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