Tag Archives: Blind Justice

Double review: ‘Blind Justice,’ and ‘One More Lie,’ by James Scott Bell

Not that I am unemotional, but I do have a certain kind of permanent brain damage known as the “legal mind.”

Jake Denny, the hero of James Scott Bell’s Blind Justice, is a legal accident waiting to happen. Fiercely determined to succeed, he came to Los Angeles and had some success, before developing a drinking habit and suffering the breakup of his marriage. Now he’s looking at the end of the line, without work and facing eviction from his shabby little office.

Then he gets a call from the mother of Howie Patino, a childhood friend. Howie was below average in intelligence, but sweet natured and harmless. Now he’s been arrested for the brutal stabbing murder of his wife in the small town of Hinton.

Jake knows this case could be his redemption, but his confidence is gone. On top of that, Howie himself insists he’s guilty – though his story doesn’t make much sense, including the part where he says he saw the devil. Still, Jake’s the only lawyer the Patinos can afford, and he doesn’t feel he can turn them down.

When it comes to the trial, he has two seemingly invincible opponents – the small town district attorney who masterfully opposes him, and his own incompetence, fueled by alcohol. The worse things go for him, the more he drinks.

But he has a couple friends supporting him – one is his investigator, the other is Howie’s sister. They both tell him God can help him, and warn him of dark spiritual forces at work in Hinton.

There was a lot to like about Blind Justice. I personally thought the supernatural elements that got worked in (the book veers toward horror in places) were distracting and unnecessary. But I enjoyed the book overall. This is Bell, so there’s no obscenity.

Just me and a tray of cold cereal and a roll they could have picked off the ice at an L.A. Kings game. Coffee squeezed from the underside of a welcome mat after a hard rain.

I’m reluctant to tell you too much about the plot of James Scott Bell’s novella, One More Lie. There are so many surprises coming so fast that I’d spoil them for you.

Suffice it to say that Andrew Chamberlain, the hero and narrator, starts out the story on top of the world. He’s a highly successful Los Angeles lawyer with a beautiful wife and all the toys money can buy. Very suddenly his world goes to pieces – he’s accused of murder, and very neatly framed. In spite of the services of a friend who’s a top criminal lawyer, he finds himself on trial for his life. He will hit bottom hard before he begins to realize what really happened to him.

One More Lie is an engaging story, though I must tell you I figured out the last big surprise ahead of time. However, there are lots of other surprises to keep you interested.

One More Lie is, as I said, a novella. Three clever short stories are also appended, to give you your money’s worth.

It should be no surprise by now that there’s no obscenity in the book.