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Stride Nation Reads Books: J.J. Hensley's Resolve

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Every now and then I'll read a book about running (or that's ostensibly about running) and will share my thoughts on it (Actually I've done that only once, but that's OK). Earlier in the year, I was contacted by J.J. Hensley about his forthcoming novel Resolve. I've given it the ol' once-over, and these are my thoughts on the book:

Novels (especially first novels) often pull from the writer's immediate areas of expertise; Resolve is a murder mystery involving a former policeman-turned-professor protagonist who also happens to be a runner. It shouldn't be surprising, then, to hear that Hensley is a former law enforcement officer who also happens to be a runner. There certainly is potential for navel-gazing and self-projection, and thankfully the book is largely free of that. Instead, Hensley draws on his experience in both areas, establishing a believability that helps anchor the plot.

  • Resolve is an easygoing mystery novel that had me revisiting it every night for an hour or so until the book was done. It isn't a staggeringly long read (~230 pages), and was never challenging or convoluted. The story moves, never gets sidetracked, and isn't confusing (this sounds like a backhanded compliment, perhaps -- but I mean this in a genuine manner).
  • I don't read a whole lot of mystery novels, so I don't have a strong barometer for how clever or novel the book's resolution was. Instead I find myself just thinking that Resolve is a nice, easy-to-get-through-and-then-forget book. I don't mean this to be dismissive -- to me, mystery novels are books to pick up, delve into, and then not think about.
  • If you're looking for a light, enjoyable read that presents a murder mystery through the eyes of a runner (because let's be honest -- you probably are), Resolve is worth picking up and passing along to a friend once you're finished.

Resolve will be published March 15, 2013 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Thanks to the author for providing me with a copy to read ahead of publication.

Any running book recommendations?