Sep 13, 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.

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than 10 legal thrillers and was recently a finalist with John Grisham and Michael Connelly for the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal. Randy runs his own law practice and has been named to Virginia Business magazine's select list of "Legal Elite" litigation attorneys. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing" — part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his website at www.randysinger.net.

The Judge was published earlier as “The Cross-Examination of Oliver Finney” which I thoroughly enjoyed a few years ago.  In fact, I think I enjoyed it even more this second time, as it drew me back into the mindset of a well known although fictional judge.

I found the whole concept of this novel fascinating.  Set up as a reality show, the goal was to determine the true faith and beliefs of the contestants, as each of them believed they had a terminal disease and a limited time to live.

The producers used these circumstances to manipulate the players and put their faith on display, trying to increase the ratings and the success of the show. Of course the situation intensified with the greed and the fanaticism of the producers and financiers.

I have learned more about the different religions and their required practices, many of which seemed to be nothing more than empty rituals, hopelessness and despair, as the inevitable end of life approached.

Each book by Randy Singer that I have read so far has brought me into the fascinating and often manipulative world of lawyers and judges. I always enjoy reading about the legal consequences of a person's actions. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a legal thriller combined with Christian values and Biblical truth.

Disclosure: Book received courtesy of Tyndale Blog Network, in exchange for my honest review.

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