Wednesday, January 7, 2009

On My Nightstand - Presumed Guilty by James Scott Bell

Last year, I briefly met James Scott Bell at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. Both his workshop and gracious demeanor prompted me to pick up some of his books.

As a former trial lawyer, Mr. Bell specializes in writing spell-binding mysteries. Presumed Guilty is a fine example of his work.

Pastor Ron and Dallas Hamilton are at the peak of their popularity. Their huge church and campaign against pornography make them public figures. Then, a woman, who comes to Pastor Ron for counseling, is found dead. All the evidence points to him as the murderer.

His wife is devastated. Does she believe her husband or the facts? Her inner struggle, concern for her young adult children, and determination to discover the truth pulled at my own emotions.

The ending surprised and satisfied me. Even though hints were dropped along the way, I never saw it coming. I think you'll enjoy this story and Mr. Bell's skillful writing.


Jessica Nelson said...

Ooh, I always like a good mystery. You're making me jealous with all these great books you're reading! :-) And I finished the Hidden Secrets (I think that's the title) Anyways, it was excellent and I'll probably post about it in a few days.
Thanks for another great review!

Sarah said...

Sounds intriguing. I'm always up for a good spellbinder.

Great review!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

This book had me thinking, "OK, everything is fine." Then, Dallas would be plunged into another life-threatening situation.

Thanks for the compliment. It's easy to write great reviews when you're reading great authors. :)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

If you love mysteries, you'll love this book. I'm glad you enjoyed Hidden Places by Lynn Austin. I know I'll be looking for more of her books.

Having a wish list helps when I go to the Christian bookstore or shop online. Then, I don't forget all the great books I've heard about.

Susan :)

quietspirit said...

Oh, boy. A new author for me. His background sounds like John Grisham, and I like his mysteries.

Thank you.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Quiet Spirit -

I haven't read much in this genre. My mind kept harking back to the Perry Mason days with long, drawn out courtroom scenes. Ugh.

Mr. Bell's work is far from boring. He's a master at storytelling and suspense. BTW, he also has several craft books out. I have two of them.

I think you'll find his books a memorable read.

Susan :)

Annie said...

Another great review. I need a new read, so I'll be visiting my local library for this one.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Annie -

If your library doesn't have this title, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by this author. I plan to read more of his books in the future.

Thanks for commenting. Has the snow finally melted?

Susan :)