Item description for Presumed Guilty by James Scott Bell...
Overview Dallas Hamilton's perfect world is torn apart when her husband, a rising superstar in the evangelical world, is arrested for the murder of a porn star.
Publishers Description Murder, betrayal, and a trial that feeds a media frenzy. Can one woman stand against the forces that threaten to tear her family apart? Pastor Ron Hamilton s star is rising. His 8,000-strong church is thriving. His good looks and charisma make him an exceptional speaker on family values. And his book on pornography in the church has become an unexpected bestseller. Everything is perfect. Until a young woman s body is discovered in a seedy motel room. The woman is a porn star. And all the evidence in the murder points to one man: Ron. With the noose tightening around her husband s neck, Dallas Hamilton faces a choice: believe the seemingly irrefutable facts---or the voice of her heart. The press has already reached its verdict, and the public echoes it. But Dallas is determined to do whatever it takes to find the truth. And then a dark secret from Dallas's past threatens to take them all down. As the clock ticks toward Ron's conviction and imprisonment, and an underworld of evil encircles her, Dallas must gather all her trust in God to discover what really happened in that motel room . . . even if it means losing faith in her husband forever."
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James Scott Bell is the #1 bestselling author of Plot & Structure, and award-winning thrillers like Final Witness, Romeo's Rules, Don't Leave Me, Blind Justice, and many more. Jim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver. He graduated with honors from the University of Southern California law school, and has written over 300 articles and several books for the legal profession. He has taught novel writing at Pepperdine University and numerous conferences in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Jim served as fiction columnist for Writer's Digest magazine and has written five craft books for Writer's Digest Books: Plot & Structure, Revision & Self-Editing, The Art of War for Writers, Conflict & Suspense and Just Write.For more visit his website: www.jamesscottbell.com
James Scott Bell currently resides in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Presumed Guilty?
From "It Is To Write" Feb 11, 2009
An author like James Scott Bell has little need for a review from the likes of me--but then again, neither did Cec Murphey, or TL Hines, or Joe Hilley, or...well, you get the picture. But I'm gonna do it anyway just as a way of saying thanks for a really good read.
And Presumed Guilty was just that: a really good read.
Mr. Bell tackles several delicate subjects in this legal thriller: pornography, post traumatic stress disorder, marital infidelity, physical abuse, and--perhaps worst of all--presumption of grace. Sprinkle in shady politics and corruption in the legal system and you have all the ingredients for a hard-hitting, thought-provoking novel that balances all these evils with dogged faith and unrelenting loyalty by those who are hurt the most.
What I appreciated most about Presumed Guilty was Mr. Bell's ability to deliver realism without abandoning hope. There seems to be a line of demarcation in Christian literature today (or fiction that presumes to be Christian; or perhaps spiritual is a better word--no matter). Off to one side of the line is the story that supports itself on theologically correct platitudes that do little to comfort the afflicted--indeed, that leave the afflicted worse off by feeling guilty that the platitudes do not satisfy, believing that somehow they should. At the other extreme is the story that, in striving to be "real," denies (or marginalizes) faith and perseverance that are very real, through which people can and do overcome. I've read both types over the past few months. I've reviewed neither.
I thank Mr. Bell for straddling the line so well; one foot planted firmly in the reality of faith, one foot just as firmly in the reality of the mortal. And even more importantly, he then sees them through to reconciliation.
In Presumed Guilty, you feel the gut-wrenching tearing of the soul, the spirit, and the faith in the victimized. You cry, slam the wall with your mental fist, and agonize with the character whose soul is tormented beyond his desire or ability to pray it away. At the same time, you also put your emotional shoulder alongside the beleaguered heroine and strain and sweat for all you're worth in lifting the burden you know she can't share, carrying the load you know is hers alone. And you lay exhausted with both of them as they fall prostrate before the Almighty not because they choose to, but because they have to, because the weight of the world crushes them there. But the faith that kept them flat on their faces, when the world's heroes tell them to get back up and fight, lifts them to a greater level than they could have ever achieved playing the stoic.
The synopsis? No, read the book. There's no risk in ordering this one.
So, thanks, Mr. Bell, for...well, for a really good--and honest--read.
I Was Surprised! Oct 15, 2008
at how great this book was............
Even with it's religious leaning, (which I enjoyed), it was still a wonderfully written and exciting mystery.
The characters were totally realistic, and you truly cared about most of them.
A really great read!! 4 &1/2 stars Jun 24, 2008
This is the first book I have read by this author, and will definately be back for more. I loved the twist at the end, I never would have guessed. If the characters were better developed I'd have given it a 5 star. The secondary characters were very,very flat, but the book kept moving. All in all a pretty good read.
A quick, easy read, but undeveloped characters Dec 31, 2007
This book offers a controversial topic and an intricate plot. I enjoyed this book enough to seek more of the author's work. The fast pace and unpredictable nature definitely kept my interest.
The character development, though, fell short of my expectations. I think it is difficult for authors to create thoroughly believable characters of the opposite sex. Here we have a male author with a main character who is female. Because men (generally speaking) are more interested in the plot and action, this female lead seemed plastic. She was shockingly unemotional. Her life was publically torn apart; the drama played out before an enormous church, the media, the nation -- and yet she was fully composed, almost unaffected. This lack of character development kept me, as the reader detached from the story. I was watching from a distance rather than involved.
Final Thoughts: An easy read with a good plot. A nice distraction, but not a curl up on the sofa and lose yourself type of book.
Presumed Wonderful, Golden Book Club November 07 Dec 10, 2007
James Scott Bell is the unchallenged king of plot and tension. This masterfully woven work keeps your heart pumping and knees knocking with every consonant and vowel. Bell sews the devotion and dependency on the Lord with human frailty and flaw so well you almost don't know its happening. I am a huge fan and eternal student of this amazing man, writing fiction in excellence that glorifies God. This awesome novel deserves no less than a Golden rating. For more info www.goldenbookclub.info