Tuesday, September 5, 2017

R. Franklin James - The Bell Tolls - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Hollis Morgan has survived imprisonment, received a pardon and persevered to finally become a probate attorney. Tough as she is, her newest case will further test her mettle. She discovers her client, Matthias Bell, is a deceased blackmailer whose last wish was to return the damaging documents he collected, letting his victims off the hook. It falls to Hollis to give them the good news. But it’s revealed that Bell was murdered, and the victims of “Bell’s tolls” are now suspects.

Hollis’ white-collar criminal past has left her with keen survival instincts. A gifted liar she knows a liar when she meets one. A lot of people in this case are lying and one is a killer.

On top of that, she’s also representing a dying stripper, a wealthy widow whose estranged daughter spurns her attempts at reconciliation, but whose husband sees the potential inheritance as mending all wounds particularly financial ones.

Clients aside, Hollis is defensive and wary. Her mother, who hasn’t spoken to her for years, needs a kidney, and Hollis is a match, but neither are ready to put away the past. With Hollis’ fiancĂ© and emotional support off on an undercover mission for Homeland Security, she must count on her own survival instincts. She is swept along on an emotional roller coaster as her absent love and her family’s coldness take their own toll.

Work is her salvation. The specter of a killer keeps her focused. Hollis has always had to rely on her wits, but now she finds that others who don’t have her well-being in mind are relying on them as well.

My Review

What are you supposed to do with a blackmailer?

For the five victims manipulated in this story, you wait for him to die.

What exactly did he have on them, you wonder?

Well, one had a fling outside of marriage. Another cooked the books at work, concocting a fraudulent banking system. A third failed at properly hiding his gambling addiction. While a couple of foreign spies were willing to pay an exorbitant amount to keep their true identity under wraps.

And you can say, living under the constant strain of such torment gets to be too much for them. So when their blackmailer unexpectedly dies, they can't believe they've actually reached the end of the line with him. Finally, they can let go of the imminent threat of exposure he's been holding over their heads for far too long.

However, Hollis, the probate attorney hired to let them off the hook, becomes acutely aware of her own precarious situation, now that she, too, is privy to all their secrets.

And when the blackmailer's family orders his body to be exhumed, suspecting foul play, the cause of death turns out to be murder. Now constantly looking over her shoulder, Hollis is afraid the killer may be out to get her too.

The big twist comes at the end of the book when it's revealed that the blackmailer never intended to return the material he was holding on his victims after all. Someone else set them free from his reign of terror. But did that person (or persons) kill him too? You'll just have to read the book and find out.


The Bell Tolls can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Genre: Women's Sleuth, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 239
Release: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812177
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

R. Franklin James grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. From there she cultivated a different type of writing—legislation and public policy. After serving as Deputy Mayor for the City of Los Angeles, under millionaire Richard Riordan, she went back to her first love—writing, and in 2013 her debut novel, The Fallen Angels Book Club was published by Camel Press. Her second book in The Hollis Morgan Mystery Series, Sticks & Stones, was followed by The Return of the Fallen Angels Book Club, and The Trade List. The Bell Tolls, book five was released in June 2017.

R. Franklin James lives in Northern California with her husband.

Links to connect with R. Franklin James:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

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