Tag Archives: investigation

Resolve by J. J. Hensley

Karen very highly recommended this book, saying that it was excellent–and written by a local author, J. J. Hensley. She said that he had come to the library to do promotional things, and that he is a great supporter of the community library in general. In fact, our copy of Resolve is signed and dated.

Hensley obviously has great experience with his subjects–he describes police behavior in a very interesting way, and he describes the city of Pittsburgh in a way that is immediately familiar and relatable to anyone who has been there. “We have two seasons in this area: Winter and Construction,” he says (16). He discusses the road conditions in western Pennsylvania with affection, and takes the reader through a step-by-step geographical route of the Pittsburgh Marathon, around which the book is centered.

Cyprus Keller admits right off the bat that he knows there will be a murder during the Marathon. He also admits that he will be the one committing it. In the following 26 (.2!) chapters, labeled as miles to mark Cyprus’ progress in the marathon, he explains through the backstory why he has come to this, who will be his victim, and how he’s going to kill him. And it’s fascinating–while reading it, Summer Intern Brynn was telling Karen, “I have a theory!” and “I don’t like the look of this person…” but failed to actually guess who the victim was before Cyprus confronted him. Hensley uses clever writing, with a touch of noir humor, to misdirect the reader and keep them guessing until the end. Read this book very closely–it’s easy to miss Chekhov’s gun here.

Resolve handles very serious topics–justice, guilt, vigilantism, and responsibility. At what point does it become appropriate to take the law into your own hands? Who has the right to decide who and who may not live? What would you kill for? We at the library stamp this book with our seal of approval. Brynn plans to bring it back in on Monday, August 11, 2014, if you want to check it out.