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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Monday, February 28, 2011

Recommended Read: Try Dying by James Scott Bell

My Rating: 5 Stars

I highly recommend reading James Scott Bell's Try Dying.

I'd paste the Amazon link here for you but Blogger still won't let me paste anything into my posts and I have neither the time nor energy or tech-know-how to figure out why.

As I've mentioned here before, suspense/thrillers are not my genre of choice, but I often end up seeking them out because it is next to impossible to find historical fiction that isn't romance.

I had heard so many good things about Try Dying that I finally had to read it for myself. I downloaded it yesterday to my Kindle and I have to say I was drawn in right away. In fact, I read the book in almost one straight sitting. The only reason I didn't read it straight through is that people my age can't stay up till all hours of the night. I had to finish the last 20% of it this morning when I woke up. 8-)

The staccato rhythm of the book is perfect for the genre, the characters are so well drawn, and you just have to read page after page.

I knew this was a book in a series and I entered with trepidation. Unfortunately, one of the trendy habits that underwhelms me with series fiction is that the authors don't bother to tie up the threads they initiated in the book. That makes me very very crabby. Thankfully, Mr. Bell doesn't fall ino that trap and makes sure you know who the murderer is by the end of the book (THANK YOU!).

The mix of humor and action and story was just right. AND it was a clean read (which to me means profanity free and without gratuitous sex).

And if I had to identify one thing that sets Mr. Bell apart and uniquely identifies him, brands him, if you will, is his passion for place. While I'm not particularly wild about California or LA in particular, his passion for and familiarity with this place comes through in his writing. And while I may not list LA as one of my hot spots, I do love Arizona that much so I very much appreciate it when the passion of place comes across in a book.

I hope that as my writing evolves I will do Arizona the same honor he does LA in capturing it so vividly and with obvious care.

A great read. I will definitely give another of the books in the series a shot.

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