Vampire Defense (Novel)
Neighbors in the peaceful Belhaven subdivision of Jackson, Mississippi are shocked when a car chase through their quite streets ends with a man being shot to death in the front yard of a classic Victorian home, followed by a raging fire that destroyed the house with three souls trapped inside. Hal Boyd stumbled out of the inferno into the custody of a policeman, mumbling, “I killed him!”
John Brooks is a brilliant young lawyer working hard in the trenches, but not getting much notice. Those who know him admire his ethics and his intellect. He just needs one big case to show off his talents. Defending Hal Boyd, known as the Butcher of Belhaven, looks like that big case as the world media converges on Jackson.
Soon the Boyd case looks like a career ender when Brooks announces to the world his defense: “Not guilty. My client was so insane that he believed that the person he killed 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 a satanic cult intent on exacting revenge stalks Boyd and his defense team. Kidnapping and murders occur at a dizzy pace as the action careens from the city to the swamp to the courtroom.
Romance and comic relief allow 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.
Rooted in his experience as one of Mississippi’s premiere law professionals, James D. Bell’s first book, “Vampire Defense,” is a legal thriller with fangs. Attorney John Brooks is assigned to defend Hal Boyd, nicknamed the Butcher of Belhaven. Brooks’ defense makes nationwide headlines when he claims that his client believed his victims to be vampires. Readers should know that the Bell doesn’t shy away from gruesome scenes or depictions of occult activity. That said, the author is also careful to keep violence to the minimum necessary to the book’s plot, and evil is never portrayed in a positive light. In fact, the Gospel message is presented within the first fifty pages of the book. “Vampire Defense” shows what faith in action looks like in world where vampires and ghosts are as real as demons and angels. Bram Stoker meets John Grisham in Bell’s initial offering.