Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Try Darkness Review and Giveaway of Try Dying

I just finished Try Darkness. What a fun and different (in a good way) read. This book is written in very short scenes that reminded me of the one James Patterson novel I read -- you know the kind where there might be one paragraph followed by a scene with several pages. There are no page breaks between chapters, which tricked me into flipping pages when I should have been writing LOL.

The book is written from the perspective of Ty Buchanan, the hero of book one. While this is book two, it stood completely on its own. -- and lead straight to book three that I'm dying to get my hands on -- of course it hasn't been written yet!

Irregardless, I dove right in and enjoyed the characters and plot twists. Ty's a guy looking for his place after the chaos of book one. The book opens with him playing basketball with a nun! And that kind of quirky humor runs through the whole book. It almost had the slightly slap-stick approach of the Thin Man movies -- and that's high praise in my book. It also reminded me of Brandt Dodson's Colton Parker series. A non-Christian is surrounded by folks planting seeds in his life as he chases the bad guys.

The dialogue is quick, if this were chick lit I'd call it sassy. But don't skip any part. Ty loves to get himself in all kinds of trouble with his mouth. Crazy lawyer!

This is a book I enjoyed and think Eric will, too.

To celebrate the release, I have a copy of Try Dying, the first book in the series that I'm giving away. Leave a comment with your favorite lawyer/PI from TV or movies. Good Luck!

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


Anonymous said...

I would love to read this! As for my favorite lawyer, I really loved Tom Cruise's role as a lawyer in "A Few Good Men." That was great!

Kara S. said...

I've not read anything by Bell yet. My favorite tv lawyer has to be Harmon Rabb from JAG and the female character (can't remember her name) played by Catherine Bell. Loved JAG and miss it!

windycindy said...

Please enter me in your book drawing. I have been reading many good things about this book and Mr. Bell. I still enjoy watching Matlock! I also love to watch Pierot. Thanks, Cindi

Kristinia - Loving Heart Mommy said...

My favorite lawyer.. umm.. LOL is Keanu Reeves in the Devil's Advocate.

phillipsonlygirl at gmail dot com

Jessica said...

ok so now i could launch into a very long comment about all my favorite PIs but I will try to keep it short! :) Nick and Nora from The Thin Man movies! Poroit (Agatha Christie) Shawn and Gus from Psych, Monk and Michael Weston from Burn Notice.

Cara Putman said...

You guys are hitting some of my favorites! Love Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men even though it's not the most realistic portrayal. My Dad is a huge fan of JAG and I enjoyed the episodes I watched. And yep, Thin Man -- gotta LOVE Nick and Nora. Such awesome movies!

Janna said...

Okay, first PI to jump into my head is Magnum PI - we used to watch that every week. And it was set in Hawaii right? How could that not be good?!? Loved Try Darkness but haven't read Try Dying yet so sign me up - I loved the dialogue in Try Darkness and would love to see the set up in Try Dying...

ryanx6 at msn dot com

Amy said...

My favorite lawyer might be Matlock.

My favorite PI is Kristen Bell.

I gave you a blogging award!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book-different from what I usually read. Enter me in the drawing I like anything by John Grishom-books and movies.


bigguysmama said...

Janna, your opening line was going to be "my" opening line. Because I wanted to go with someone who I thought wasn't an obvious choice before I posted (and read yours), I knew there were other PI shows I used to watch and love. Only took me a couple of seconds to come up with "Simon and Simon". Reminded me of the "Hardy Boys" all grown up. Please enter me to win the giveaway! :o)

Mimi B

mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

PI - I have been watching Psych lately and those guys are pretty funny! but my favorite lawyer is probably Perry Mason.
sounds like an exciting book!

Carole said...

This really dates me, but my very favorite lawyer is Perry Mason. I grew up watching each week's episode and am currently making my way through these books.

I love Mr. Bell's writing and would love to win the first in his series. Thank you!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Carolynn W. said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book, can't wait to read it!
I don't know too many movies with lawyers..does Sandy Cohen in the O.C. count? I liked him:)

traveler said...

Thanks for this great giveaway. My favorite lawyer is Gregory Peck in to Kill a Mockingbird. Memorable and wonderful.

pearl said...

This novel looks special and amazing. Thanks for this chance. A lawyer whom I always admired was William Shatner. His ability and personality is definitely unforgettable. Thanks for this novel which looks great.

Anonymous said...

This book that your previewed would be lovely for summer reading. My favorite lawyer has to be Maximilian Schell in Judgement at Nuremberg. Compelling and gripping.

Anonymous said...

Love to read this book! A Lawyer who I enjoyed watching each week was Dylan McDermott on Boston Legal. Favorite of mine.

Anonymous said...

Loved reading about this book which sounds incredible.
My favorite lawyer has to be Sam Waterston on Law and Order.


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