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Fatal Convictions

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The Advocate

Fatal Convictions
by Randy Singer

Reviewed by Eric Wilson

"Once again, Singer gives us legal and spiritual matters to consider, while entertaining us all the way to the final verdict."

Years ago, I loved the passion and themes that John Grisham wove into his page-turners. After the dismal "The Brethren" and "The Summons," he seemed to lose his zeal, but thankfully I discovered Randy Singer's legal thrillers. In the time since, I believe Singer has surpassed Grisham in courtroom drama, legal twists, and passion for people and current issues.

"Fatal Convictions" shows Singer in top form, unflinching as always, tackling big topics and controversy. This time, he deals with Muslim culture and beliefs and the way they interact with American tradition. When a Muslim converts to Christianity, she comes under threat from radical Islam, and soon suffers the horror of an honor killing--and on American soil, to boot. The moderate and soft-spoken imam of a Virginia Beach mosque comes under suspicion, with all the evidence suggesting that he ordered the killing. To complicate matters, the slain woman's husband is one of the imam's best friends, and both of them have past ties to Hezbollah.

Pastor/lawyer, Alex Madison, defends the imam, but with muddied motives. He believes it may give him access to a large settlement in a connected personal-injury case. The further he gets involved, though, the more he believes the imam is innocent--and the more his heart gets invested in the imam's modern and beautiful daughter. Even as Alex faces personal and romantic decisions, his case faces difficulties with surprise revelations and last-minute evidence.

Singer does a great job juggling his subplots, characters, and their evolving motivations. He does an even more impressive job uncovering layers of Islamic thinking. Most authors want to paint Islam as all evil or all good, whereas Singer shows an objectivity that is admirable, well-researched, and instructive. More important, it reflects the Christian ideal of love and grace.

Once again, Singer gives us legal and spiritual matters to consider, while entertaining us all the way to the final verdict.

Eric WilsonEric Wilson is the author of twelve novels that explore Earth's tension between heaven and hell, the latest of which is One Step Away, a twist on the story of Job. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters. Visit him online at his website.