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Try Dying    by James Scott Bell order for
Try Dying
by James Scott Bell
Order:  USA  Can
Center Street, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Successful and ambitious lawyer Ty Buchanan has it all - career, wealth, and a lovely elementary school teacher as his fiancée. He's in the middle of a big case centering on repressed memories, his client the beautiful and intellectually formidable Dr. Lea Edwards. This perfect life comes crashing down on him, when Jacqueline Dwyer dies in what seems to be a freak accident following a domestic dispute - Ernesto Bonilla murdered his wife Alejandra and then shot himself on an overpass, falling to land on Jacqueline's car and kill her. A terrible tragedy, but Ty will grieve and move on - or will he?

Ty is unable to get past Jacqueline's death and digs himself deeper and deeper into trouble. His obsession is triggered by a Latino guy in dirty clothes at the funeral, who watches Ty, and tells him that Jacqueline did not die in the accident but rather was murdered. The man then knocks him out and robs him, reducing the story's credibility when Ty notifies the police. Next Ty contacts TV reporter Channing Westerbrook, who offers information in return for his sharing with her the exclusive human interest story of his 'quest for answers'. He uncovers links to a self-help group, Triunfo, that 'started as a way to help gangbangers get out of the life.' And he finds help from a most surprising source - a priest, Father Robert, accused of molesting a child.

There are drugs, arson, counterfeiting with Secret Service involvement, and a murder laid at Ty's door. Soon, he's on the run from the law, while trying to discover who is responsible for this new killing as well as Jacqueline's death. He finds few he can trust. At the end of this grueling time, Ty isn't the same man he was before it started - he's learned a great deal from what he went through and from his dead fiancée's journals. He's looking for more, and it seems like he'll find it.

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