Review: TRY DYING by James Scott Bell

Try DyingTry Dying James Scott Bell

Center Street Action Thriller/Suspense

Having followed Bell’s career online—teaching and preaching how to write—I looked forward to seeing if he could do it – write that is. And the answer is Yes! He can. This dynamite story opens when a man shoots his wife, drives to a freeway overpass and shoots himself, dropping 100 feet on a Toyota Camry. The crash kills the protagonist, Ty Buchanan’s, fiancée, Jacqueline, the driver of the Camry. Ty is a young successful lawyer, who at the moment she is dying, is in what could be a career-defining meeting. The oddities continue to mount when a disheveled man shows up for Jacqueline’s funeral and tells the overwrought Ty that her death was not an accident, then disappears.

Ty as the protagonist goes after the truth against the advice of friends, family, and the head of the successful law firm, where Ty was handpicked for greatness. Like James Patterson, Bell doesn’t waste time with lengthy sentences, paragraphs, or chapters. The intensity and emotional ride of this book packs a powerful punch with rarely a moment to catch your breath. The repartee between characters shadows Ian Rankin’s characters in his Inspector Rebus series and keeps things moving and often adds a dose of humor. It’s the kind of dialogue you hear on television or a movie, but due to the intricate timing necessary to make it work, is rarely found in a book. Janet Evanovich is a pro with this style.

Couple the passionate plot line with outstanding sub-plots that draw us into the world of repressed memories, financial debauchery, and enough legal entanglements to keep us guessing all the way to the end. James Scott Bell definitely knows how to write and write well.

This review was provided by Mahala Church for her column Barefoot Book Reviews in the April 2015 issue of The Book Breeze.

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