Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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The Whole Truth
by James Scott Bell

Reviewed by Darcie Gudger

"Bell's writing is raw and real .... Legal thriller fans won't be disappointed with James Scott Bell."

. . . “Quit crying or so help me I’ll kill you both.”
“ For Robert, Stevie thought. Stop crying or they’ll hurt Robert.”

Steve Conroy was five. His brother, seven. Twenty-five years later, Steve couldn’t put those memories to rest. Cocaine, alcohol – none of it worked. He hadn’t seen his brother Robert since that horrifying night. Robert was presumed dead.

Mobster Johnny LaSalle seeks Steve’s representation as a defense attorney. Desperate to save his practice, Steve agrees to represent a man he believes is guilty. LaSalle has other motives.

Steve probes deeper into Johnny’s story, discovering his client is holding back critical information. LaSalle proves to be a handful. At the right moment, a law student needing experience walks in and hires herself leaving Steve little choice.

Building a defense case for LaSalle hurls Steve back to the night Robert was stolen from his life. Does Steve have enough clarity of mind to discern fact from fiction? How many people will die as he digs deep to find The Whole Truth?

Bell’s writing is raw and real. He includes tiny details most of us take for granted. Details making his characters 3-D. On a hot night, the brothers stripped out of their pajamas to cool off. “Stevie wore underwear under his pajamas like Robert did.” There’s a reason author James Scott Bell was a regular contributor to Writer’s Digest magazine and has several best-selling books on the craft of writing (Plot and Structure and Revision and Self Editing). The man is a prosaic genius!

Legal thriller fans won’t be disappointed with James Scott Bell. He delivers on the gritty, seamy side of the criminal world but balances it out with redemption and hope. Bell writes from a Christian worldview but does it in such a way it doesn’t roadblock the plot. Characters act like Christ - they don’t preach Christ. Which makes this, and the rest of Bell’s books, a great gift for John Grisham, Sandra Brown and Arthur Rosenfeld fans.

I’ve read several of James Scott Bell’s novels and I must admit, he is my favorite legal thriller writer. I’ve read almost all of John Grisham’s novels, which are great, but Bell takes the craft of writing to a whole other plane both readers and writers will appreciate!

Darcie Gudger is a freelance writer currently working on a young adult novel while trying to solve all the mysteries of motherhood with her adopted son, Kyle. In her spare time, she coaches the 2A Colorado State Champion Sheridan High School colorguard, judged equipment for the Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association and sings for the Bear Valley church choir and worship team. An adventure-seeker who lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky mountains, Darcie loves hiking, camping, cycling, photography and keeping her husband guessing. Visit Darcie online at her blog, Joy in the Litterbox.