Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Judge by Randy Singer

When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker. But he has an idea that might: he will stage the ultimate reality show. With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world’s major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, where they must defend their beliefs against spiritual challenges. 

Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is chosen to defend Christianity. As the program takes a strange twist, he quickly realizes he is trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life. With Internet access monitored, Finney sends coded messages to his law clerk, Nikki Moreno. Aided by a teen crypto-geek, Nikki soon discovers the key to understanding Finney’s clues in an apologetics book Finney wrote and must race against time to decipher the mysteries contained in the ancient words of Christ before her boss dies defending them.

What would happen if you took a selection of people from all of the world's religions and put them into a "Survivor" like setting?  You would get the makings of a book by Randy Singer, of course! So this billionaire is getting ready to die and he's found out that being rich doesn't provide him with any additional insight into what happens after we die.  In the search for this information, he comes up with the ideal to bring together people from all different religions to a remote island where they will "battle" it out against each other to see who has the best answers for the afterlife.  For the Christian perspective, we have Judge Oliver Finney.  Judge Finney is a cigar-smoking curmudgeon who never dreamed in a minute he would be picked for the show, but we know that demographic studies can't be wrong!  As the show progresses, Judge Finney starts noticing that things may not be exactly as they seem.  The judge begins passing crypted notes back and forth with his law clerk, thanks to a book on cryptology  that he had written.  As the stakes appear to be getting higher and higher for the contestants, Judge Finney begins to feel a sense darkness and dread.  Will this be the end of Judge Finney?  Does he help the billionaire with his thoughts of the afterlife?  Buy a copy and see how this one ends!

I have been a fan of Randy Singer for a long time.  I even hosted Mr. Singer for a book signing / discussion several years ago.  Anybody that reads John Grisham would love any of Randy Singer's books, and this one is no different.  Randy always shares his knowledge of the judicial system through his books.  This book, though, allows us to not only see the inner workings of a case against Christ, but he rolls in the whole reality tv show craze that the entertainment world is abuzz about.  I always come away from his books feeling like I have a little bit more knowledge of the judicial system, and that isn't always a good thing.

Is this a "guy's book"?  If you're into law and justice and reality TV, then you would enjoy this book.  Do you have to be a "guy" to like it?  Nope, this book would be enjoyed by everyone.


Randy graduated from Houghton College in 1978, married Rhonda Pursifull that same year, and began teaching and coaching at Houghton Academy, a local Christian boarding school. After five years of teaching and coaching, he left the front of the classroom to take a seat in the back, pursing his dream of going to law school. Three years later, he graduated second in his class from William and Mary School of Law. 

Following law school, Randy began an active trial practice at Willcox and Savage, a sixty lawyer firm in Norfolk, Virginia, eventually becoming head of the firm's litigation section. After thirteen years with the firm, and several more years working with a mission board and cable television network, Randy decided that a recession was a good time to start a new business. He formed his own firm—the Singer Legal Group—in 2009, specializing in civil litigation and business/ministry consulting.

About ten years ago, Randy began pursuing a passion to write. Tapping into his courtroom and ministry experience, Randy pens legal thrillers designed to entertain his readers while confronting them with biblical truths on controversial issues. His first novel, Directed Verdict, was published by WaterBrook Press in October 2002, and won the prestigious Christy award for the best Christian suspense novel that year. Just last year, Randy was named a finalist, along with John Grisham and Michael Connelly, for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the American Bar Association and the University of Alabama Law School. 

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