Try Fear: A Novel by James Scott Bell

Try Fear: A Novel
James Scott Bell
Center Street (2009)
ISBN 9781599956862
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (9/09)


Attorney Ty Buchanan’s latest client, Carl Richess, is rather interesting.  Obviously intoxicated, Richess was arrested wearing only a Santa hat and a G-string while driving home from a party.  However, this case of DUI evolves into something bigger when Carl is found dead.  Ty and his sidekick Sister Mary Veritas seek the truth as to whether Carl’s death is a suicide or a murder.  There is a plethora of possible suspects which include Carl’s brother, former lovers, and possibly even corrupt politicians trying to cover up their illegal activities.  In the meantime, they also must investigate who is cyberstalking Sister Mary and if it is related to this case.

The characters created by James Scott Bell are likable, although a bit quirky.  Ty, the crafty and successful attorney, left a big law firm after he was accused of murder to take on the cases of others who believed they were wrongfully accused of crimes.  As a result, he ended up living in a trailer behind St. Monica’s Church where he enjoys the company of Sister Mary (maybe a little too much), the cut-throat, basketball playing nun.  He also has feelings for Kimberly Pincus, the stunningly beautiful Deputy City Attorney.  Added to this mix are a former philosophy professor turned coffee shop owner who sees a conspiracy behind everything and a guy who creates knockoff gadgets based on Apple products.  With characters such as these, there is never a dull moment.

Action abounds throughout this book.  The chapters are fairly short which made it hard for me to put it down because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. “Try Fear” will be enjoyed by all adults.  The author methodically follows the death investigation, allowing the reader to attempt to piece the information together.  There are some unexpected turns in the plot which will keep the reader guessing until the very end.

“Try Fear” is the third novel featuring Ty Buchanan.  There are references to occurrences from the previous two books but it is not necessary to have read them in order to follow what is happening.  I like Ty and would like to see another story with him in the forefront.

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