John Brooks is a brilliant young lawyer working hard, but not getting much notice. Those who know him admire his work ethic and his intellect. His friends believe that he needs one big case to show off his talents. Defending Hal Boyd, known as the Butcher of Belhaven, on arson and four murder charges, looks like that big case as the world media, hungry to fill 24 hours a day of non-stop news coverage, converges on Jackson, Mississippi.
Soon the Boyd case looks like a career ender when Brooks announces to his defense: "Not guilty by reason of insanity. My client was so insane that he believed that the person he intended to kill was a vampire." The world media ridicules the "Vampire Defense," and Brooks and his defense team become the laughing stock of the legal profession.
Ridicule becomes the least of Brooks problems when he discovers that a satanic cult is intent on exacting murderous revenge against Boyd and his defense team for daring to defend him. Kidnapping and multiple murders occur at a dizzy pace as the action careens from the city to the swamp to the courtroom.
Romance coupled with comic relief allows you to occasionally catch your breath, until even that is stolen by a double climax with a verdict that shocks the world, followed immediately by a dramatic final battle between good and evil.
The Vampire Defense is so "bloody good" you can taste it.
|Publisher:||Sartoris Literary Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)|
|Age Range:||15 Years|
About the Author
Judge Bell has been involved in some of the most significant cases in Mississippi and drew on actual experiences when he wrote Vampire Defense. He is devoted to his wife, Joanne. They live in Ridgeland, Mississippi and have four children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Retired Judge James D. Bell delivers a captivating tale in his debut novel, Vampire Defense. In the opening scene, Mr. Bell hooks his reader with the nuance of an evil that lurks in the small Mississippi town of Belhaven. Young Patrick Simmons takes on a dare from his buddy Jack Robins to go up and knock on the door of a creepy and worn, ninety-year-old Victorian house. Little did they know as he approached the house, the two boys were about to witness a horrific event. All they wanted to do was see if that house really was haunted. As they lay their bikes down and begin to cross the street, two cars come careening around the corner. Scared, the boys jump back into the holly bushes for cover and watch the horror unfold before them. When the first car comes to a screeching halt and a man jumps out of his car he fails to close the door as he runs around to the front of the car. Close behind, the second car crashes into the door and the boys witness it fly off its hinges before it comes to rest at the curb. It is when the short dark man jumps out of his car; Patrick realizes it is ‘Got Fried,’ Godfrey Plova, the creepy house's home owner. The blonde-haired man from the first car, Hal Boyd, jumps Godfrey and a vicious fight ensues. Paralyzed, the boys take further refuge in the holly bushes; hoping they are not seen. As neighbors began to gather a shot rings out. Godfrey is dead and Boyd races toward the house, kicks the door in and disappears into the darkness. Moments later the once quiet street is flooded with police cars, witnesses, and the image of the majesty of that Victorian mansion engulfed in flames. Seconds later, Hal Boyd is walking out of the flames and down the steps toward the gathering crowd and turns himself in to the authorities; but not before confessing he killed a vampire. Shortly thereafter, Bell introduces his star character, attorney John Brooks. When Brooks realizes he will be defending a man who killed another, confessed to the killing and did so because he believed he was a vampire, Mr. Bell cleverly uses his wealth of legal knowledge and experience and works a believable insanity defense into the story’s premise. At the onset, Brooks is handed a fair amount of ridicule not only from his community, but national news coverage as well because of his Vampire Defense. However, this is the least of his concerns as a series of unfortunate events continue to unfold. Mr. Bell has done a fantastic job of seeding a multitude of twists and turns to this story, but nowhere is the reader ripped off with cheeky dialogue or ridiculous situations. With his vast knowledge of the legal process and jargon, Bell takes the reader on an adventurous tale that translates into pure entertainment. He has done an excellent job of plotting out his story from beginning to end. For a debut novel, there is nothing novice about this story. I applaud Mr. Bell for his passion in the writing of Vampire Defense. If this is any indication of the writing he has in store for us, I would venture to say he will be as equally successful with his writing as he was in his admirable legal career. I look forward to (hopefully) the many stories Mr. Bell shall pen in the years to come. Quill Says: Grab yourself a V-8 and sink your teeth into Vampire Defense. You won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers Favorite John Brooks is a brilliant young lawyer working hard, but not getting much notice. What he really needs is one big case to show off his talents. That case comes along when he is hired to defend Hal Boyd, AKA, the Butcher of Belhaven, on charges of arson and four murders. But, things don’t look so good when he announces to his defense: “Not guilty by reason of insanity. The defendant is completely insane and totally believes the person he intended to kill was a vampire.” That is only the start. Soon other problems arise as kidnapping and multiple murders occur as the action moves from the city to the swamp to the courtroom. Then add a little romance and of course a verdict that shocks the world. The story isn't over with the verdict but with a final battle between good and evil. Or is it? Wow, what a great read! Here you have murders, vampires, courtrooms, and beer. What could be better? I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It started a tad slowly with multiple plots and subplots but after the action got going it moved with incredible speed to a great climax. At first I found it hard to classify this book by genre but after meeting the outstanding cast of characters I didn't even try. The dialogue is superb and most fitting for a work such as this. I did enjoy the ending and of course, a little is left over for the next book on Lawyer Brooks and Company. One of the best stories I have read in a long time.