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Presumed Guilty [Kindle Edition]

James Scott Bell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
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Book 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.


Editorial Reviews

Review

No author can write a superlative suspense story every time--unless that author is Bell. A near-perfect plot! -- Romantic Times Top Pick

About the Author

James Scott Bell, a former trial lawyer, is the bestselling author of Try Dying, The Whole Truth, No Legal Grounds, Deadlock, and Sins of the Fathers. A winner of the Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Cindy. Visit his website at www.jamescottbell.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 778 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310253314
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 26, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SF3KFO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,988 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bell's back! April 28, 2006
Format:Paperback
Imagine you're the wife of a pastor, an 8,000-member-congregation-best-selling-author kind of pastor. You're happy. Fulfilled. Making a difference at the shelter for abused women, which you started. Lately your husband has seemed a little distant, but he would never cheat on you. You trust him completely. Until the red police lights flash outside your window...

Dallas Hamilton's world turns upside-down when her husband Ron is arrested for murdering a porn star in a seedy motel room. Dallas desperately wants to believe her husband is innocent. The whole thing's a huge misunderstanding. Or even a smear campaign. After all, Ron's best-selling book tackled pornography in the church, and it was he who teamed up with a local councilman in a fight to wipe out pornography in Los Angeles. Plenty of people are eager to see Ron fall. But as time unfolds, and each visit with Ron's lawyer brings more bad news, Dallas' faith in her husband dwindles.

Her family troubles aren't limited to her husband either. Jared, her twenty-four-year-old son, has recently returned from the Iraqi war and is struggling with his own demons. Dallas yearns to reach him. Yet facing her own past and her husband's future is becoming more than she can handle. But Dallas isn't letting her family go down without a fight.

Whenever I pick up a James Scott Bell novel I expect a thrilling ride - one with twists, turns, and surprises. Presumed Guilty fits the bill. There's a reason why Library Journal calls Jim a "master of legal suspense". His writing is crisp and sharp, and he never fails to create rich characters who could be us. This should come as no surprise from the man who also penned the acclaimed writing how-to book Plot & Structure.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerfull book and a great legal thriller May 1, 2006
Format:Paperback
James Scott Bell's latest legal thriller, Presumed Guilty, tackles the issue of pornography, then changes tracks and launches into the themes of forgiveness, grace and spiritual warfare. In my opinion, this book had more "religion" in it than any of Bell's most recent books.

Dallas Hamilton knows her marriage to mega-church Pastor Ron Hamilton is struggling a bit. She does her part in preparing a romantic evening alone, but is frustrated when Ron says he has to work late. Ron, meanwhile, is counciling a woman who needs spiritual guidance. It turns out this woman is a pornstar, and a few days later, she turns up dead. All evidence points to Ron as the culprit.

This is devastating to Dallas. First, she can't believe Ron, an anti-porn crusader, would be anywhere close to involved. But then, Dallas starts learning things about her husband. Ron had a lot of secrets that Dallas didn't know about. These secrets threaten to tear apart their marriage, and Dallas' faith.

Jared Hamilton is an Iraqi war veteran battling internal demons while his dad is in jail. Jared is full of hate and spends time drinking and doing drugs. Author Bell takes the book on a track I didn't expect with this story line. Bell says demons are in a battle for Jared's soul and are causing him to have violent outbursts.

There are lot of legal twists and turns in this novel, but none of them are as interesting as the twists and turns that take place in the character's lives in this novel. Bell shows the power of forgiveness and God's grace. The spiritual warfare angle is something I would like to research further and I'm glad Bell brought it up in this novel. The only weakness of this novel is the pornography angle.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This plot is ripped right out of the headlines. Ron Hamilton, a successful pastor of a thriving, 8,000-strong church, has written a bestselling book exposing the evils of pornography. Another book deal is in the works, and his wife, Dallas, thinks life couldn't be better. But that's when a twist of irony steps into the tale.

Ron is arrested for murder. The victim? A porn star. Immediately, the future book deal falls through, and Dallas's life begins to crumble as she, strongly defending her husband, begins to have questions of her own. She knows Ron couldn't have committed the murder, but why was he involved with a porn star? Was he having an affair? Dallas's faith is tested as she grapples with these questions and discovers the truth.

Meanwhile, Dallas's son, Jared, returns from his tour of duty in Iraq; and she barely recognizes the son she once knew. Hardened by his war experience, he questions his faith; and Dallas begins to wonder if demonic activity in his life is to blame.

Add more tension to the mix when an old boyfriend, Chad, steps into Dallas's life and reminds her of a past she'd rather forget. When Dallas rejects his desire to renew the acquaintance, he begins harassing her. She wonders if Chad is involved in the murder. Did Chad commit the murder and frame Ron to get him out of the way so Chad could claim Dallas?

As with other Bell novels, this one weaves in complex subplots and heightens the suspense all the way to the last page. And just when you think you know who the murderer is, Bell delivers more surprises. This novel is a winner from every angle. Strong, relevant themes are woven into a tight plot, and believable characters evoke sympathy as they grapple with real-life issues for which Bell offers biblical solutions. I look forward to reading his next novel. A suspenseful tale from the first page until the last.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent "edge of the seat" mystery.
Published 1 month ago by BonesJogle
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bell's Best- read The Trials of Kit Shannon instead! (Possible...
I love James Scott Bell's books. I really do. The Trials of Kit Shannon series is fantastic. I was hoping this would be along the lines of those- great legal info mixed in... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Julie Tsoukalas
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Read Yet of my Current Favorite Author!
Brilliant depiction of how the enemy of ours souls is real and prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Read more
Published 8 months ago by miatarob37
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a Legal Thriller
Although the story was decent, it is misplaced with the description "Legal Thrillers". I felt like I was reading a Christian romance novel. Read more
Published 9 months ago by gudguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner!
No chance of disappointment with this one. Strong characters that you can believe. Totally wrapped up on the plot and couldn't put down. James Scott Bell delivers agaiin!
Published 14 months ago by Linda Glaz
5.0 out of 5 stars page turner
This was a book i looked forward to getting back to. Although not the main thing, it was full of spiritual encouragement. Well written . Read more
Published 15 months ago by Gracie
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read, predictable but enjoyable
This was a very easy read. It touches on interesting points (hypocrisy in the church, Christians who have the "perfect" life yet sin against God, forgiveness) but I found... Read more
Published 19 months ago by gigisa
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner!!
Well .........I am going to have to learn to do without as much sleep it seems!!! I have found another Christian writer that knows just how to keep me turning the pages at all... Read more
Published on January 12, 2013 by W. Allen
4.0 out of 5 stars Pastors Fall Short - Just Like Us
So, a pastoral counseling session leads to an affair. A scene we have witnessed played out in the news and local churches too many times in real life. Read more
Published on November 6, 2012 by Michael Joshua
5.0 out of 5 stars The fear of God
James Scott Bell is one of my favorite Christian writers, and this book will certainly put a healthy "Fear of God" into any man who has any chance to have any relationship with any... Read more
Published on February 4, 2011 by James F. Shock
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More About the Author

For notifications and deals about JSB's new releases, sign up for his occasional update at www.jamesscottbell.com (the signup box is on the left side of the screen). Your mail box will never be overstuffed nor will your address be shared with anyone else.

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a bestselling and award winning suspense writer, and one of the top writing coaches in the country. He writes in both the traditional and indie publishing realms. Writing as K. Bennett, he is the author of the Mallory Caine, Zombie-at-Law series, which begins with PAY ME IN FLESH. In 2012 he became the first writer to have a self published work nominated for the prestigious International Thriller Writers Award (for the novella ONE MORE LIE). He was the fiction columnist for Writer's Digest magazine and has written four popular books for the Writers Digest line: Plot & Structure, Revision & Self-Editing, The Art of War for Writers and Conflict & Suspense. Jim taught novel writing at Pepperdine University and continues to teach at numerous writers conferences in the United States, Canada, London, Australia, and New Zealand. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver. He lives and writes in L.A. He blogs weekly at Kill Zone -- www.killzoneauthors.blogspot.com

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