Book Review: Try Darkness

The once up and coming, high priced trial lawyer Ty Buchanan had his life destroyed when his fiancée was murdered, a crime he stood accused of committing. Although eventually cleared of any wrongdoing, Ty’s life remains in tatters, which is why he currently resides in a trailer on the grounds of St. Monica’s, a community of nuns who followed the Rule of St. Benedict.

Working with the poor and underrepresented from his coffee shop “office”, Ty agrees to take on the cause of Reatta, a single mother fighting eviction from a downtown LA flophouse. The story gets interesting when he discovers the lawyer representing the hotel owner is none other then his ex-buddy, Al Bradshaw from Ty’s former employer Gunther, McDonough. The law office dumped him like a hot rock when the murder investigation began and now they’re making noises about hiring him back, a line Ty isn’t buying.

When Reatta is discovered murdered in her flophouse room, Ty knows there is someone big involved with the derelict hotel and nothing or no one is going to interfere with whatever they have planned. After locating Reatta’s missing six year old daughter Kylie, Ty takes her to St. Monica’s for safekeeping but he will need much more then the nuns prayers to keep them both alive from the powerful forces lined up against them.

Bell does a creditable job of creating an honorable, battered man trying to do the right thing. The tension between Ty and the nuns, particularly Sister Mary adds nice depth along with a hint of romantic interest to this well plotted thriller. Sister Mary’s character is more fully realized then in Try Dying as she begins questioning the role of the Benedictines in today’s society. Kylie plays a central role, not only as a victim but also as a vehicle for hope for two lonely, hurt individuals still struggling to come to terms with the past. Bell sets the stage for further entanglements between Ty and Sister Mary while providing a satisfying conclusion.

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