Monday, July 21, 2008

"Try Darkness" Book Review and Giveaway!

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Try Darkness

(Center Street - July 30, 2008)


James Scott Bell


JAMES SCOTT BELL is a former trial lawyer who now writes full time. He has also been the fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine and adjunct professor of writing at Pepperdine University.

The national bestselling author of several novels of suspense, he grew up and still lives in Los Angeles. His first Buchanan thriller, TRY DYING, was released to high critical praise, while his book on writing, Plot and Structure is one of the most popular writing books available today.


Ty Buchanan is living on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica’s, far away from the glamorous life he led as a rising trial lawyer for a big L.A. firm. Recovering from the death of his fiancĂ©e and a false accusation of murder, Buchanan has found his previous ambitions unrewarding. Now he prefers offering legal services to the poor and the underrepresented from his “office” at local coffee bar The Freudian Sip. With his new friends, the philosophizing Father Bob and basketball-playing Sister Mary Veritas, Buchanan has found a new family of sorts.
One of his first clients is a mysterious woman who arrives with her six-year-old daughter. They are being illegally evicted from a downtown transient hotel, an interest that Ty soon discovers is represented by his old law firm and his former best friend, Al Bradshaw. Buchanan won’t back down. He’s going to fight for the woman’s rights.
But then she ends up dead, and the case moves from the courtroom to the streets. Determined to find the killer and protect the little girl, who has no last name and no other family, Buchanan finds he must depend on skills he never needed in the employ of a civil law firm.
The trail leads Buchanan through the sordid underbelly of the city and to the mansions and yachts of the rich and famous. No one is anxious to talk.
But somebody wants Buchanan to shut up. For good.
Now he must use every legal and physical edge he knows to keep himself and the girl alive.
Once again evoking the neo-noir setting of contemporary Los Angeles, Bell delivers another thriller where darkness falls and the suspense never rests.

If you would like to read chapters 1 & 2, go HERE

“Bell has created in Buchanan an appealing and series-worthy protagonist, and the tale equally balances action and drama, motion and emotion. Readers who pride themselves on figuring out the answers before an author reveals them are in for a surprise, too: Bell is very good at keeping secrets. Fans of thrillers with lawyers as their central characters—Lescroart and Margolin, especially—will welcome this new addition to their must-read lists.”

“Engaging whodunit series kickoff . . . Readers will enjoy Bell's talent for description and character development.”
—Publishers Weekly

“James Scott Bell has written himself into a niche that traditionally has been reserved for the likes of Raymond Chandler.”
—Los Angeles Times

“A master of suspense.”
—Library Journal

“One of the best writers out there, bar none.”
—In the Library Review

I was not really aware when I started this book that it was #2 in a series about Ty Buchanan. Turns out that it is and it doesn't matter. It is expertly written (I haven't even figured out how he accomplished it quite so smoothly) so as to fill you in on important details from book #1 (why he is living where he is, info on the big case he won, why people know who he is now, etc...) without making you feel like you don't know what is going on. In my mind this is very important. With that resolved I could go on to enjoy the rest of the book.... which believe me - I did!

The dialogue in this book is fantastic - James has created such a great character in Ty, he is flawed but with a good heart, a hero that is not a Christian but rather surrounded by them and on a spiritual journey whether he knows it or not. He is witty with a sharp humor - if there is a conversation between him and someone else then don't skip lines - it is a riot. The conversations remind me of the dialogue that I loved so much in Claudia Mair Burney's books (Murder, Mayhem and a Fine Man series) they could literally get me laughing out loud.
The plot is really inventive with lots of twists and turns and dead bodies and "who dun what to who" kind of stuff - and in the middle of all of it is a 6 year old little girl who has tagged Ty as her hero, a basketball playing nun, a falsely accused priest and Ty. What is not to love???

You must read this book - I know I can't wait to go back and read Try Dying (book #1) just for more great writing! So leave a comment and I'll enter you in a drawing for a copy of this book (and no, it's not my copy - I'm not giving that up!) but you must leave your email or I'll pick someone else. Good luck!


bigguysmama said...

Janna, I'd love to win a copy of this book. I got the 1st one from the library and really enjoyed it. I love the nun. She was one of my favorite characters. I can't wait to read the first couple of chapters! Thanks.

In Christ,
Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Lora Lease said...

Please enter me in the drawing! :)

Bethany said...

I really, really want this book! I have been looking forward to it since I read the first one. James Scott Bell writes such great characters, you just can't wait to read what's happening next!
Please enter me. Thank you!

kamewh said...

Just read the first two chapters and it looks like a great book!

Anonymous said...

This books sounds great! It will defintely be added to my "to read" list. I'll start searching for the first book and hope to win this one!


luv2read said...

Enter me in the drawing. I loved The Whole Truth by Bell. spowell01(at)bellsouth(dot)net

windycindy said...

Hello, I think his writing is superb! I have read #1 and would love to win this book. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

traveler said...

Thanks for this interesting and amazing book preview. It would be great to read it this summer.

Carole said...

I recently read Presumed Guilty, which was excellent. I look forward to many more books by James Scott Bell and appreciate the chance to win Try Darkness.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Theresa N. said...

This sounds like a good series to follow.
Theresa N

stampedwithgrace said...

this sounds like a great book! I have read any from him yet.

Erica said...

James Scott Bell is an excellent writer. This book looks great! Please enter my name in your drawing. Thanks!
bookhearth [at] yahoo [dot] com

Carolynn W. said...

This sounds great! Please enter me, thanks!

cathikin said...

I have heard so many good things about James Scott Bell and his writing. I have Try Dying on my wish list, but I didn't even know about this title. I love a good mystery/suspense story. This one will go on my wish list, too.
Cathi H.
chassan2 at hotmail dot com

~Ley said...

The first book in this series is sooo good! Don't you dare miss it. I'd love to be entered in the drawing for Try Darkness since I haven't gotten my hands on it yet.


ladystorm said...

Sounds great! Please enter me.


Mary Jo said...

Please enter me.

Mary Jo Robertson
rcmjrobertson (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Nora said...

Sounds Great!! Please enter me in the drawing for this book.

Nora St.Laurent

Janna said...

And the winner is...

Carolynn W.!!!