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Try Darkness by James Scott Bell
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This was a very suspenseful and unique take on a murder mystery. The lead, Ty Buchanan is living at a monastery; he is there to recover from the loss of his fiance and from being accused of her murder. He likes the simple, peaceful life he has there but he finds himself helping the poor who are led to him by Father Bob. One of these being Reatta, the mother of a 6 year old named Kylie. Reatta turns up dead and Ty finds himself caring for little Kylie.He uses his wits and his law degree and his knowledge of the system to really help people who don't ordinarily get good lawyers. He is funny, smart and full of rage. Rage because of what happened to him - this all occurred in a previous book in the series - and he uses that rage to really go after the "bad guy" ie: the murderer of little Kylie's mother. He is determined to find him (her?) and bring them to justice.

It was a fast paced, well written book with lots of curve balls thrown in to keep you guessing. Ty Buchanan is a character you want to keep following from book to book. ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Feb 23, 2010 |
All said and done, this is the story of good and evil. It's the story of the rich and powerful against the poor and powerless. Ty Buchanan champions the poor like Robin Hood and locks horns with the rich in order to do that. Try Darkness is a fast paced suspense/mystery novel. James Scott Bell's writing style is witty and fun to read and keeps you engaged until the story ends.

I really enjoyed that his character wasn't foul mouthed and that the book wasn't loaded with gratuitous violence. Sometimes authors think that in order to create a gritty character, the story has to be loaded with a lot of swearing and blood and guns. That isn't the case at all with James Scott Bell and I enjoyed the story all the much more for that fact.

Ty is a lawer who used to work for a big, powerful law firm. He was accused of a crime he didn't commit and the firm kicked him out. After proving his innocence, the firm asked him to return but he chose instead to take on the cases of the poor and disadvantaged. He used to have a big fancy home but now he lives in a trailer on the outskirts of a monestary. The residents of the monestary figure into his story as well. Now he's finding himself up against the very people he used to work with and he's learning more about himself and his abilities than he ever knew before.

This book is really hard to put down & I devoured it in a couple of hours. I'd never read a book by James Scott Bell but I can tell you that I'll be looking for more!
  scentednights2002 | Feb 14, 2010 |
I'm usually not really a fan of lawyer stories. This is mainly because the lawyers are usually portrayed as either smarmy characters who are extremely smug and only out for the money or they end up being the typical saves the day lawyer who is too good to be true. Ty Buchanan is none of these and is probably the most unique, laid back and eccentric guy to have anything to do with the law field. I felt like the story was very realistic. It wasn't written with false perceptions or trying to butter things up to make everyone happy. Bell tells Ty's story how it really is and shows all the darkness that's in the world. Also even though this is the second book in the series and the reader could benefit from reading the first book in the series, I feel that it could be read as a standalone. The mystery stands out and is quite powerful. I'm pretty much a sucker for little kids in stories that need help and I'm glad Ty was too.

As in the first book, I felt the storyline to be gritty and written in a film noir-ish way. California, which is normally seen as glitzy and glamorous in other books, takes on a darker, more underground, less colorful atmosphere. What I like best about Ty is that he's quite cynical and a bit sarcastic. He's not the charming fellow women fall in love with yet he has a way with people that gets them to trust him. He's unconventional, witty and questions a lot of things which I really liked because he doesn't act like he knows everything.

The only thing I'm not really a fan of with this series is the really short chapters. I mean they are extremely short, sometimes there will even be 3 chapters on just one page and there are 191 chapters! I just feel like it breaks up the story too much when every time there's a rhythm in the story going, there's a chapter break which disrupts the flow.

Other than this I really enjoyed reading about Ty's adventures again. I love his chemistry with both Sister Mary and Father Bob who are two of the most unlikely accomplices a detective could have. They add both insight and humor to Ty's personality. I really enjoyed how this book is able to be gritty and edgy without resorting to using sex or rough language. This is by no means saying the book is clean and safe. It chooses to show the world as it really is and not through rose colored glasses but it does it by not being coarse or preachy at the same time. It's a balance that works really well and I think pays off. I've enjoyed all of James Scott Bell's books in the past and this is another one to add to the list. This is another book to give to male readers as it is the type of book that I believe a lot of guys would enjoy. ( )
  mrsjason | Dec 22, 2009 |
L.A. attorney Ty Buchanan - 2 ( )
  pharrm | Oct 6, 2009 |
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To the memory of John D. MacDonald
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The nun hit me in the mouth and said, "Get out of my house."
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(from the back of the book) Former trial lawyer Ty Buchanan is recovering from his fiancee's death and a false accusation of murder on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica's, offering legal aid to the underprivileged instead of trying glamorous court cases.

Enter a mysterious woman with a six-year-old daughter whose case forces him to cross paths with ex-best friend and colleague Al Bradshaw.

When the woman is murdered, Buchanan is determined to find the killer and protect the little girl. Following a trail that unveils darkness i nthe best and worst parts of Los Angeles, he is compelled to discover skills he never needed as a civil attorney in order to keep himself and the girl alive.
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"In the second fast-paced novel featuring trial lawyer Ty Buchanan, the murder of a client will force Ty into the underbelly of L.A. to protect the child she left behind"--Provided by the publisher.

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