I have a habit of reading an author’s book, then if I like it, I’ll find all of that author’s other titles and read them back to back, overdosing on the style and characters and stories created by that one author. I’m sure no one else has ever done this, right? It’s something I wish more readers would do with my books. I have a lot of favorite novelists, and James Scott Bell has always been one of them.
If you haven’t read Jim’s books yet, you’re in for a treat, and the best way to test the waters is to find one of his novelettes online at a very reasonable price and download it to your ereader of choice (Sorry, Jim Rubart, but it’s only on ebook). My latest favorite character of his is a nun named Sister Justicia Marie, and Justicia is a name with meaning. She kicks bad-guy butt with style in Force of Habit.
Something I’ve always looked for in a good novel is humor. I’m not talking over-the-top humor or slapstick comedy, but just the right set of words at the right time so the trials of my favorite characters don’t draw me into depression. Both Force of Habit novelettes have that just-right touch of humor that had me laughing out loud. That’s hard to do, but Jim does it quite well. One of his latest novels, Don’t Leave Me, has dizzying, fast-paced action, and he puts his main character through all kinds of grief, but he layers it well with moments of humor and touching characterization that lighten the dark spots, adding depth and warmth to a fascinating read.
Let me put it like this–for thirty years, my very favorite novelist of all time has been Dean Koontz. If you like Dean Koontz, you’ll probably like James Scott Bell. Enough said.