Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Jackson Channing is struggling to break free from his own addiction. His alcoholism may have already cost him his marriage and now threatens to sweep away his sanity. Ever since he and his partner were brutally tortured by a sadistic murderer, his life has spun out of control. Following a failed suicide attempt, Channing decides his life must have some meaning and the only way he can put the pieces back together is to break free of his addiction and commit acts of redemption.
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.
With each chapter of this thriller representing one of the 12 steps of addiction recovery, Measure Twice is a story of personal struggle, revenge, and the search for redemption.
Pay attention throughout this heart-pounding pursuit. The details are important because every cut is lethal.
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What’s the difference between a god addict and a believer? And who most needs the help of a 12 step program? The wounded characters of J.J. Hensley’s Measure Twice range from a woman concerned the color of her skin might adversely affect promotion, to a man so wounded that death seems the only way forward. The author pits two men against each other in a novel that’s part mystery, part police procedural, part psychological thriller, and wholly haunting, a vivid human drama. Salvation comes in many different guises, and hope can be as simple as a question asked and answered. In this tale, the unready detective works through twelve steps of both healing and detection, while his antagonist, like a careful artist, always measures twice. A novel that measures the underworld of suffering and poses haunting questions of creation and destruction, this is a tale where injuries hurt, the wounded don’t make immediate recoveries, and relationships, even good ones, are complex, painful and entirely believable. With great dialog, well-balanced human horror and genuine humor, powerful characters, and interesting touches of moral questioning and social commentary, plus a truly page-turning sense of urgency and mystery, this is the sort of book that keeps you reading and stays with you long after the story’s done. Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
I wouldn’t know from experience, but I imagine it must be very difficult to be a cop. Dramatic, dangerous cases being solved by extraordinary men and women trying to maintain an emotional detachment from the victims and the perpetrators…I personally could never do it. Even more to the point, I’m not sure I could have continued to live after going through what Channing and his previous partner Alex dealt with. It’s some very scary stuff and I don’t envy them in the slightest — and these are fictional characters! I’m sure these things, along with the racism and sexism described by Tina, happen to actual police officers every day as well. Law enforcement is definitely not the job for me! On the other side of the coin, Lester Mayton, whom we learn almost immediately is the perpetrator of these crimes (much like one of my favorite shows, Motive, does), is a somewhat sympathetic villain. He’s doing these horrible things to send a message and, when you discover what that message — and his motive — is, Mayton’s crimes become a bit more understandable. That being said, the stone-cold demeanor with which he ends lives is incredibly frightening and leaves you wondering about how a switch can be flipped on the human psyche to turn people into cold-blooded killers. J.J. Hensley explores this idea in-depth as he paints a picture of a man driven away from his faith (and possibly sanity) by tragedy. One of my favorite parts of the book involve Channing’s fellow officers. Ambitious Tina Lambert, in the eyes of the department, suffers from the affliction of being a black woman in a white man’s job and uses her intelligence and wit to push back against the establishment. When Mayton’s second victim is discovered, the department sets up a task force headed by less-than-brilliant brown-noser Chester Hatley; the interactions between him and Lambert are equal parts annoying and hysterical. At one point, Lambert and Channing decide they’ve had enough of Hatley and she breaks his nose. Sure, it’s not proper behavior on her part, but as a Lambert supporter I couldn’t help but cheer! Measure Twice is like some of my favorite TV police procedurals in book form. It’s completely engrossing and one of those books I struggled to put down. (In fact, I read it, cover to cover, in a 24-hour period!) I was both pleased and disappointed with the ending — while I’m happy for Channing and Lambert, I’m kind of hoping for a sequel. I’d definitely be up to reading further crime-solving adventures with them!
The best compliment I can give is that I could hardly put it down and most certainly couldn't wait to pick it back up again. J.J.'s writing style is artful. He creates a compelling story that draws you into that world. This story is set in Pittsburgh, which for me makes it easy to picture and visualize as I know the places. J.J. crafts the story cleverly, telling between two views in parallel. I found myself anxious for the switch to see what was happening at the same time elsewhere. Without going into details the story was suspenseful and thrilling. He creates an evil, driven with purpose and devious to the end. J.J. balances this with a flawed good, looking to break through to redemption. A fantastic read all around.