Friday, April 11, 2008

The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth is the latest from James Scott Bell (publised by Zondervan). I read this book during my Kentucky trip and enjoyed it very much. I recommend it to all of you. BHCC members, you can read this one. This is legal suspense and is not scary. Think John Grisham.

Here's what Jim had to say about writing the book:

I'm fascinated with the long term affects of the past on the present. The germ of the idea was the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping, from the same room her little sister was in, as the sister watched, pretending to be asleep. I kept thinking, what would be the effect on the sister?

In the novel I made it two brothers, and then cut ahead twenty-five years, to see the effect on the younger brother. And then he gets a mysterious call ...

Back cover copy:

At the age of five, Steve Conroy witnessed his brother's kidnapping. Years later, the guilt of his silence has nearly destroyed his life and his law practice. When he agrees to represent a convicted criminal, Steve realizes that Johnny LaSalle is hiding something. Could it be a clue to his past? Or a scheme deadlier than anything Steve could have imagined?

Why I liked this novel:

It's real. It's raw life. The protagonist wants nothing to do with God, and his character arc is just enough to reflect his beliefs at the beginning of the story.

All the characters are multi-faceted. They'll surprise you. Not everyone who spouts a Bible verse is really walking God's path. Sad truth that this is the way the world is today. Just watch the latest headlines.

The dialogue is fresh and lean, and pops along. This is one of Jim's signatures.

I didn't know how it would end. The twists I guessed, but that's not surprising, since I write suspense myself. However, guessing the twists didn't make the book any less enjoyable. I still didn't know how Jim would wrap everything up, and I wasn't sure of the veracity of certain points.

The prologue really works. It creates immediate empathy for the character as a child, so when we meet him as an adult--with all his weaknesses--we can still root for him.

The Whole Truth is currently on the bestseller list at #15.


Pam Halter said...

It sounds great! I'll add it to my list of books I want to read, which I may never accomplish before I die because the list keeps growing and growing and growing. HA!

Karen Eve said...

Thanks Brandilyn. Interestingly enough, there is another book titled The Whole Truth by David Baldacci releasing this month. I haven't read Baldacci, but I know I'll enjoy anything by Jim Bell.

C.J. Darlington said...

Jim Bell is one of my favorite authors, and The Whole Truth was a great read. It's funny ... I didn't know he'd used the Elizabeth Smart case as inspiration, but it's the first thing I thought about when reading the novel.

D. Gudger said...

This book is fantastic. Just finished reading it for a titletrakk review (hi CJ).

I too, was gripped by the organic nature of the characters. Bell's writing is an art form of its own. Some of his descriptions...

This was one I read in two days and got NOTHING done :)