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
Author: J. J. Hensley
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Publication date: March 2013