Friday, September 3, 2010

Fatal Convictions by Randy Singer - REVIEWED & GIVE AWAY!

“The greatest danger is the illusion that all is well when indeed all is not well.” (p. 86)

Alex Madison spoke these words to his congregation at South Norfolk Community Church. At the time, he was trying to defend his position as acting lawyer in a case accusing a Muslim Imam of honor killings – not exactly the kind of extra-curricular activity church members want associated with their pastor. What Alex finds out later is that some Muslim’s practice a doctrine called Al Toqiah which states that in the Muslim community it is okay to use deception in order to advance the cause of Allah. The lies will be forgiven if Allah’s cause is advanced and his will is done. While Alex was trying to encourage his congregation (and himself) to realize that, despite appearances, people still harbor failures, fears and addictions that must be taken to God alone for restoration. Hypocrisy, in all its forms is something for which repentance is required. It is never a tool purposefully used to advance God’s holy cause.

Thus the labyrinth of a Muslim family begins to be explored by Alex and his law associate Shannon Reece as they become the defense team for Khalid Mobassar. Khalid is accused of honor killings taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the public frenzy to see him accused is fueled by the prosecutor’s dramatic ability to string together what appears to be undisputable evidence of Khalid’s murderous ways. As the trial continues, and the Mobassar family is more closely examined, it does seem that the man might indeed be guilty. Alex and Shannon never abandon their cause though, and despite a growing amount of damning evidence, they cling tenaciously to the defense of Khalid’s innocence.

Fatal Convictions is not a fast-paced novel of drama and action. There are moments of drama and suspense, but the true focus of the novel is the premise that we must never judge circumstances, people or motives by appearance alone. For good reason. Many times those who would have us defend their cause are lying. Many times they are trying to hide the truth because they are ashamed, or because they feel that they are justified in their actions. In this instance, Alex and Shannon are trying to defend a case that is taking place in a house of mirrors, and the truly guilty are hidden by what appears to be truth.

In light of the events that have occurred in the U.S. since 9/11, many people of Middle Eastern decent have fallen beneath harsh, unfair judgement due to appearances alone. Randy Singer’s novel subtly points out that, as Christians, we are not to judge people based solely on our differences. Yes, the Muslim faith is sincere, and while we should always share the truth of the gospel with the people of this faith, we are not to judge and condemn them. This is a very fine line that people often disregard out of fear and ignorance.

My only qualm with this novel is that Alex does not seem to possess a strong faith at all. The fact that he is a pastor is dubious at best, and quite frankly I think he placed himself in that position instead of being called by God to that position. His attraction to Khalid’s daughter, Nara, only strengthened my opinion of his lack of faith because he never once witnessed to anyone nor brought his faith to bear in any of his actions. That seemed totally inconsistent with the fact that he was pastor of a church, and made the faith of his congregation equally questionable. The congregation was unable to discern Alex’s feeble faith solely due to the fact that he was a good public speaker. This cast the Christian faith into extremely shallow waters in light of the fact that the characters who practiced the Muslim faith were so devoted and adamant about something that is totally untrue.

Then again, maybe I’m being judgmental. But since this is supposed to reflect my opinion of the novel, I feel like I must tell you how I feel. The lack of Christian faith in the main characters is pretty significant when you are dealing with characters of another faith that is sincere – but sincerely wrong. Yet Fatal Convictions is important because it addresses a weakness among all Christians to be quick to judge without knowing the facts. The legal system is not an easy thing to navigate. Neither is the human condition. Randy Singer does an exceptional job of taking his readers into the thought-provoking depths of both.

I am happy to offer a FREE copy of this great book! So leave a comment on this post with your contact information to be entered to win!!

About the Author:

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel Directed Verdict. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a 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 ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school's Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at


Cindy W. said...

Great interview Kim. Fatal Convictions sound like a great read. I'd love to be entered into your giveaway. Thank you for the opportunity.

Cindy W.


Julia M. Reffner said...

I'm intrigued to read this one. Great interview and review, Kim.


ChristyJan said...

Sounds like an interesting read ~ I'd love to win a copy.


Kim said...

Christy -
You were drawn as the winner!! Please be watching for my email!!

Thanks guys!!