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Try Dying (Ty Buchanan #1)

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  737 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
eBook Bonus Material: Video: "Watch Your Back" by James Scott BellPhotos: key landmarks around L.A. that are referenced in the text Two essays:"Why I Named the Character Ty Buchanan""Why I Write About L.A." Ty Buchanan is a rising star in his L.A. law firm, until the suspicious death of his fiancee forces him into the underbelly of the city to discover the truth behind he ...more
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Published October 24th 2007 by Center Street
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C.J. Darlington
Ty Buchanan's beloved fiancé has just died in a freak Hollywood style accident, instantly spinning his world off its axis. Maybe someday he'll recover. Maybe someday he'll make sense of his emotions and get on with his life without Jacquelyn. Only someday doesn't come, and Ty watches himself become a man he never dreamed he'd be. An attorney sworn to uphold the law, he's soon breaking it to find out the truth about Jacquelyn's death. Was it really accidental?

In the vein of Brandt Dodson's Colton
...more
Karol
When I was a teen-ager, I thought I would never be like my parents, who just didn't keep up with some of the changes in the world. I was pretty cool, and thought I would always understand the culture of the day.

This book proved I was wrong.

"Try Dying" is a suspenseful story about a lawyer (one of the good ones) who loses his fiance' in a tragic accident . . . but was it the accident that really killed her? Getting to the bottom of that question in LA/Hollywood puts Ty Buchanan's life and career
...more
LJ
TRY DYING (Legal Mys-Ty Buchanan-CA-Cont) – Poor
Bell, James Scott
Center Street, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 1599956845

First Sentence: On a wet Tuesday morning in December, Ernesto Bonilla, twenty-eight, shot his twenty-three-year-old wife, Alejandra, in the backyard of their West Forty-fifth Street home in South Los Angeles.

Attorney Ty Buchanan is preparing a case involving repressed memories and child abuse. While deposing a witness, Bonilla, after killing his wife, drives to a freeway overpass,
...more
Ubiquitousbastard
A little too Christian at times for me, but I guess that wouldn't really be an issue for most people. I think I actually have more of a problem with the ending. It was super confusing how everything just came together at once, connecting all of the far reaching plot threads in one big plot lump. I'm still going over it in my head, trying to see how all of that happened.
Still, for all of that, it was still pretty readable, and I did slightly laugh out loud once. I don't really agree with the phil
...more
Roger
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this, although with some minor irrational exceptions. While a corporate attorney may be able to play detective when he has personal reasons for doing so, it's not quite so easy to fathom that same lawyer going as far underground as this one, death-defying fisticuffs and all. But personalities sometimes don't show themselves until they accomplish what they feel they are destined to do, so it's credible enough.
Kelly
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kelly by: Kimberly
Shelves: mysteries
This reads a lot like a John Grisham book (only without a lot of the technical legal jargon Grisham uses). It moves at a quick pace and most of the chapters are quite short.

I was hooked after reading the back cover (which is also the first chapter). Ty Buchanan tries to figure out why his fiancee was killed--was it really a freak accident or something more?
Karen
I don't read this genre often,but took a chance on this book because of the audio sample.I really enjoyed the authors writing style and he created an interesting set of characters.The book finishes nicely without leaving a lot of loose ends.The narrator did a good job portraying the story and has a pleasant voice.I received an audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Lizette Vega
Note: this review may contain spoilers.
Try Dying is not the fast-paced thriller I hoped for when I started reading. James Scott Bell is a wonderful author and I enjoy his books. However, this story seemed to have too many characters, and three different story lines (the original murder, adultery-counterfeiting, and a priest's molestation charge). By the time the book ends, the three story lines become convoluted and the original crime (the death of the main character's fiance) seems out of place
...more
Kate Joekel
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, a JSB book is a great read!

The suspense is plenty strong enough to keep me reading, but the humor birdcage what I love. It is laugh out loud humor, and sometimes I just need that.
Ty Buchanan is an up and coming lawyer with the world in his pocket. He works for a prestigious law firm, and is engaged to a wonderful young woman. A freak accident on the highway changes all this, and Ty's world comes tumbling down. From nuns, reporters to thugs and restocked priests, this is one ride you co
...more
Nike Chillemi
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-legal
Try Dying is the first novel in the Ty Buchanan legal thriller series. If this is going to be the measure of the series, I can’t wait to read the next book.

Ty Buchanan is preparing a case involving repressed memories that might make him a partner in his posh L.A. law firm. Meanwhile, he’s dealing with some memories of his own he’d like to repress. Schoolteacher Jacqueline Dwyer, the fiancé he adores and a committed Christian, winds up in what appears to have been a freakish accident. A gang-bang
...more
Leigh
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always enjoyed James Scott Bell's books...this was no different! Ty is an interesting character but frustrating and at times boring and until the last few chapters of the book you don't see him develop or grow. I love the wise and caring father Bob and the sassy basketball playing and comforting nun sister Mary these two character add depth into the book and actually give it life. I wish they where implemented earlier into the story.
The story itself is creative and intriguing with a few
...more
Jill Bratcher
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-scott-bell
I enjoyed this book eventually, but I admit that this was the third one out of more than a dozen Jim Bell books I've read that I had a hard time getting into, and I actually let it sit for over a week after reading about a third of it. (I still haven't finished the Darwin book started a long time ago even though I really liked the premise, and I'm probably 25% into "Watch Your Back" having a really hard time caring about its protagonist.)

As to why I liked this one:
Bell just kept throwing in plot
...more
Mahala Church
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having followed Bell’s career online—teaching and preaching how to write—I looked forward to seeing if he could do it - write that is. And the answer is Yes! He can. This dynamite story opens when a man shoots his wife, drives to a freeway overpass and shoots himself, dropping 100 feet on a Toyota Camry. The crash kills the protagonist, Ty Buchanan’s, fiancée, Jacqueline, the driver of the Camry. Ty is a young successful lawyer, who at the moment she is dying, is in what could be a career-defini ...more
Deeann Zessin
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this book because Goodreads suggested that if I liked ‘Home Another Way’ by Christa Parrish, I may like this book. I loved Home Another Way – loved the characters & wanted to live there.

Try Dying didn’t do it for me. I don’t feel like I ever really got to know any of the characters including the main character. The most likable characters were the Father, the nun, and Fran.

The main character, Ty Buchanan, was quite a contradictory. A lawyer who talks like he’s from the hood (+/or Bri
...more
Annie
Oct 21, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller/mystery readers
At first I didn't think I was going to finish this. I guess I have been reading too much of the same type of books. Anyway, I did keep on and the pace really picked up toward the end. I am looking forward to the next in the series.

From Booklist
Attorney Ty Buchanan is prepping a potentially career-making case involving repressed memories (he's defending a doctor who, after publicly criticizing a repressed-memory expert, is now being sued for defamation). When his fiancée is killed in what appears
...more
Carol Caldwell
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a gut wrenching story that rips up the main character and turns him inside out. He loses everything at one point but he keeps on going. What fuels him? He doesn't even know himself. Great character study. The plot keeps moving. One thing I appreciated is that it takes place in Los Angeles, CA, where I grew up and all the street and freeway names are familiar to me. I felt like I was right there.
Jill Williamson
Nov 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review by Jill Williamson

Lawyer Ty Buchanan is working on a high profile case when his fiancé is killed. The cops say it was a freak accident, but some strange occurrences lead Ty to believe she was murdered. As Ty investigates, his life falls apart. He trusts no one but an outcast priest and a basketball-playing nun.

Loved this book! I lived in Los Angeles for nine years, so it was really fun to know all the places the main character went. But that wasn’t what was so great about the book. James
...more
Victoria Allman
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a reason James Scott Bell is a master of the craft of writing and Try Dying, the first in the Ty Buchanan series about a LA lawyer, is the perfect example of why. From page one, where we learn of the tragic death of Ty's fiancee, to the very last page where he tries to prove his innocence, Mr Bell creates intriguing characters and an exciting plot that the reader can not help but love and keep turning pages to find out who-dun-it.

This fast-paced mystery starts out strong and keeps raisi
...more
mark
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: men-s-fiction, crime
I read the 3rd novel in this series first; and liked that one more than this one. The story here is a little fantastic and the the 1st person narrative - thus the protagonist - is a pop culture cliche. I didn't like him, I didn't not like him. He lacked depth. Somehow, his basketball prowess (in High School?) was transferable to amazing street fighting skills. He doesn't drink, smoke dope, swear, nor "appreciate" beautiful women who "want" him. And yet he is extremely violent and reckless. Is it ...more
John
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read by Bell. The first being Deadlock which I enjoyed. But the plot and characters of Try Dying were very hard to follow. Perhaps if you were to read the book straight through in a day or two you might have followed it but I am a slower reader. Almost every time a character resurfaced I'd have to go back and try to figure out who it was. I found Ty Buchanan to be unusually stubborn, always withholding information and failing to trust the people who could have helped ...more
Claudia
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have heard that James Scott Bell is a great writer, but now I know it is true! Excellent writing. Not just the story line--A freak accident. A man shoots his wife, drives to an overpass, shoots himself and falls from the overpass onto a passing car in which the woman driver is killed. The woman is Ty Buchanan's fiancee. At the funeral, a strange man suggests to Ty that she was not immediately killed, but rather that she was killed by another man. This sets off a series of thrilling events that ...more
Łukasz Piotrowski
This book was suggested for me after Steve Martini and John Grisham's legal thrillers, but... I can't say I really enjoyed it.
For one thing, the story is so far-fetched it verges on preposterous.
For another, this is hardly a legal thriller: the fact that the main character is a lawyer (a really strange one too) doesn't make it one. Not one scene is set in a court of law.
And as for Mr. Bell's narration - simple, often colloquial language - makes it an easy read. I did enjoy it sometimes, the dire
...more
Thomas Fredrick
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hooked by the style in the first few pages. The writer describes a gruesome death--a man falls/was pushed off an overpass onto a passing car, killing the driver. We're swept up in that plot line for a time, never imagining that the main character's real interest in the death was that his fiance had been driving the car the man fell on.
That was a conversation stopper.
My only complaint was the "travelogue" of Los Angeles. Ok, I get it, the author knows the city. But I didn't want to be intro
...more
Matt
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a good "thriller" should, the pace is quick and progresses to a rabid flurry in the last 15 pages. I kept thinking the author has strung me along to another book to find the ending as the story did not seem to have enough pages left to tie up all the ends. As I said, the very last of the book is a sprint. The story-line is one I've read/seen many times; Someone not of the law attempt to solve a cold case on their own, leading to many problems for themselves. Although Mr. Bell writes a good th ...more
C. Clark
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a follower of Bell's blog, I wanted to see if the man practiced what he preached to writers struggling to make it in this profession. I enjoyed knowing the teacher practiced his craft. The protagonist could barely catch his breath as chapters began whizzing by as problem after problem mounted on his head. I did struggle in spots keeping up with so many characters with a few of the secondary players not being very visual, but the plotting was spot on, the protagonist likeable. I'll be reading ...more
D.W. Plato
I read about book about writing books by this author, James Scott Bell. In the instructional book, he talks about building conflict within the dialogue and carrying the suspense through the characters. He refers to Try Dying throughout Conflict and Suspense (the how-to book) so of course I had to read it. Knowing how he was inspired to start the book was interesting and I felt I had a bit of inside knowledge because of Conflict and Suspense. The characters and plot is good and easy to follow. En ...more
MiniMe
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ty is a hotshot lawyer grieving the death of the love of his life. Turn a few pages. Ty gets beat up. Turn some more pages. Ty is being snarky--his default mode. Turn some pages. Ty gets beat up. Recycle and repeat. Add legal troubles, job loss, threats, murder charges, and more of Ty getting beat up--then, finally all the puzzle pieces are put together--OH! and Ty gets beat up some more. The end.
David
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first James Bell novel I've read and it was...okay. His protagonist reminds one of most of the other lawyer/private eye types in this genre and there isn't anything special to make him, or his story, stand out. Don't know what I was expecting, but this lightweight book wasn't it.
,
Linda Leigh Hargrove
Try Dying is unlike any other James Scott Bell novel I've read; or any other noir genre fiction I've read. Loved it to pieces. The book's hero, Ty Buchanan, is my kind of lawyer/detective/Christ seeker.

If you're looking for a read that's has a strong Christian message, try another JSB novel, don't Try Dying.

Lovely job, Mr. Bell. Can't wait to read the others in the series.
April
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

James Scott Bell, tells an interesting story, but it seems to take him a long, long, long time to get it done. There is lot of mystery, action, and plenty of thrills to keep anyone happy.
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Jim is a former trial lawyer who now writes and speaks full time. He is the bestselling author of Try Dying, No Legal Grounds, Presumed Guilty, Glimpses of Paradise, Breach of Promise and several other thrillers. He is a winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Inspirational Fiction, and was a fiction columnist for Writers Digest magazine. He has written two books in the Writers' Digest serie ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Ty Buchanan (3 books)
  • Try Darkness
  • Try Fear (Ty Buchanan)

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