It takes serious resolve to run a marathon, to solve a crime, or to kill someone, and the 26.2 miles of this Pittsburgh race provide a perfect framework for the murder to come in J. J. Henlsey’s Resolve. But what drives a runner to push his body so far? And 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. Meanwhile the plot twists through Dr. Cyprus Keller’s memories, giving both race and mystery a taut immediacy. Helpers offer water, but even drinking is a complex operation while miles stride by. Even walking from office to car is complex when a web of deceit binds killer to victim. But Cyprus finds himself as compelled to complete his investigation as he is to complete the marathon’s 26 miles. Shifting from suspect to victim to stranger to suspect to victim again, he strides where straight paths give way to ugly secrets, and he gathers his clues. The author spreads hints throughout this story, letting them fall lightly like a marathon’s detritus at the side of the road, leaving reader and protagonist to remember and snatch at grains of truth. Perfectly paced like the runner’s tread, cleverly revealed in natural investigation and plausible action, tautly plotted and convincingly woven, Resolve by J. J. Hensley 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.
Disclosure: I received a free bound galley of this novel from the publisher, the Permanent Press
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
"Impressive first novel...artfully constructed mystery..." - Publishers Weekly
''J. J. Hensley has tied together the world of distance running and crime investigation to create a book that fantastically explores the core concept of both: killer competition.'' --Ryan Foster, Australian middle-distance runner and national record holder
''Much like a marathon course,Resolveis full of twists and turns, and one never knows what will happen just around the corner. However, one need not be a runner to enjoy the thrilling story of crime and drama. Resolve gives the reader the chilling sensation that the story could happen to anyone, making it all the more real.'' --Luke Watson, 3-time U.S. Olympic Trials Competitor