Tag Archives: law enforcement

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

 

Hey, Great Internship! Let’s Talk Again in 20 Years

I guess today is National Intern Day. Didn’t know that was a thing. Anyway, funny story. Well, interesting more than funny. Or, perhaps not interesting at all.

So in 1996, I was attending Penn State University and I landed a summer internship with the U.S. Marshals Service. I use the term “landed”, but it was a government internship, which meant I wasn’t getting paid. In fact, I had to write a research paper, AND I was collecting college credits, AND I had to rent an apartment, so I was actually PAYING quite a bit to have this internship.

Regardless, I spent the summer interning with the Marshals Service in the Northern District of WV, which was great because I wanted to apply to the agency and take the Marshals exam right out of college. When I graduated in 1997, they weren’t hiring and I ended up in the Chesterfield County, Virginia Police Academy. As luck would have it, the Marshals DID offer their exam while I was in the paramilitary police academy, but the academy wasn’t about to give me a day off to go test for another job. So, I waited. And waited. Three years went by and no Marshals exam. So, I ended up with the Secret Service and later as a training instructor and supervisor with the National Background Investigations Bureau.

About eight months ago, I started a new job in the Federal government. I’m currently working in the Training Division of… the U.S. Marshals Service. 21 years after my internship, I ended up in the organization I wanted to join in the first place. There are two reasons I’m telling this story. First, is to remind everyone that life is truly a journey and you never know what kind of circuitous or convoluted road lay ahead. Second, because it’s National Intern Day and that’s the only internship-related story I have. #NationalInternDay

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.

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

October 2018

RECORD SCRATCH

Preorder

“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest on Inside Thrill Radio

I was recently a guest on Inside Thrill Radio. I was one of three guests on the show, all of whom had background in law enforcement and utilized the experience to write crime fiction. It was a great discussion. Here is the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/suspensemagazine/2017/10/26/inside-thrill-radio-with-special-guests-micki-browning-jj-hensley-and-isabell

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

Zootopia: The Most Realistic Cop Movie Ever

Shootouts:  None
Unlocked doors kicked in:  None
Unrealistic computer hacking:  None
Questionable uses of discretion:  Some – but, what did you expect?  We’re talking about animals here.

20140725_130317

Disney’s Zootopia is the story of Officer Judy Hopps who attempts to unravel a series of disappearances in the metropolis of Zootopia.  In the past, I’ve been highly critical of television police dramas and unrealistic Hollywood productions that do a horrible job of portraying my former profession. Zootopia does a fantastic job of avoiding thed usual pitfalls of the cop drama, while lending realism to policing in movies (you know… other than the fact the characters are cartoon animals).  So, how realistic is this film?  Extremely.

Exhibit 1:  Officer Hopps, the first bunny on the force, uses a criminal informant (a fox named Nick Wilde) who has access to animals and information that cops don’t.  Hopps coerced Wilde into helping her by holding damaging information over his head.  This is the way it works with C.I.’s.  You have to get leverage and then use it wisely.

Exhibit 2:  Hopps has limited access to information.  Her own department has basically cut her out of the loop and limited her ability to use department resources.  Unlike NCIS in which Tim McGee or Abby Sciuto simply hack into restricted databases and violate countless state and federal laws in order to obtain information, Hopps has to get creative in order to run a license plate.  Through Nick Wilde, Hopps develops a contact named Flash at the DMV.  Contacts like this are invaluable in real world law enforcement, although the most helpful ones aren’t incredibly slow sloths that work at the DMV.  Rather, they are incredibly slow humans who work at the DMV.

Exhibit 3:  Hopps mostly stays within the law and even cites the requirement to have probable cause to search property.  In fact, Hopps is frequently careful not to violate rights, search without warrants, and is constantly respectful to the public.  Sure, she colors outside the lines when pushed, but who am I to judge?  I never had a water buffalo as a police chief.

Exhibit 4:  Officer Hopps gets caught up in city and departmental politics.  As in real life, law enforcement gets caught in between society’s problems and those who want to capitalize off of fear.  While a vast majority of the officers in the Zootopia Police Department (ZPD) are honest and hardworking, the department is put in the impossible position of bringing order to society while those with political ambitions stoke the fires of anger and discrimination.  In fact, I’d say the movie Zootopia is a better political commentary than anything I’ve seen this election year.  Contrary to recent political events, the film made my family laugh instead of cry which was a bonus.

So, forget Dirty Harry, Bad Boys, and Lethal Weapon.  Zootopia is policing at it’s best.  It has intrigue, suspense, politics, criminal informants, and the most ingenious and complex popsicle con ever invented.  Seriously, it’s a brilliant operation.  Go see this film and see if you don’t want to put in your application for the ZPD.  I know I do.

Did you see the movie?  Feel free to 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.

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.

2014

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

 

 

Is There Really a “War” Against Law Enforcement?

Throughout the past couple of years, the public perception of law enforcement has become increasingly negative due to several high-profile incidents in which officers or agents either exceeded their authority, or were believed to have done so.  At times, some media outlets have fanned the flames and rushed to judgment and shaped the “facts” to fit a narrative that would help to create outrage and therefore generate ratings.  Some law enforcement officers are not without blame as we have seen most recently in Chicago where not only did an officer improperly apply force, but it appears multiple members of the police department and city government conspired to conceal a homicide.  Although I have been extremely critical of some police actions, I am still sometimes accused of being a police apologist whenever I have emphasized the need for objectivity and calm in the face of controversial acts that understandably generate strong emotions.  Some in law enforcement believe that the negative shift in public perception is part of a “war” against law enforcement that is being played out on our televisions and through social media.  I have a different take.

“War” = Ratings = Attention

The matchup between these two heavyweight boxers is going to be an absolute WAR!

There is a WAR on Christmas!

The WAR on drugs, the WAR on poverty, the WAR on Christian values, etc.., etc., etc.

Philosopher and Theologian James Childress describes the use of the word “war” as a dilemma:  “In debating social policy through the language of war, we often forget the moral reality of war.”

I tend to agree with Childress and would add that not only does the using the language of war while discussing social issues cause us to forget the harsh realities of war, but it polarizes debates and changes the mode of communication from meaningful conversations to relentless battles.  Conversations include ideas whereas battles ultimately result in casualties on both sides.

So why all this talk about war?  It’s simple.  Throughout history, if you want to mobilize the masses then you claim you are at war against a formidable enemy – be it physical or ideological.  Additionally, if you want to rally your followers and generate increased support then you need to control the media.  Major media outlets are controlled by massive corporations and therefore we constantly hear about the WAR against Christmas or the WAR against illegal immigration, but not about the WAR against corporate tax loopholes.  That war does not exist because the media has not declared that social problem to be worthy of inflammatory terminology.

The Treatment of Law Enforcement Officials is Getting Worse

This is absolutely true.  As our society has become more polarized in our beliefs and respect for governmental authority has decreased, the police have become targets of verbal and physical assaults.  As a former law enforcement officer, I admit there are times I have to make sure I don’t get an “us versus them” mentality when discussing the police and those who are heavily critical regardless of the facts.  The best way for me to do this is to keep things in a historical perspective.

In the United States, there is a long history of police forces being used as a tool for oppression.  This is a sad fact that is evidenced by how some organizations were utilized throughout the civil rights movement.  Additionally, police are the most visible symbol of governmental authority which is fine until people become disenchanted with the government and believe the government is responsible for society’s failures.  Therefore, in a polarized society where 24/7 media outlets are quick to assign blame and use terms such as WAR, people lash out at the most visible and accessible symbol of governmental authority.  The hard truth is that most people do not know the name of their Senator, but they sure know what the local police cruiser looks like.

No –  There is No War on the Police

I do not believe there is a WAR on the police any more than I believe there is a WAR against Christmas.  Law enforcement as a profession is going through a difficult time and is suffering from wounds that are sometimes self-inflicted, but often caused by misconceptions, misinformation, and the hunger for ratings.  For decades, departments have tried to remind us that 99 percent of police officer are doing a great job.  However, that claim has become a cliché that is often falling on deaf ears.  Social media outlets are being flooded with videos of law enforcement officers doing the wrong thing, but few remember that it is rare for anyone to find it worth while to post videos of the police doing their jobs with honor.

In response to these difficult times, many law enforcement organizations (such as those where I live in the area of Pittsburgh, PA) are changing their ways, becoming more transparent, and joining forces with the community to improve both operations and perceptions.  These changes result in conversations, rather than battles.  The removal of violent terminology opens the door to reason and accountability and discourages knee jerk reactions.  The challenges police are facing on our streets are real and can be horribly violent.  To ignore this would be naïve and irresponsible.  However, we must be careful not to buy into the WAR mentality that is being pushed on us at every turn.

When a society believes it is at war with its protectors, it’s time for everyone involved to take a big step back from the frontlines.

Maybe it's time to put the pin back in this thing

Maybe it’s time to put the pin back in this thing

If you have any thoughts on the matter, feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

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

February 2016

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.

National Police Week – Remembering the Fallen

It’s National Police Week in the United States, so I decided not to write-up a typical blog post.  Instead I chose to simply list the names of the 126 officers who lost their lives in 2014.  These people were not just officers.  They were husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.  Their parents remember holding them for the first time, dropping them off for their first day of kindergarten, watching them play little league baseball, and go on their first dates.  They had friends, they joked, they cried, they did great things, and they were as fallible as any of us.  They were people just like you and me.

Working in law enforcement has, and has always had, challenges few can understand. As of late, things have become particularly difficult as specific actions by some officers have come under heavy scrutiny (sometimes with reason). However, the narrative being promoted by many in and around the media has become irrational and the reflexive responses by some involved in policing has only fanned the flames. Let this week be a time to remember the fallen and to advocate rational analyses of individual police actions for everyone’s benefit.

police

Here is the list provide by http://www.policeweek.org/roll_call.html:

Garrett Jeffrey 10/27/14 AL Dothan Police Department
Hart James 11/23/14 AL Elmore County Sheriff’s Office
Kelley William 4/18/14 AL Covington County Sheriff’s Office
Williamson John 10/25/14 AL Butler County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson Patrick 5/1/14 AK Alaska State Troopers
Rich Gabriel 5/1/14 AK Alaska State Troopers
Hobbs John 3/3/14 AZ Phoenix Police Department
Payne David 10/31/14 AZ Chandler Police Department
Stewart Tyler 12/27/14 AZ Flagstaff Police Department
Richardson Allen “Pete” 3/17/14 AE Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office
Corder Jordan 9/30/14 CA Covina Police Department
Cortijo Christopher 4/9/14 CA Los Angeles Police Department
Davis, Jr. Michael 10/24/14 CA Placer County Sheriff’s Department
Del Fiorentino Ricky 3/19/14 CA Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office
Diamond Shaun 10/29/14 CA Pomona Police Department
Gonzalez Juan 2/17/14 CA California Highway Patrol
Hewell Scott 6/11/14 CA Stockton Police Department
Kostiuchenko Yevhen 10/28/14 CA Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
Law Brian 2/17/14 CA California Highway Patrol
Lee Nicholas 3/7/14 CA Los Angeles Police Department
Mitchell Timothy 12/30/14 CA Avalon Harbor Patrol
Oliver Danny 10/24/14 CA Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department
Sanchez Roberto 5/3/14 CA Los Angeles Police Department
Smith, Jr. Tom 1/21/14 CA Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department
Baldwin David 1/26/14 CO Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
German Robert 3/22/14 FL Windermere Police Department
Horne Michael 1/27/09 FL Hendry County Sheriff’s Office
Kondek, Jr. Charles 12/21/14 FL Tarpon Springs Police Department
Larson Mark 3/24/14 FL Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
Pine Jonathan 2/11/14 FL Orange County Sheriff’s Office
Richard Chelsea 5/3/14 FL Florida Highway Patrol
Smith Christopher 11/22/14 FL Leon County Sheriff’s Office
Hawk Noel 5/4/14 GA Eatonton Police Department
Jordan Kevin 5/31/14 GA Griffin Police Department
Norris Michael 9/14/14 GA Monroe County Sheriff’s Office
Thomas Steven 5/21/14 GA Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
Morrissy James 3/17/14 IL Oak Forest Police Department
Calvin Jacob 6/28/14 IN Tipton County Sheriff’s Office
Renn Perry 7/5/14 IN Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Schultz Nickolaus 9/7/14 IN Merrillville Police Department
Westerfield Jeffery 7/6/14 IN Gary Police Department
Snider Howard 6/17/12 IA Ames Police Department
Harwood Jason 9/7/14 KA Topeka Police Department
Branham Bobby 5/14/13 KY Louisville Division of Police
Bares, Jr. Allen 6/23/14 LA Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office
Foster, Jr. James 12/30/14 LA Denham Springs Police Department
Papillion, Jr. Carlos 1/28/14 LA St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office
Clagett Jamel 12/21/14 MD Charles County Sheriff’s Office
Maloney Gregory 4/1/14 MA Plymouth Police Department
Simmonds Dennis 4/10/14 MA Boston Police Department
Charles Chad 5/21/14 MI Michigan Department of Corrections
Whitaker Grant 12/7/14 MI Ingham County Sheriff’s Office
Patrick Scott 7/30/14 MN Mendota Heights Police Department
Collum John 5/9/14 MS Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks
Street John 12/16/14 MS George County Sheriff’s Office
Chism Matthew 11/2/14 MO Cedar County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson, Jr. Eddie 10/20/14 MO Alton Police Department
Dunn, I Joseph 8/14/14 MT Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Baker Amanda 2/16/14 NE Scotts Bluff County Detention Center
Hecker Mark 8/12/14 NE Butler County Sheriff’s Office
Beck Alyn 6/8/14 NV Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Soldo Igor 6/8/14 NV Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Arkell Stephen 5/12/14 NH Brentwood Police Department
Arocha, Jr. Reinaldo 9/16/14 NJ Newark Police Department
Goodell Christopher 7/17/14 NJ Waldwick Police Department
Petruzzello Stephen 12/29/14 NJ Cliffside Park Police Department
Santiago Melvin 7/13/14 NJ Jersey City Police Department
Haase Anthony 10/26/14 NM Rio Rancho Police Department
Bordonaro Frank 7/8/14 NY Genesee County Sheriff’s Office
Choi Thomas 12/29/14 NY Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police
Guerra Dennis 4/9/14 NY New York City Police Department
Liu Wenjian 12/20/14 NY New York City Police Department
Mayville Douglas 4/9/14 NY Albany Police Department
Pierson Daryl 9/3/14 NY Rochester Police Department
Ramos Rafael 12/20/14 NY New York City Police Department
Skinner Christopher 5/29/14 NY New York State Police
Smith, Jr. David 3/31/14 NY Johnson City Police Department
Williams Michael 9/21/14 NY New York City Police Department
Greene Jeffrey 11/19/14 NC Union County Sheriff’s Office
Klingenschmidt Stanley 6/15/13 NC Southern Pines Police Department
Thalmann Alexander 3/31/14 NC New Bern Police Department
Paris, Sr. Michael 8/1/12 OH Ohio State Highway Patrol
Winebrenner Justin 11/16/14 OH Akron Police Department
Beck Brian 1/23/14 OK Washita County Sheriff’s Office
Chase Kelley 10/13/12 OK Oklahoma City Police Department
Fisher Terry 1/12/14 OK Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office
Weeks Mitchell 1/6/12 OK McAlester Police Department
Willhight Kristian 1/23/14 OK Burns Flat Police Department
Champion Richard 12/14/14 PA Perryopolis Borough Police Department
Dickson, II Bryon 9/12/14 PA Pennsylvania State Police
Kedra David 9/30/14 PA Pennsylvania State Police
Pierce Sheryl 9/14/13 PA South Londonderry Township Police Department
Matuskovic Joseph 9/8/14 SC Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
Smith, Jr. Holmes 11/5/14 SC Clarendon County Sheriff’s Department
Johnson David 1/12/14 TN Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
Perritt Darrell 11/4/14 TN Maury County Sheriff’s Department
Petrina Michael 5/10/14 TN Metro Nashville Police Department
Buckles Paul 5/30/14 TX Potter County Sheriff’s Office
Dinwiddie Charles 5/11/14 TX Killeen Police Department
Dixon Wayland 6/19/14 TX Little River-Academy Police Department
Hollis Jessica 9/18/14 TX Travis County Sheriff’s Office
Johnson, Jr. Cleveland 8/28/14 TX Titus County Constable’s Office
Kelley Marc 3/14/14 TX Trinity University Police Department
Martinez, Sr. Alejandro 11/21/14 TX Willacy County Sheriff’s Office
Naylor Michael 10/9/14 TX Midland County Sheriff’s Office
Pimentel Michael 8/23/14 TX Elmendorf Police Department
Valdez, III Jesse 10/29/14 TX Harris County Sheriff’s Office
Wride Cory 1/30/14 UT Utah County Sheriff’s Office
Berger Bryan 4/28/14 VA Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office
House, III Percy 1/31/14 VA Greensville County Sheriff’s Office
Jones Brian 5/30/14 VA Norfolk Police Department
Hansen Derek 3/28/14 WA Wapato Police Department
Seversen Michael 4/14/14 WI Polk County Sheriff’s Office
Albarati-Casana Osvaldo 2/26/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Baskett Michael 11/26/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice – Federal Bureau of Prisons
Cabrera Jair 5/24/14 Federal Salt River Police Department, Tribal Police
Crisp Jason 3/12/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations
Feldt Brian 12/23/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Giannini Alexander 5/28/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol
Holtz Clinton 1/17/14 Federal U.S. Capitol Police
Kountz Brandon 3/31/13 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Mayo Mark 3/24/14 Federal United States Navy Security Forces
McKnight Frank 5/29/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Marshals Service
Montoya, Sr. Ernest 11/30/14 Federal Navajo Division of Public Safety, Tribal Police
Robledo Tyler 9/12/14 Federal U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol
Amaro-Fantauzzi Geniel 8/25/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Correa-Ortega Joaquin 3/10/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Morales-Santiago Marielis 4/10/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Mujica de Leon Francisco 12/20/10 PR Puerto Rico Department of Justice
Rivera-Vega Carlos 1/21/14 PR Puerto Rico Police Department
Torres-Marin Mario 12/20/10 PR Puerto Rico Department of Justice

 

 

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