Novels by J.J. Hensley


Chalk's Outline

Measure Twice


​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.

*Finalist - 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards - Best First Novel
*Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine
*One of the Best Books of the Year - Authors on the Air

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Measure Twice

Chalk's Outline

Measure Twice


 Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Jackson Channing is struggling to break free from an addiction. His alcoholism may have cost him his marriage and now threatens to sweep away his sanity.

​When the body of a city official is discovered in a public location, the entire city of Pittsburgh bears witness to a form of evil that is difficult to comprehend. Channing learns the killer is patient, methodical, and precise. In order to stop the killing, Channing will have to pull his life together and come to terms with a secret that is tearing him apart.

Measure Twice is told through 12 chapters, each representing one of the 12 steps of addiction recovery.

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Chalk's Outline

Chalk's Outline

Bolt Action Remedy (Galloway #1)


 Three years ago, popular college professor Cyprus Keller (Resolve) got away with a crime.  Two years ago, former Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Jackson Channing (Measure Twice) pulled himself together and got sober.  Today, Robert Chalk has a rifle, a plan, and a target.  When Cyprus Keller and his wife Kaitlyn relocated to rural Virginia, they did all they could to put the past behind them.  However, the situation becomes uncomfortable when Jackson Channing appears in Keller’s living room and begins questioning Keller about the past.  The situation becomes unbearable when bullets start flying through the front window.

In a flash, it becomes apparent that Jackson Channing is not the only person who has an interest in Keller.  

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Bolt Action Remedy (Galloway #1)

Bolt Action Remedy (Galloway #1)

Bolt Action Remedy (Galloway #1)


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. 

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Record Scratch (Galloway #2)

Bolt Action Remedy (Galloway #1)

Forgiveness Dies (Galloway #3)


 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.

As Galloway pieces together the final days of rock and roll legend Jimmy Spartan, he struggles to sort through his own issues, to include having the occasional hallucination. He’s not certain how bad his condition has deteriorated, but when Galloway is attacked in broad daylight by men he assumed were figments of his imagination, he realizes the threat is real and his condition is putting him and anyone nearby at risk. The stoic demeanor that earned Galloway the nickname The Tin Man is tested as he reunites with an old flame, becomes entangled in a Secret Service investigation, and does battle with old enemies. 

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Forgiveness Dies (Galloway #3)

Bolt Action Remedy (Galloway #1)

Forgiveness Dies (Galloway #3)


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. 

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Collaborations with Other Authors


The Night of the Flood

The Night of the Flood


Fourteen authors sat down during the month of January 2015, shut out distractions of the outside world and wrote about the subject. The resulting fiction and nonfiction stories fill the pages of Legacy: An Anthology. The book includes stories from Kristopher Jansma, winner of the 2014 Sherwood Anderson Award for Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Regina Calcaterra and Canadian best-selling author Marissa Stapley, award winning crime fiction author J.J. Hensley, among others.

Within these pages, there is laughter, pride and hope. There is romance and rock and roll. Certain messages are eerie, while others bestow a sense of peace. The collection, through the discerning lens of each writer, runs the gamut of the human experience.

Author proceeds benefit the charity Paws for Reading, which pairs pets with children to improve reading and communication skills. Thanks for supporting the cause! 

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The Night of the Flood

The Night of the Flood

The Night of the Flood


 Starting with ex-police detective Lissa Marie Redmond whose short fiction has appeared in anthologies like Akashic’s Buffalo Noir and whose debut novel will be out in February 2018, we move along to novelist Andrew Welsh-Huggins, author of the Andy Hayes PI series.

Then we have a chilling new tale by short story specialist Nick Kolakowsi, followed by this issue’s featured writer, Bill Crider, who takes us to Blacklin County, Texas, where he treats us to a new story starring everyone’s favorite sheriff, Dan Rhodes.

Tim Lockhart’s debut novel came out earlier this year amidst a lot of buzz and he’s here with a very dark tale indeed. Next we offer a taste of J.J. Hensley’s fast-paced writing with an airborne story as we await the premiere of a new series early next year.

Our trip to the past brings us to the legendary writer Carroll John Daly and his no-holds-barred character Race Williams, who never shot any man that didn’t deserve it. We close out the issue with a story strong with irony by Ben Boulden. Throw in a terrific column by J. Kingston Pierce and you’ve got another issue of Down & Out: The Magazine. 

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The Swamp Killers

Down and Out: The Magazine (Vol 1, Issue 2)

Down and Out: The Magazine (Vol 1, Issue 2)


  Here's what we know is true.

Timmy Milici, a low-level hitter with the infamous Atlanta-based Duplass crime family, ran off with Melody Duplass to Jacksonville, Florida. Olivia Duplass, her mother and head of the Duplass family, was incensed, and put a price on Timmy--a hundred thousand for his corpse, but with explicit instructions that her daughter not be harmed.

We know that's true.

Or, at least, we think we do.

Sixteen writers tell their versions of what happened those fateful days in this gripping novel-in-stories, brought to you from the team behind The Night of the Flood.

Contributors: E.A. Aymar, Sarah M. Chen, Hilary Davidson, Alex Dolan, Rebecca Drake, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Susi Holliday, Shannon Kirk, Tara Laskowski, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, Tom Sweterlitsch, Art Taylor, and Wendy Tyson. 

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Down and Out: The Magazine (Vol 1, Issue 2)

Down and Out: The Magazine (Vol 1, Issue 2)

Down and Out: The Magazine (Vol 1, Issue 2)


  Here's what we know is true.

Timmy Milici, a low-level hitter with the infamous Atlanta-based Duplass crime family, ran off with Melody Duplass to Jacksonville, Florida. Olivia Duplass, her mother and head of the Duplass family, was incensed, and put a price on Timmy--a hundred thousand for his corpse, but with explicit instructions that her daughter not be harmed.

We know that's true.

Or, at least, we think we do.

Sixteen writers tell their versions of what happened those fateful days in this gripping novel-in-stories, brought to you from the team behind The Night of the Flood.

Contributors: E.A. Aymar, Sarah M. Chen, Hilary Davidson, Alex Dolan, Rebecca Drake, Gwen Florio, Elizabeth Heiter, J.J. Hensley, Susi Holliday, Shannon Kirk, Tara Laskowski, Jenny Milchman, Alan Orloff, Tom Sweterlitsch, Art Taylor, and Wendy Tyson. 

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Events and News


Savannah Local Author Day - Postponed - new date TBD

March 22, 2020: Lafayette Square

Savannah, GA 

1PM - 4PM

Past events

For a list of past events visit: 


The fourth Trevor Galloway novel, The Better of the Bad is scheduled for release in late 2020. In addition to BOTB, J.J. has stories coming out in two anthologies in 2020. One is titled The Swamp Killers and is set to release in March. 

The Swamp Killers - an anthology involving 16 authors, including J.J. Hensley, is scheduled for release in March 2020!

J.J. will have a story in Revenge of the Widow Malmon which is scheduled for publication in October, 2020. It is the follow-up to the highly-acclaimed anthology Killing Malmon. 


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What people are saying...



​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, Bestselling author of Judgment and The Switch 

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

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, International bestselling 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. Forgiveness Dies is a political thriller with a rich and developed cast of heroes and villains, but don’t try and figure out who is who, you’ll need the broken but determined Trevor Galloway to do that—you’re just along for the thrilling ride. 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  

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

Trevor Galloway was a Pittsburgh narcotics cop, then a PI, and then a patient in a psychiatric facility. Along the way, he initiated a bloodbath as revenge for the killing of the woman he loved. Now he’s free but virtually unemployable, heavily medicated, and at a loss at how to put his life back together. An old friend, Nick, a former Secret Service agent, brings Trevor photos he’s obtained of presidential wannabe Dennis Hackney taken by an unknown stalker in various restricted settings. Nick wants Trevor to learn the identity of the photographer. Trevor soon learns Nick has been killed, and Trevor is a suspect. Then there’s Bethany, a bartender at a local franchised fast-food restaurant who takes a shine to Trevor and teams up to help him find Nick’s killer. The pair soon learn that much of the financing for Hackney’s campaign comes from arms dealing to third-world countries. The premise of a mentally damaged ex-cop with hallucinations who is unsure of what he’s actually seen is a tricky one, but Hensley pulls it off. An unusual and very entertaining thriller. 


Galloway, with all his delusions and uncertain perceptions of what is or isn’t real around him, is an appealing and sympathetic hero with all the swagger of a Phillip Marlowe. He’s supported by an eclectic cast of characters, both real and imagined. Detective fiction fans will look forward to his further adventures.

-Publishers Weekly​


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


J.J. Hensley is a crime writer who deserves readers' attention and trust, because beyond his ever-stronger prose, he brings his ex-badge carrier's street smart eyes to this hard world we live in.  Hensley goes beyond clichés to the heart of his fictions and his characters, and delivers stories worth your time.  Put him on your READ list."

- James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor. Recipient of the Raymond Chandler medal and the Grand Prix du Roman Noir

In Trevor Galloway, J.J. Hensley has given us a deliciously flawed hero whose unique gift makes him a phenomenal investigator, but also leaves him teetering on the razor-thin edge of genius and insanity. In Bolt Action Remedy, the reader follows Galloway on a chilling journey into the snowy world of biathlon as well as into the shadowy vortex of his wounded mind where neither he nor the reader knows at what point reality ends and hallucination begins. Hensley weaves a captivating tale while providing an authentic voice and a dash of ironic humor.  

 -Annette Dashofy, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Zoe Chambers Mysteries

Fast-paced and funny, Bolt Action Remedy is an action-packed thriller that will keep readers guessing from the first to the final page.

 -Rebecca Drake, author of Only Ever You

Bolt Action Remedy is the real thing:  fast, dangerous, and with a unique setting used in interesting ways.  Oh, and another thing:  It’s entertaining as hell.

-Andrew Pyper, International Thriller Writers Award winning author of The Damned and The Demonologist

Bolt Action Remedy marks the welcome return of J.J. Hensley’s trademark blend of breathless action, haunting atmosphere and sly wit.

-Gwen Florio, award-winning author of Montana and Disgraced

Strap yourselves in. This author guides you to the conclusion through twists, turns, and drops that will leave you so engrossed, you'll lose track of time.

-Lucie Fleury Dunn, Movies in my Mind Book Reviews


It’s about time somebody gave Hannibal Lecter a run for his money. Lester Mayton, the serial killer who sets new standards of murderous inventiveness in J.J. Hensley’s new novel “Measure Twice,” is up to the task. Hensley walks a reader right up the edge of unbearable dread, then leavens it with flashes of witty insights into the way local bureaucracies and political infighting can hamper something even as critical as the need to stop a killer before he strikes again.

-Gwen Florio, award-winning author of Montana and Dakota


J.J. Hensley keeps you turning the pages from the very start.  A finely crafted story of redemption, MEASURE TWICE will keep your adrenaline pumping.    


​-Tim Green, bestselling author of The Forth Perimeter and Exact Revenge


J.J. Hensley's debut novel is a lean, fast-paced, suspenseful murder mystery -- told with style, intelligence, and wit. It pulled me in immediately and kept me guessing from start to finish.    


-John Verdon - bestselling author of Let The Devil Sleep

RESOLVE marks the emergence of J.J. Hensley as a crime writer to watch, an author whose real world scars give him an insight into fiction's mean streets."    


-James Grady - author of Six Days of the Condor and Mad Dogs

The Pittsburgh Marathon serves as the backdrop for this impressive first novel from former police officer and Secret Service agent Hensley... This artfully constructed mystery makes effective use of the third-rate-college setting and of Pittsburgh, as revealed by the course of the marathon, marked by each of the 26 chapters plus a brief final one headed “.2.”

​-Publishers Weekly (see full review here)

Five Stars...this is a near-perfect debut that gripped me from the crowds milling at the starting line, to the exhausting sprint across the finish line.

​-Rachel Cotterill Book Reviews (see full review here)

​It takes serious resolve to run a marathon, to solve a crime, or to kill someone, and this Pittsburgh race provides a perfect framework for the murder to come. But what makes a former police officer turned criminology professor turn so far from the rule of law? The route twists and turns through wide streets of clean modernity down into poverty and shame, while the plot twists through Keller’s memories, giving both race and mystery a taut immediacy. Perfectly paced like the runner’s tread, cleverly revealed, tautly plotted and convincingly woven, Resolve brings vivid excitement and complex drama to marathon running, murder and investigation. Authentic, compelling, gripping and impossible to put down, this pleasingly different mystery novel is highly recommended.

​-Sheila Deeth, (see full review here)

Hensley has drawn upon his law enforcement experience and his love of long-distance running to create a fast-paced novel about murder at the Pittsburgh Marathon.  The descriptions of running rituals and what happens once sneakers are laced feels real enough to get the heart of even the most committed couch potatoes racing.  

​-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (see full review here)

Amazon Author Page

Check out J.J.'s Amazon Author Page to View all of his works and to see reader reviews.