Friday, November 9, 2007

"Try Dying"

James Scott Bell is the award winning author of several novels of suspense and historical intrigue.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest book Try Dying, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Try Dying is calm before storm.

First the set-up.

Ty Buchanan is a hot lawyer at a respected L.A. firm. His fiance, Jacqueline Dwyer, died in what appears to be a freak accident. A guy shot himself on a freeway overpass, fell 100 feet to the freeway below, hitting the car Jacqueline was driving. A few days later Ty gets a mysterious bit of information that Jacqueline may not have died when the body hit, but at the scene, when someone killed her. Now he has to find out why.

When he tries, he is almost killed himself. That's not supposed to happen to hot lawyers at respected firms in L.A.

On page 69 Ty, healing, is invited to play some basketball by another associate at the firm, Al Bradshaw. He wants to get Ty back to normal. Ty shouldn't play, but there's a gnawing in him that needs outlet. So down to the club they go and get in a game with some other guys, including a bruiser named Bruce. Ty and Bruce get into it two pages later, with some very bad results.

What is happening is that Ty Buchanan is beginning to realize he is not the same man he was after Jacqueline died. That his search for the truth is becoming an obsession that overshadows everything he does. Because of this obsession, he's going to lose some things. Big things. Maybe his own life.

This is the kind of suspense fiction I like best, going all the way back to Chandler and through John D. MacDonald. In fact, it was MacDonald who said, "I want the people that I read about to be in difficulties -- emotional, moral, spiritual, whatever, and I want to live with them while they're finding their way out of these difficulties."

That's what I'm trying to do in this book.
Read an excerpt from Try Dying, and learn more about the author and his books at James Scott Bell's website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue