to really hold one. This is a quirk with dealing with an independent press. I usually see what is called the eARC and the Trade Paperback PDF prior to printing. In this instance, I only saw the eARC – used for the ebook production – and not the Trade Paperback PDF – as the publisher was in a rush to get the actual ARC (advance reviewer copy) out. Alas, when the actual paperback came out I received messages that there was an issue. A major issue. The text for Chapter 12 was repeated twice and the text for Chapter 13 was missing. It was a huge printing error and I had to blast out messages to the publisher and come up with a plan to get buyers the correct paperback while the new ones were created. You can see one such message here: https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/forgiveness-dies-misprint-replacement-info/

At this point, I believe the damage has been mitigated and the bleeding has stopped. The situation was obviously not ideal for a book launch and I was extremely disappointed and embarrassed although the error was not my doing. However, I had the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Dallas to look forward to and it’s always a blast to see so many friends and great authors and enthusiastic readers. It was time to decompress!

I packed my suitcase and carry-on bag, which is my norm when I travel. I always end up checking my suitcase, but in this instance I decided to pack a smaller suitcase and carry both bags on the plane. Again, this was not my normal procedure. I say this because that is why I thoughtlessly tossed a pocket knife into the bag I normally check. Now, if you’re wondering how observant the TSA screeners are at the Savannah/Hilton Head Airport, I can attest to the attentiveness and professionalism. Because they had no problem at all pulling me aside to let me know that knives aren’t allowed on airplanes. I declined to tell them that I had 20 years of law enforcement and national security experience and should have realized what an idiot I had been by tossing the knife in the bag, but kept my mouth shut and decided to not look more stupid than I already did.

They did let me on the plane, but now I need to buy a new knife. I tried to relax with a good book by Jeff Abott for my flight to Dallas. I had taken along a plastic bottle with me and filled it with water at the airport because why not be kind to the environment and all, right? Well, an hour and a half into the flight I was pretty thirsty. I pushed the button on my water bottle which sprung open the flip top of my now highly pressurized water bottle which caused a massive stream of water to shoot toward the ceiling of the aircraft and splash down on me, the lady beside me, and the seat back in front of me. I believe several other passengers were collateral damage as well. I cannot express the super-soaker power this water bottle possessed at the time of the opening as the entire episode was cartoon-like.

The flight attendant brought me a stack of paper towels to try to dry off, but they were fairly useless. I ended up turning the air vent on me and freezing for the remainder of the flight. The heated glares of passengers in rows 19-21 did warm me up from time to time.

Eventually, I did arrive at Bouchercon. This was my third Bouchercon and they always create a large program, complete with the author’s photo and bio. For the first time ever, I had submitted a decent author photo to use in the program. However, I’d already been given a heads-up by fellow writer Mark Pryor that there was a program issue. Upon arriving at the convention site, I was immediately approached by several people who mockingly said, “Hey, you don’t look anything like your photo!” And I didn’t.

 

However, I did meet my photo model during the convention. His name is David Burnsworth and it’s easy to see how the mistake was made. We’re basically twins.

The remainder of the convention went well and I did manage to make it back to Savannah without TSA jacking me up or other passengers killing me because I doused them with cold water.

I would again like to apologize to anyone who received a misprinted book, had to disarm me, or got sprayed by liquid. As we dive into November, I will try to do better.

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratch, Forgiveness Dies and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Upon being released after three years of incarceration in a psychiatric facility, former narcotics detective and unlicensed PI Trevor Galloway has no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of his shattered life. Having lost the woman he loved and exacting revenge upon those responsible, he is irreparably broken, heavily medicated, and unemployable.

When former Secret Service agent Nick Van Metre knocks on Trevor Galloway’s door, the last thing he expected was a job offer. However when the head of Metal Security hands Galloway a stack of photos and asks for his assistance with investigating a series of threats against a controversial presidential candidate, the former detective is stunned.

Galloway initially takes the case, but eventually has to question his own sanity after he reports an encounter with intruders who seem to have left no trace in his home. When Nick Van Metre turns up dead and an attack is carried out against Dennis Hackney, the former detective with a history of extreme violence becomes the focal point of multiple investigations.

Galloway pulls clues from photos and searches for answers while dodging bullets in Pittsburgh and Savannah.

Get set for a mystery told at a breakneck pace, with each of the chapters being linked to photograph in roll of film.

Look for the hints. Watch for the signs. Trevor Galloway doesn’t trust himself. Can you trust him?

The answers won’t be revealed until the final photo is flipped.

Praise for FORGIVENESS DIES: 

“Is someone setting Trevor Galloway up, or is his own mind deceiving him? Forgiveness Dies puts a uniquely fascinating protagonist–a detective who can’t trust his own perceptions–into a complex political thriller, and the result is propulsive. Hensley starts with a punch, and accelerates from there.” –Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Judgment and The Switch

“Inventive storytelling meets propulsive action in this wild thrill ride from J.J. Hensley, who brings real-life experiences to the page and delivers an authentic tale of double-crosses and dirty dealings. Don’t worry if you haven’t stepped into Trevor Galloway’s shadowy world yet…start right here, and you’ll soon want to read them all!” –Daniel Palmer, USA Today bestselling author of Stolen and Saving Meghan

“A snapshot of humanity in perfect focus. Edgy, furiously paced, raw. From the whip-smart dialogue to the deeply flawed characters, Hensley has a voice that will stay with you long after the final exposure.” –K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker and Skyjack

Forgiveness Dies is a non-stop, gut churning thriller that you’ll read in one sitting. Hensley has conceived a brilliant but almost fatally flawed protagonist in Trevor Galloway, a man so tormented by his past that in the battle for truth and justice he’s forced to fight enemies that are dangerously real, and some that only real to him. J.J. Hensley is one of the best thriller writers out there, and he sits at the top of my must-read list.” –Mark Pryor, author of the Hugo Marston series

“With Trevor Galloway, the tortured, likable protagonist of J.J. Hensley’s Forgiveness Dies, Hensley has created a character destined to remain with the reader long after the last page is turned. Not only that, but readers will find themselves inextricably pulled into a tight plot that bears a brutally close, and necessary, resemblance to today’s America. Read this book, and you’ll want to read everything else Hensley has written.” –E.A. Aymar, author of The Unrepentant

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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.

 

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

 

 

 

Publication Day!

Forgiveness Dies is now available via paperback and ebook. The audiobook will be available sometime in 2020. Publishers Weekly said some nice things about the novel, and you can read the review here.

As you know, Forgiveness Dies is the third book in the Trevor Galloway series. I’m planning on writing at least one more book in the series, but possibly more. I’ve I’ve got a couple of short stories being published for anthologies in 2020 and I’ll have news on those at a later date.

The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention is in Dallas this year and I’ll be attending. You can catch me there November 1-3 and I’ll be on a panel discussing Agatha Christie on Friday, Nov. 1 at 1PM.

I can’t thank all of you enough for the continued support I’ve received. The constant interaction I experience through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads is a reminder of how amazing the reading and writing community can be. I’m astonished every single day. You rock.

Countdown – a short story

I was asked to write this piece for Reflections Magazine as part of their tribute to SERVICE. The story that appeared in the magazine is approximately 1,200 words (due to space limitations). The version below is nearly 1,500 words. I hope you enjoy this quick read.

 

COUNTDOWN

Much to my dismay, Kevin tells everyone I’m a ladies’ man. Obviously I don’t say anything, but I think he knows it annoys me. It would be one thing if it were in private, but no, no, no. Anytime any female shows me the smallest amount of attention, the first thing I hear is Kevin using a singsong tone to inform anyone in earshot that I’m a ladies’ man. It’s ridiculous—as if I’m some sort of gigolo. Besides, nothing could be further from the truth. Even in my younger days, I wasn’t what society considers handsome and I’m not in my younger days. The years have taken a toll on my body and my eyes have seen more than most.

“Ten more minutes,” he says after glancing at the readout on the dashboard.

These are the first words the usually chatty Kevin has spoken in quite some time. His somberness is making me uneasy. After all these years of being partners, I can pick up on his moods faster than anyone in the department. When you share a car with someone day in and day out, you get to know each other incredibly well. The fact we’re not like the other officers and sometimes drive hours because our skill sets are in demand, means we spend even more time together than a lot of partners. Sadly, it all comes to an end today.

Kevin becomes little more than a silhouette as the sun takes a bow beneath the Georgia horizon. From my vantage point, I can’t see his face even when the headlights from passing cars illuminate the passenger compartment, but I know he’s aged too. I wonder what he’s thinking about right now. Is he remembering the classes we went through together—all the schools, the setbacks, the moments when we thought we’d never be able to tolerate each other? But we made it, didn’t we Kevin?

He takes a hard right and now we’re off the main road. Gravel kicks up against the bottom of the SUV and we’re both jarred by potholes. Rural roads; city streets; skyscrapers; trailers; cabins; fishing boats; There isn’t much we haven’t seen. I doubt this call will be much different. We’ll pull up and the other cops will have a variety of reactions. The rookies will look on with curiosity; the grizzled veterans will toss knowing nods our direction; a supervisor will brief us on the parameters of the search; one or two disgruntled old-timers will mumble something snarky like, “Took you long enough” or “Well, thank heavens, the cavalry has arrived.” We ignore the jerks. We’re professionals and while nobody wants to need us, everybody wants to have us. That’s not arrogance, it’s just the way it is.

Kevin brings the vehicle to a stop and squeezes the microphone on his shoulder, talks and listens to the response. Then…nothing. We should be getting out of the car and heading to the scene, but Kevin is…just sitting there. He draws in a long breath and for a moment I think something’s happened because we aren’t getting out, which is starting to tick me off, because while every mission is its own reward, I get an actual reward after every mission, so turning around after making this ridiculously long drive isn’t an appealing prospect to me, so what…are…you…doing…Kevin? He looks at the readout on the dash again and speaks.

“It’s the end of our shift after this one. Then you’re officially retired.”

Oh. That.

Now he gets out of the car and walks around to let me out of the back. I know, I know…it’s a little unorthodox. Most partners ride in the front seat together. Don’t judge.

“Let’s see what we’ve got,” says Kevin as my feet hit the ground.

Kevin’s depression is rubbing off on me and now I’m feeling my motivation wane. We approach an area filled with patrol cars, their lights flashing. A female officer who’s in charge walks up to Kevin and starts giving him the rundown. She turns to me. Not wanting to be rude, I make eye contact as Kevin tells her my name.

“This is Tony,” says Kevin.

I introduce myself.

“I think he likes me,” says the woman.

Don’t say it, Kevin. Don’t you…

“Well, he’s a ladies’ man.”

Dude.

I yank him away in the direction I think we need to go. I must be correct because he joins me. The truth is, I don’t need many details. I’m a highly-trained professional, but I’m single-minded in purpose. It’s simple in its complexity. That’s deep stuff.

The warehouse isn’t large and there aren’t many items piled up inside. The lighting isn’t great, but that’s not important as long as someone already checked to make sure I wouldn’t be stepping on broken glass. Like that time in Statesboro when that Sargent had sworn the floor was free of hazards. It wasn’t, and I’d ended up with a limp for four days. Man, Kevin was furious at that guy.

“Are you ready?” asks Kevin, as if I’ve ever answered.

“Seek!” he commands.

And that’s exactly what I do.

Wood—no.

              Metal rails—no.

              Cardboard boxes—no.

              Old beer bottles, some playing cards, a magazine, and…what the? Yuk!—no!

              Tools—no.

              Rags—no.

              Shelves stacked with papers—no…wait…

I sit.

Kevin moves in right behind me. As usual, he doesn’t touch anything but he knows I found something. Oh, yeah! Mr. Floppy is mine. That’s my reward. When I find what I’m supposed to find, I get my toy, which is basically a tennis ball with a rope attached. I named him Mr. Floppy, because Mr. Tennis Ball would be a stupid name.

This is a really cool find for me, because usually I sit, we leave, and then Kevin walks outside, checks his watch, and calls in the bomb squad to take care of the issue. But this find is super convenient, because from my view down here I can see there is a readout just like on the dashboard on the car. So, Kevin shouldn’t have to check his watch since we have one right in front of us. But, now I see the flaws in my logic. First, Kevin is too tall and doesn’t see the readout which is on the bottom shelf. Second, the readout must be broken because it only has two numbers instead of three or four and they seem to be moving faster than the one I typically see on the dash of the car. Oh, well.

I look up at Kevin expectantly.

Back pocket, Kevin. Mr. Floppy is in your back pocket. Don’t play coy.

              But Kevin is being thorough. He takes a knee, cocks his head and glances at the lower shelf. Before I know what’s happening, Kevin’s grabbed my collar and has yanked me away.

“Go!” he yells.

Now we’re running toward the open door of the warehouse and I’m not familiar with this game, but if it gets me Mr. Floppy then I’m all for it. We’re almost to the door when it’s as if everything around me is being squeezed, like we hit the biggest pothole in the world, and there’s a blast of heat from behind us. Something doesn’t feel right and I’m not running anymore. I’m not sure where Kevin went and suddenly I’m sleepy. So very sleepy.

 

It’s almost time. Any moment now, the front door will open and this is when it all happens—just like yesterday, the day before that, and the day before that one. I hear the squeal of brakes, lift my head from my bed and shift Mr. Floppy, who has become quite the pillow hog, to his side. All that time I’d lived next door with Kevin, I’d had no idea what joy those brakes on the big yellow vehicle could bring. Once Kevin arranged for his neighbor Susie to adopt me, it took me no time at all to piece things together.

There it is. The rattle of the door. I stand up, although one of my back legs doesn’t work as well as it used to. A small price to pay for fulfilling my duty. In a flash, the door flies open and the girls run inside! My tail still works. It works just fine.

The next thing I know, Laura and Stef are rubbing me all over and—will all due respect to Mr. Floppy—this is the greatest reward of all time. In a few minutes, the girls will undoubtedly subject me to activities I’m not crazy about, like putting bows in my hair or making me wear a ridiculous hat. It’s just as well Kevin is at work with his new partner, because if he saw pink nail polish on me I’d never hear the end of it. But, it’s okay. I deal with it. What can I say?

I’m a ladies’ man.

 

– J.J. Hensley

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratch, Forgiveness Dies and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Preorder NOW

Amazon

Upon being released after three years of incarceration in a psychiatric facility, former narcotics detective and unlicensed PI Trevor Galloway has no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of his shattered life. Having lost the woman he loved and exacting revenge upon those responsible, he is irreparably broken, heavily medicated, and unemployable.

When former Secret Service agent Nick Van Metre knocks on Trevor Galloway’s door, the last thing he expected was a job offer. However when the head of Metal Security hands Galloway a stack of photos and asks for his assistance with investigating a series of threats against a controversial presidential candidate, the former detective is stunned.

Galloway initially takes the case, but eventually has to question his own sanity after he reports an encounter with intruders who seem to have left no trace in his home. When Nick Van Metre turns up dead and an attack is carried out against Dennis Hackney, the former detective with a history of extreme violence becomes the focal point of multiple investigations.

Galloway pulls clues from photos and searches for answers while dodging bullets in Pittsburgh and Savannah.

Get set for a mystery told at a breakneck pace, with each of the chapters being linked to photograph in roll of film.

Look for the hints. Watch for the signs. Trevor Galloway doesn’t trust himself. Can you trust him?

The answers won’t be revealed until the final photo is flipped.

Praise for FORGIVENESS DIES: 

“Is someone setting Trevor Galloway up, or is his own mind deceiving him? Forgiveness Dies puts a uniquely fascinating protagonist–a detective who can’t trust his own perceptions–into a complex political thriller, and the result is propulsive. Hensley starts with a punch, and accelerates from there.” –Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Judgment and The Switch

“Inventive storytelling meets propulsive action in this wild thrill ride from J.J. Hensley, who brings real-life experiences to the page and delivers an authentic tale of double-crosses and dirty dealings. Don’t worry if you haven’t stepped into Trevor Galloway’s shadowy world yet…start right here, and you’ll soon want to read them all!” –Daniel Palmer, USA Today bestselling author of Stolen and Saving Meghan

“A snapshot of humanity in perfect focus. Edgy, furiously paced, raw. From the whip-smart dialogue to the deeply flawed characters, Hensley has a voice that will stay with you long after the final exposure.” –K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker and Skyjack

Forgiveness Dies is a non-stop, gut churning thriller that you’ll read in one sitting. Hensley has conceived a brilliant but almost fatally flawed protagonist in Trevor Galloway, a man so tormented by his past that in the battle for truth and justice he’s forced to fight enemies that are dangerously real, and some that only real to him. J.J. Hensley is one of the best thriller writers out there, and he sits at the top of my must-read list.” –Mark Pryor, author of the Hugo Marston series

“With Trevor Galloway, the tortured, likable protagonist of J.J. Hensley’s Forgiveness Dies, Hensley has created a character destined to remain with the reader long after the last page is turned. Not only that, but readers will find themselves inextricably pulled into a tight plot that bears a brutally close, and necessary, resemblance to today’s America. Read this book, and you’ll want to read everything else Hensley has written.” –E.A. Aymar, author of The Unrepentant

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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.

 

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 and a New Look

The supposedly long days of summer seem to be flying by. The heat index down here in the Savannah area has been hovering around 108 degrees, but that hasn’t slowed things down a bit. So, let’s get right to it:

First, the third book in the Trevor Galloway series is now available for preorder! Forgiveness Dies is available in paperback on October 14th and the ebook version is coming soon.

Second, the audiobook version of Book 2 in the series, Record Scratch is nearly ready to go!

Third, you may remember my post – Image is Everything: https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/image-is-everything/

In that post, I mentioned I was getting a tattoo of an owl, and all the reasons why. Well, it’s finally finished thanks to the FANTASTIC, BRILLIANT, AWESOME Mags Beam at Black Orchid Tattoo. I can’t say enough about Mags. In fact, I’ll probably put her in a future book… and may even give her a quick death. Probably painless. Mostly. You’re welcome, Mags.

AnyWHOOO (strained owl pun intended), here are some pics of the process and the end result:

Mags initially had some difficulty getting the needle to penetrate my – what she called – “super hero tough” skin, but once she managed it, and navigated around my bulging bicep, we were good to go!*

 

 

*It’s possible none of that happened

 

 

 

 

So, now I have an owl. I wanted to name it Captain Marv-OWL, but my daughter has already made it clear I’m not funny and should make no further attempts to be funny. Kids can be cruel.

Anyway, thanks to Mags and thanks to all of you who have already preordered Forgiveness Dies. Also, thanks to everyone for leaving Amazon and Goodreads reviews for all my books. Those reviews really do help authors, so keep them coming!

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratch, Forgiveness Dies and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Preorder NOW

Amazon

Upon being released after three years of incarceration in a psychiatric facility, former narcotics detective and unlicensed PI Trevor Galloway has no idea how to begin picking up the pieces of his shattered life. Having lost the woman he loved and exacting revenge upon those responsible, he is irreparably broken, heavily medicated, and unemployable.

When former Secret Service agent Nick Van Metre knocks on Trevor Galloway’s door, the last thing he expected was a job offer. However when the head of Metal Security hands Galloway a stack of photos and asks for his assistance with investigating a series of threats against a controversial presidential candidate, the former detective is stunned.

Galloway initially takes the case, but eventually has to question his own sanity after he reports an encounter with intruders who seem to have left no trace in his home. When Nick Van Metre turns up dead and an attack is carried out against Dennis Hackney, the former detective with a history of extreme violence becomes the focal point of multiple investigations.

Galloway pulls clues from photos and searches for answers while dodging bullets in Pittsburgh and Savannah.

Get set for a mystery told at a breakneck pace, with each of the chapters being linked to photograph in roll of film.

Look for the hints. Watch for the signs. Trevor Galloway doesn’t trust himself. Can you trust him?

The answers won’t be revealed until the final photo is flipped.

Praise for FORGIVENESS DIES: 

“Is someone setting Trevor Galloway up, or is his own mind deceiving him? Forgiveness Dies puts a uniquely fascinating protagonist–a detective who can’t trust his own perceptions–into a complex political thriller, and the result is propulsive. Hensley starts with a punch, and accelerates from there.” –Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Judgment and The Switch

“Inventive storytelling meets propulsive action in this wild thrill ride from J.J. Hensley, who brings real-life experiences to the page and delivers an authentic tale of double-crosses and dirty dealings. Don’t worry if you haven’t stepped into Trevor Galloway’s shadowy world yet…start right here, and you’ll soon want to read them all!” –Daniel Palmer, USA Today bestselling author of Stolen and Saving Meghan

“A snapshot of humanity in perfect focus. Edgy, furiously paced, raw. From the whip-smart dialogue to the deeply flawed characters, Hensley has a voice that will stay with you long after the final exposure.” –K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker and Skyjack

Forgiveness Dies is a non-stop, gut churning thriller that you’ll read in one sitting. Hensley has conceived a brilliant but almost fatally flawed protagonist in Trevor Galloway, a man so tormented by his past that in the battle for truth and justice he’s forced to fight enemies that are dangerously real, and some that only real to him. J.J. Hensley is one of the best thriller writers out there, and he sits at the top of my must-read list.” –Mark Pryor, author of the Hugo Marston series

“With Trevor Galloway, the tortured, likable protagonist of J.J. Hensley’s Forgiveness Dies, Hensley has created a character destined to remain with the reader long after the last page is turned. Not only that, but readers will find themselves inextricably pulled into a tight plot that bears a brutally close, and necessary, resemblance to today’s America. Read this book, and you’ll want to read everything else Hensley has written.” –E.A. Aymar, author of The Unrepentant

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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.

 

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

 

Image is Everything

So, I haven’t written a blog post for a while. For once, I have valid reasons for my absence from the blogging world. First, I’ve been working hard on completing the final edits for my upcoming novel Forgiveness Dies, the third book in the Trevor Galloway series, and now it is set for release in October 2019. Second, I’m busy writing the next book in that series. Additionally, I have some short stories coming out in a couple anthologies, but those will be announced later. The third reason I haven’t posted lately is I didn’t have much else to post about and reading about a writer writing is about as fun as reading about a plumber… plumb (That doesn’t sound right). Anyway, I’m going to discuss something vitally important that I know you all have been wondering about for a while now. It’s the question you’ve all had on the tip of your tongue. What will be J.J.’s next tattoo? 

So, yeah. If you didn’t know, I have a few tattoos. And I’ve been planning on getting another one, probably a turntable (because of my novel Record Scratch). However, something happened over the past year that changed my thinking. My young daughter became interested in owls. Actually, interested isn’t the right word. Obsessed is more like it. The kid absolutely loves owls. So, we ended up buying owl books, reading all sorts of online articles about owls, and visiting places where we could see owls. One such place was the Center for Wildlife Education in Statesboro, GA. I’d read there was an aerial show and, not wanting to drive an hour to have my daughter disappointed, I emailed a gentleman named Scott Courdin to make sure owls would be present. Scott assured me there would be and even made sure owls would play a prominent role in the show. (For his generosity, Scott’s name is now being used for a character in a story to be included in an anthology that will be published in 2020. He might even live. We’ll see.) We got more than we bargained for with the owls, as our encounters were… close (see video below).

Thanks to my daughter, I’ve now studied up on owls as well. Before studying up on the creatures, I knew owls were… birds. That’s pretty much it. Of course, I understood they also symbolized knowledge and probably mystery. However, they are so much more. First off, they are bad ass predators. And some types are huge. The Eurasian Eagle Owl (below) has a seven-foot wing span. Think about that. The lady ducking certainly noticed.

Eurasian Eagle Owl – Center for Wildlife Education, Statesboro, GA

Owls seem to hear and see everything and are masters at camouflage. If you don’t believe me, just do an internet search of the terms “owl camouflage”. Of course, now I notice that I’m hearing owls every morning when I leave the house. However, I never see them because they don’t want to be seen. But they watch you. Oh, they watch you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my daughter and I learned more about the various types of owls, I became more interested in the history of the symbolism in various cultures. The owl has been tied to the Greek goddess Athena and appears on coins from ancient Greece.

via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owl paintings have been found in ancient grottoes in France, dating back to over 20,000 years ago – indicating the creature was held in high regard or had religious meaning. The owl is found in Egyptian hieroglyphics, in African art, in artifacts found on various islands, and all from time periods spanning tens of thousands of years. For some cultures the owl has symbolized knowledge, wisdom, or watchfulness. For others, danger or death. Whether found on Alaskan carvings created by anonymous craftsmen, or in the works of Michelangelo and Picasso, the symbol of the owl has always had great historical, religious, and cultural significance.

And they can be super cute.

Screech owl. Center for Wildlife Education, Statesboro, GA.

So, I’m guessing my next tattoo will include an owl. At the time of this writing, I’m a few hours away from a consultation with a tattoo artist in the Savannah area. If I do get an owl image of some type, I’ll be doing what thousands of people, speaking countless languages, living all over the world, have done. I’ll be paying tribute to one of the greatest raptors in the world by bearing a symbol with deep meaning. At a time when we seem divided as a people, I kind of like the idea of having a reminder that we all have much in common and that history is bigger than all of us.

Besides, I looked up those Greek coins on eBay and those suckers are expensive!

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Available Now!

RECORD SCRATCH

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

Available Now!

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Author Day in Savannah: Mingling and an Actual Murder

I admit I saw the movie first. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil hit the theaters in 1997 and I don’t think I watched it until at least 2000. My wife and I read the book in 2002 and made the journey from our home in Virginia to visit Savannah for a few days. We were enchanted by city’s history, architecture… and humidity. Neither of us had any clue we would end up moving to the area by the end of 2017.

A lot had transpired throughout that fifteen-year journey that led us to the Georgia coast, one unforeseen change was my becoming a novelist. Having spent a decade establishing a bit of readership in the northeast, I am completely aware I’m lesser known in Savannah. And by “lesser known”, I mean not at all. Thus, is one reason I set up a table at this year’s Local Author Day, right in the heart of the city. Now, here’s a little secret about local author days:  if they aren’t run well, they can be AWFUL. It ends up being a bunch of writers staring at each other, eventually talking to each other, then taking each other’s cards for no reason whatsoever. I was afraid this might be the case with the event in Savannah. But… IT… WAS… AWESOME.

Not only was there lots of foot traffic from tourists, but plenty of locals stopped by. And when I say “locals”… well, remember Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah.

Savannah has some local flavor. There were men who may or may not have been bellhops. Women wearing enormous fur coats on a very warm day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least one poodle who wasn’t having ANY of this walking stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a kid with a Minotaur mask. A bishop staring at the kid with the Minotaur mask.

Oh… and readers too. I got to speak to lots of wonderful people who had a real interest in books. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there was the occasional lull in the action, but there were soooo many dogs around and I’m a huge dog person. One of my favorites was THIS guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be asking why I’ve expertly disguised his face. This is because I am a firm believer in the principal of innocent until proven guilty. Which obviously leads us to the story of Chicken BINGO. Obviously.

This entire event was part of a birthday celebration for esteemed writer Flannery O’Connor, who was born in Savannah. As part of this celebration,  something called Chicken BINGO was occurring on the other side of the square from where I was set up. From what I’m told, Chicken BINGO involves a large board of numbers and when a real live chicken defecates on that number, some lucky ticket holder wins… something. Anyway, I don’t know if it was before, during, or after the BINGO session, but I guess the chicken got away from the owner and strayed away from the fecal game card and away from its cage. And… well, did I mention there were lots of dogs around?

I couldn’t see it, but I heard plenty. A woof. Screams. Gags. Someone yelled, “Oh, my God!” Some people turned away and started crying. Through the pedestrians and shrubs I saw my large, white furry friend being escorted away. It was a shameful perp walk if there ever was one. That poultry never stood a chance.

But, THIS IS SPARTA… I mean, Savannah. Five minutes later, after the carcass had been scooped up, a band – complete with an accordion player – formed up, and led a line of children in a parade around the square. It was as if nobody remembered the chicken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I remember you, nameless chicken. I remember.

Now, all of this may seem a bit surreal to some of you. But, here is the best part. Throughout the afternoon, I watched all of this unfold and observed the faces of the writers who have lived here for many years. What I saw in their faces was – nothing. Other than the few moments surrounding the poultry homicide, nobody seemed to find any of this activity the least bit extravagant. It reminded me of a scene  in the movie version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil when John Cusack’s character tells someone, “This place is fantastic; it’s like ‘Gone With the Wind’ on mescaline.”

I’ve never tried mescaline. But, Savannah is certainly fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Available Now!

RECORD SCRATCH

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

Available Now!

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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

 

What I Learned During the Government Shutdown

It appears the longest government shutdown in U.S. history has come to an end. At the time of this posting, it was announced that a three-week Continuing Resolution would be passed fully reopening the government. We shall see if another shutdown occurs after that point. The downside of this 34+ day shutdown should be fairly obvious. Many federal employees didn’t receive a paycheck, although we will receive back pay once the government reopens. Contractors are not so fortunate and they have suffered greatly throughout this shutdown which apparently achieved nothing. They are the forgotten victims of this mess.

On a personal note, I’ve worked full-time since I graduated college so I think this was the longest I’ve ever been off work. I wasn’t certain how I would react, but I learned a little about myself over the past month.

First, given time during the day, I can still get into really good physical shape. Even before the shutdown, I hit the gym four or five times per seek. However, during this hiatus from work, I awoke early every morning, helped get my daughter to school and then started my workout. I usually begin with a two to three-mile run or fast walk and then I’d hit the weights for about 45 minutes to an hour. I started integrating a system called AR-7 (AR=Advanced Results) into my workouts and ended up cutting some body fat and gaining some muscle. I complimented my exercise regimen by eating extremely healthy (I’m a vegetarian anyway) and really cutting back on alcohol.

Second, I could absolutely write for a living (if it paid anything). After my workout was finished, I’d retreat to an upstairs “office”, get in front of the laptop, and work on my next manuscript. In no time at all, I conducted quite a bit of research and cranked out several thousand words. I found the work enjoyable and the biggest challenge was staying off the internet for non-research purposes.

Third, I can work from home and still get some things done around the house. I managed to fix several items around the house which probably didn’t need to be fixed and I only broke a few other things. All in all, it was a wash.

Finally, I discovered I still want to go do my regular job. While I love writing novels and short stories (and would LOVE to have more time to do so), there is a purposefulness to working in the federal law enforcement training field and I enjoy having that sense of meaning. I work with a lot of great people who do some amazing things and it will be nice to get back to my regular duties. Also…I’m pretty sure my wife wants me out of the house for a while. She works from home and I’m driving her CRAZY.

So, back to work I go. Like most furloughed feds, I WANT to go back to work and serve my country. Sadly, there are too many people out there who have little understanding of what the government actually does and how it affects our quality of life, whether it is felt in the short-term or the long-term. I work at the main campus of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center where thousands of employees on the lower end of the pay scale have been going through training without pay and many of the staff normally in place to support them (so-called nonessential employees) had been furloughed. These trainees will be going out into the field to save lives. These are the government employees who work the front lines. For the good of our country, I hope none of us have to face another shutdown anytime soon.

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Available Now!

RECORD SCRATCH

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

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BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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.

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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.

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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