Tag Archives: pittsburgh

Sound Engineers: What the Hell Do They Do?

When I was conducting research for my novel Record Scratch, I needed to find someone who understood the music recording business. Fortunately, I happened to know such a person. Now I still don’t really understand what my brother Brian Hensley does for a living because it’s way too technical for my brain to comprehend, but I do know he records music for bands and creates albums for various artists. I also know he is a sound engineer for concerts and somehow makes sure things go off without a hitch. If that sounds vague… it should. Because, like I said, it’s too technical for me. 

As of late, Brian has been out on tour running sound for country music star Tyler Childers and it seemed like as good a time as any to talk to him about what a sound engineer does. Tyler and the band have been making huge waves and selling out shows, but Brian was kind enough to take a few moments to answer a few questions. 

Explain to us what you do for a living.

In a nutshell – I worry so that my guys don’t have to. There are 100 things that can go wrong during a show, and I make sure as many boxes as possible are checked so that they pull off a seamless performance and all of the bells and whistles that put a show together are completely transparent. This includes everything from making sure there aren’t any feedback issues during soundcheck to coordinating with the venue staff to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to expectations on aesthetics. For instance, you don’t want the Lighting Designer trying to make a country show look like an EDM show. I’ll coordinate with the LD before the show to give them some notes on everything from cues to how much haze we want in the air. (Too much can make singing a little difficult, especially when everybody is sharing the same cold) At the end of the day, if I do my job right, no one in the audience realizes I was there.

Brian Hensley (front row, right) with musicians and crew on the Tyler Childers tour.

What are the biggest challenges that comes with the job?
Finding a common language and purpose with the venue staff within 10 minutes of hitting the ground. It’s important to figure out as soon as possible who you can count on and which people might confuse confidence with competence and need a little more guidance. I’m always wary of the guy who wants to tell you 110% of what he knows. On the flip side, it’s important to recognize when someone is better at your job than you are, so you can pick their brain and learn some new techniques. For instance, I knew right away that the monitor engineer at The Fillmore was way better at monitors than I was, so I made a point of pestering him with questions after sound check.
When people think of popular musicians and their crews touring the country, they often think of loud parties and wild times in every city. What’s it really been like from your perspective?
Touring life is what you make of it. First and foremost, you have a job to do and you better do it really well or you’ll find yourself voted off the island pretty quick. Across the board, I think the old cliches of wild parties and drunken sloppy performances have become a thing of the past thanks to camera phones and social media. One sloppy, embarrassing show will follow you around for a lifetime now. There’s too much on the line to risk being unprofessional because you couldn’t wait until after the show to unwind.
What has been the best part of the touring experience? What have you learned?
The best part has been traveling the country with a really good group of guys who are incredibly intelligent and big-hearted. There are a lot of really long days that run into each other, and everyone misses their families. Being surrounded by a bus full of good people and having the opportunity to share amazing experiences with them makes it better. As for what I’ve learned – too much to mention. There is a sea of variables and they all have to be manipulated on any given night. As long as you can set your ego aside and ask questions when you see someone doing something better, then there are endless opportunities to learn and get better at your job. For over 20 years now, every time I start thinking I know everything, I inevitably end up working with someone who schools me and puts me in my place. It’s especially humbling when they do that to you while they’re working on your own equipment.
You’ve been in the music recording / sound engineering business for over twenty years. What advice do you have for anyone just starting out?
Stay curious and never tell someone 110% of what you know. Trust is a big deal. The people on stage are trusting you to manage the chaos that they can’t. If you get caught exaggerating your abilities, that relationship might not ever recover. I don’t have much patience for the “fake it until you make it” mentality. When someone gets caught overselling their abilities, they usually end up with a few hundred heads turning toward them at the same time while they’re trying not to hyperventilate. It can even be a show stopper in a worst case scenario.
Other than your older and better-looking brother, has their been anyone in particular who has inspired you along the way?
When I was first starting out, I was having trouble finding anyone to give me pointers. This was before YouTube and most everyone guarded their knowledge as being trade secrets. There was one local guy named Sam Moore who was patient with me and would answer my questions when I would pester him at shows, and I pestered him a lot. Because of him, I try to be patient and answer as many questions as possible when younger people approach me while I’m working. If there isn’t time to explain something, I’ll do my best to at least point them in the right direction.
If you had to come up with a book title based on life touring, what would it be?
Whirlwind. You usually hit the ground at 2:00 pm. You work like hell up until about midnight. You get back on the bus, take a breath, close your eyes, and when you open your eyes you’re in a different city and it starts all over again. Day after day.

A scene from the Tyler Childer’s tour.

Have you had a favorite tour stop thus far? A favorite moment?
It’s hard to pick one out, but I’d probably say The Fillmore in San Francisco. We hit a lot of really nice venues, but the history of that place makes it stand out. The Troubador in Hollywood was also a milestone. It was a lot smaller than I had envisioned. Still not sure how they fit Guns N’ Roses in there.
What is your favorite piece of equipment?
Ear plugs. I can’t wear them when I work because it takes away too much detail, but I always wear them when I’m attending a show where I’m not on the clock. A few weeks ago a record executive, John Esposito, put the fear of God into me about hearing loss. He talked about how many artists he knows have suffered from advanced hearing loss and how he’d bought in-ear monitors for all of his artists. (In-ear monitors are a mix between earplugs and headphones and are worn by the performers while on stage. They block out the loud and painful noise while amplifying the music the performers need to hear. In the long run, they prevent damage.) I’d hate to think that one day I wouldn’t be able to enjoy music because I was careless at a few shows. I recently bought some fancy earplugs that are supposed to dampen the damaging frequencies while still letting through the detail, but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet.

 

Thanks to Brian for taking the time to explain a little of what he does for a living and giving us a peek behind the curtain. His website is https://www.earthtoneaudio.com/ and he’s on Twitter at @earthtoneaudio. If you need music recorded… he’s your guy. 

Tyler Childer’s tour dates and other information are on his website: https://tylerchildersmusic.com/

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Record Scratch is Here!

Well… not right here. But, it’s out and thus far the reception has been outstanding. Thanks to all of my readers for the wonderful support. The “live” launch for Record Scratch will be at The Book Lady Bookstore in Savannah, Georgia on November 9th at 7PM. Otherwise, you can purchase the book through your independent bookseller, online through Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or through my awesome publisher Down and Out Books.

This novel is the second in the Trevor Galloway series. You don’t necessarily need to read the first, Bolt Action Remedy, before Record Scratch, but it will give you some background on Trevor. The next Galloway book is set to be published next October. It’s currently titled Forgiveness Dies on the Vine. I’ll start the heavy editing on that in the next couple of weeks and then it goes off to the publisher in December.

As always, I appreciate any online reviews – especially those posted on Amazon and Goodreads. Those reviews trigger magical algorithms that cause the book fairies to make recommendations to other readers.

An algorithm fairy. True story.

So, online reviews help both authors and readers. And don’t be shy about telling your library to buy a copies of my, or anyone else’s, books. If you don’t let the libraries know what you want, they won’t purchase them for circulation. If the library refuses, then considering making a purchase and donating a copy. You’ll feel better and if you watch The Good Place on NBC then you know you might be earning points to help keep you out of The Bad Place.

 

 

Thank you all again for your continued support. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook. The links are below.

Oh, and VOTE THIS NOVEMBER. Checks and balances on power are what make this country special.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the First Chapter of Record Scratch Now!!!!

Thanks to my friends at Littsburgh, you can read the first chapter of my upcoming mystery, Record Scratch, right here:

https://www.littsburgh.com/start-reading-record-scratch-by-former-special-agent-j-j-hensley/

Record Scratch is out on October 22nd, but you can preorder it now!!

 

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.

October 22, 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Will Cause a Novelist to Kill You

I’m on Facebook and Twitter as much as the next writer and I’ll occasionally send out a tweet or post about something somebody has done to annoy me and how I’m tempted to create a thinly veiled version of that individual and have them…well, die.

In a book.

Yes, definitely in a book.

Which got me to thinking about what my latest Top Ten list would be for these annoying activities. I say “latest” because a list like this needs to remain fluid. We are all human and our levels of annoyances regarding certain activities can differ from one day to another. For instance, there was a time when simply having neon lights outlining the bottom of your Honda Accord that you loaded down with a $3000 stereo might have me considering getting you hit by a locomotive in Chapter 4 of a future thriller. However, I’ve mellowed.

So, for the moment here is my Top Ten ways to get yourself killed in one of my books.

10. General idiocy – This broad category may include racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, or the belief my home state of West Virginia is near the ocean. It’s not. That’s why the word WEST is in there. Any of these may get you shot, stabbed, dismembered, or electrocuted. Understandably, the multiple avenues of ignorance here necessitate the multiple possibilities for your demise.

9. Singing in the gym – You wore headphones. Nice work. You realized not everyone wanted to hear your favorite music. Awesome. However, now you’re singing and everyone can hear your karaoke version of Enter Sandman. It’s not pretty. You’ve chosen poorly and it’s likely you get crushed by dumbbells in a particularly gruesome chapter.

8. Referring to your vacation as a “vaca” – Your “vaca” is not okay. I admit this seems minor, so perhaps I haven’t mellowed. But, when I hear anyone say they are going on a vaca it makes me crazy. Or as some people like to say, it makes me “cra-cra”. Which, not coincidentally, will also get you killed.

7. Shooting off fireworks after the legal cut-off time – Get off my lawn! Yes, this is my grumpy ol’ man item, but I have a young child, two dogs who are terrified of fireworks, and everyone in Georgia seems to like shooting them off in the neighborhoods. I have to tolerate it up until the cut-off time, but then I’m done. You’ll die in some sort of explosion in a future book. Or perhaps I’ll only give you a painful disfigurement. Hey! I have mellowed!

6. Watching and believing Fox News – I’m not even going into this other than to say a television is going to fall on you and you’re going to stop breathing.

5. Using the word “we” when discussing your favorite sports team – Look – you’re exempt if you’re actually part of the aforementioned sports team. However, the odds are you aren’t. You didn’t throw the pass, score the goal, or hit the home run. You watched from the stands or from your couch just like millions of others. Oh, you were wearing a jersey???! Guess what? Still doesn’t count. You die in one of the later chapters of a novella in which a sports mascot dressed as a snapping turtle ironically, and tragically, snaps.

4. Being late – I’m super punctual. In fact, I’m usually early. Did you hear the one about the writer who actually beats his deadlines? Yeah, that’s me. So, I don’t deal well with anyone being late. If you keep me waiting for something there’s a better than average chance a character resembling you will be a step too slow getting out of the way of something moving really, really fast.

3. Telling me I should’t drink coffee – Are you suicidal? I mean…this could get you hurt in real life! So, if you do this then you better expect to get scolded to death in a short story somewhere along the way. Psycho!

2. Keeping your dog tied up outside all the time – I’m probably going to do the same to a character with a name like yours and nobody is coming for you. Ever.

1. Being unable to drive in a roundabout – Yes, it’s a road. Yes, it’s a circle. It’s both! Look, I get that Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. is busy and confusing. I’ll grant forgiveness for messing that one up. However, that tiny, single lane roundabout that popped up outside your suburban neighborhood is not some sort of giant codex that you need to solve before you can pass through. Whoever is in the circle has the right of way. Don’t stop in the roundabout. Doing so is real bad. Failure to adhere to basic traffic laws may cause and accident and will certainly get you whacked in an early chapter of a mystery. It might be a hit and run and the killer may never be caught. Because let’s face it – you don’t deserve closure.

Do you have a Top Ten? Comment below! Now remember – we’re talking about fiction here!

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mystery Convention, a New Release, and a Year in Savannah

So, I’m terrible with blogging. Really, really terrible. But, in my defense it has been a crazy few months. In addition to my “day job” (I do have one), I’ve been working on the third Trevor Galloway book. It’s hard to believe Bolt Action Remedy has been out for a year and that it has been nearly as long since I’ve moved from Pittsburgh to Savannah. Now we are weeks away from the release of the sequel to Bolt Action Remedy – Record Scratch!

So, here is the deal with Record Scratch. It is divided in to 12 chapters and each is a song title. These song titles are from fictitious rock and roll legend Jimmy Spartan’s missing album. To write this book, I needed to learn about albums, turntables, and record players. Well, in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh there is a store called Galaxie Electronics. Vince Bomba is the resident expert there and he was the one I went to for much-needed assistance. Now Vince went into this with the understanding that my book could involve a shop similar to his and that I may or may not use him as a reference for a character. I did not guarantee the safety of the store or the character. He was naively cool with that. 🙂

Vince Bomba giving me a crash course at Galaxie Electronics in Pittsburgh, PA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now while Vince has been awaiting his… I mean the character’s fate, I’ve been busy with plenty of other activities. I just got back from the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida where I had a wonderful time. I participated on a couple of panels, met a lot of other authors and readers, and continuously introduced myself as Lee Child (which nobody believed).

Panel: Interesting Jobs Make for Interesting Stories

The world-famous author Ian Rankin who wanted to steal my coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made some new friends at Bouchercon. I’d really been looking forward to meeting Kate and Dan Malmon and they did not disappoint. Dan is on the cover of the book Killing Malmon. I managed to get a photo with him and really captured his essence.

Dan Malmon: Actual size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was rubbing elbows with fame and fortune, I did have a nice moment where I felt a little of the spotlight hit my toes. Well, maybe one toe. During one of the days at Bouchercon, I retreated back to my hotel room for a few minutes of rest (I’m wild and crazy) and opened up an issue of Mystery Scene magazine. And there, right in front of me was an ad that included Record Scratch. Pretty cool. Thanks, Down and Out Books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what’s next? Well, Record Scratch officially comes out October 22nd, but can be pre-ordered now. Once it’s released, I’m going to work on getting an audio version produced as well. I’m going to be scheduling some events in the Savannah, Georgia area and hope to make my way to the Pittsburgh area in the coming year. I may even stop by Galaxie Electronics (if they let me in the door).

I’m feverishly trying to finish the third Trevor Galloway novel which is titled Forgiveness Dies on the Vine. Like Record Scratch, it will have an interesting structure that plays into the story and I think you’ll like the set-up. One of the bonuses I get to enjoy by using different structural devices like songs on an album, miles in a marathon, steps in addiction recovery, etc., is that I end up using a Prologue and Epilogue as bookends to the structure and, for some reason, that ends up really pissing off certain authors.

I’d love to say I’ll have another blog post up in a week. Or two weeks. Or next month. But, I have no idea. But, I’ll try to do better. In the meantime, stay tuned! It looks like I’ll be cranking out at least three more books with my current publisher, so there is much more ahead!

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Money Counterfeit?

In my upcoming novel Record Scratch (preorder here) I take the reader into the world of counterfeit currency. This was a field in which I got involved when I was a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service and counterfeit currency cases were the favorite criminal cases I worked.

Although cash transactions are fewer and fewer here in the U.S., they are still common and counterfeiting is still an issue. In fact, it’s been a problem in North America since before the creation of the United States.

Shells and Stones May Break My Bones…

In colonial America, shells and stones were used as currency. These were easily counterfeited (upon penalty of death) and colonies eventually moved toward metal coins. However, with the eruption of the Revolutionary War, using metal for coins wasn’t much of an option since metal was needed for weaponry. Now the colonies had already been playing around with using paper money in various forms, with interesting results. For instance, Benjamin Franklin had printed money in Pennsylvania and integrated intricate anti-counterfeiting security features such as detailed engravings of leaves into his work. Most interestingly, he would misspell “Pennsylvania” intentionally, so that would-be counterfeiters would believe THEY had inadvertently picked up a counterfeit bill and would correct the misspelling when they printed the money, therefore giving themselves away.

The front of a Franklin printed bill

The back of a Franklin bill – note Pennsylvania is misspelled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the Revolutionary War, the British took advantage of the colonial paper money by counterfeiting much of it, and devaluing the currency. Hence the phrase, “Not worth a Continental” which you probably don’t say too often today. Maybe you do. Your call.

Civil War

Near the end of the Civil War in 1865, nearly two-thirds of the currency floating around was phony. Not only did each state seem to have its own money, but many banks issued their own notes. So, nobody really knew what money was supposed to look like! Currency was nationalized and Abraham Lincoln created the United States Secret Service to covertly combat counterfeiting (the agency had nothing to do with Presidential protection until much later).

Evolution of Security Features

Over time, and with the transition from lithographic printing to offset printing, security features in money have become more advanced. There are currently seven denominations of paper currency considered to be in circulation:  $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. The higher the denomination, the more advanced the security features (there is no profit in counterfeiting a $1 bill). The security features have changed over time based on the Series (new designs) of the notes (all U.S. paper currency are technically “Federal Reserve Notes”) and there is a great resource to view all the features. The resource is the U.S. Currency Education Program and it’s run by the Federal Reserve Bank with assistance from the Secret Service and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I LOVE this website.

Anyway, the key security features in U.S. paper currency are:

  • The paper:  It’s actually 75% cotton and 25% linen.
  • Red & blue fibers:  These are woven into the paper.
  • Microprinting:  Difficult to duplicate unless using an offset printer.*
  • Raised printing:  You can feel the ink raised off the currency paper.
  • Color-shifting ink:  Changes color when tilted.*
  • Watermarks:  Can be viewed through paper when held up to light.*
  • Security Threads:  Embedded in the paper.*
  • 3D Security Ribbon:  In the paper and includes shifting images.*

*present on some denominations

Most modern-day counterfeiting is small-time, low-quality, and done on computers. However, some mass offset printer counterfeiting still occurs and a good deal of decent counterfeit comes out of Lima, Peru as you can see here.

Know Your Money

So to make sure you’re carrying the real stuff, check out the U.S. Currency Education page, specifically the denominations section https://www.uscurrency.gov/denominations. Make sure you look at the correct Series of the note you are checking and click to expand on the Additional Features section on the right side of the screen (if available) to see all the security features of a particular denomination.

Don’t play the fool!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Finally Wrote About Funny Money

If you follow my blog, then you probably know I was a Secret Service agent. If you’ve read any of my books, then you probably know I haven’t really written anything related to the Secret Service. This is completely intentional, as I’ve always been uncomfortable with mixing business with pleasure – or, at least, THAT business with book business.

However, a few years ago I was having lunch with fellow author Tom Sweterlitch (The Gone World, Tomorrow and Tomorrow) at a five-star restaurant in New York City (it was actually bad Chinese food in the basement of Grand Central Station) when my usually mild-mannered friend chastised me for not incorporating more of my background into my works of fiction. Although I was reluctant, I did take his advice to heart and now we are a few months away from the release of Record Scratch. Of course I was cautious as to what to include in the novel, but it turns out it wasn’t difficult to use my training and knowledge and not disclose anything sensitive.

While the protagonist of Record Scratch isn’t a Secret Service agent, he does become entangled in one of the agency’s investigations. Better yet, it’s the kind of investigation I enjoyed working the most – counterfeit currency.

Most people associate the United States Secret Service (USSS) with protecting the President, Vice-President and their families. However, the original mission of the USSS was to combat counterfeit currency which was a major threat to the economy at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865. In fact, the USSS did not fully take on presidential protection responsibilities until 1901. Even today, the agency is the United State’s primary enforcement entity in regards to counterfeit currency and coordinates such investigations both domestically and overseas. The quality of counterfeit “notes” (paper money is technically referred to as Federal Reserve Notes) varies greatly. Some notes reproduced on home computers are quite bad while counterfeit notes created with offset printers (a rarity) can be good. The currency “paper” is unique, as it isn’t really paper, but is actually a cotton/linen mix – sort of like blue jeans. And of course there are security features built into U.S. currency and those features are updated every few years.

If you want to be a complete currency dork (like me), you can learn about the various security features here: https://www.uscurrency.gov/denominations

These days, most high-quality counterfeit notes come from Peru. It used to be Colombia, but the Colombian government got on board with cracking down on the manufacturers. Unfortunately, this resulted in the illicit operations picking up and moving next door. Vice News did an entire special on the counterfeit underworld in Lima and it’s fascinating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RoZrtBijRY

There are a variety of methods in which counterfeiters work the system. To get around the problem of obtaining actual currency paper, they will sometimes bleach $1 bills and reprint higher denominations on the paper. They will use creative means in an effort to replicate the effects of color-shifting ink. They will… well, watch the Vice News video. It’s impressive and labor intensive. Depending on the quality of the product and the marketplace, counterfeit currency will fetch a price of about twenty cents on the dollar. So, a manufacturer selling $1000 in counterfeit notes may sell that product for $200 in genuine currency. The purchaser of the counterfeit notes may then go out on the street and pass the currency at various unsuspecting retailers by making small purchases and then they get genuine currency in return as change. I’m oversimplifying the process to some extent, but that’s essentially how it works on a small scale.

So get ready for Record Scratch! It involves music and money. (scratch… money… get it?) It’s set for Release in October, but can be preordered directly from the publisher now and the deal on it is amazing.

In conclusion, I leave you with an extremely young Willem Dafoe manufacturing counterfeit currency while wearing a kimono… or something.

 

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