(Randy D. Singer)
Married Rhonda Pursifull (a teacher), 1978; children: Rosalyn, Joshua. Education: Houghton College, B.A., 1978; William and Mary School of Law, J.D., 1986. Hobbies and other interests: Basketball, running, canoeing, hiking, reading.
Home— VA. Office— Wilcox & Savage, 1 Commercial Place, Ste. 1800, Norfolk, VA 23510. E-mail— [email protected]
Lawyer, educator, radio broadcaster, and author. Called to the Virginia State Bar; Houghton Academy, Houghton, NY, teacher and coach, c. 1978-83; Wilcox & Savage, Norfolk, VA, from lawyer to head of firm, c. 1986-97, partner, 2007—; North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, Atlanta, GA, from executive vice president and general counsel to president of Family-Net television, c. 1997-2007. Regent Law School, Virginia Beach, VA, adjunct professor and chairman of Board of Visitors; interim preacher at Trinity Church and First Baptist Virginia Beach, both Virginia Beach; cohost of a live talk show on Sirius satellite radio.
Christy Award for best Christian suspense novel, 2003, for Directed Verdict.
Directed Verdict, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2002.
Irreparable Harm, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2003.
Dying Declaration, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2004.
The Judge Who Stole Christmas, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2005.
Self Incrimination, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2005.
The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2006.
The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ, Waterbrook Press (New York, NY), 2006.
False Witness, Waterbrook Press (Colorado Springs, CO), 2007.
NONFICTION; WITH BOB RECCORD
Live Your Passion, Tell Your Story, Change Your World, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2004.
Made to Count: Discovering What to Do with Your Life, Thomas Nelson (Nashville, TN), 2005.
A longtime trial lawyer who has served as an interim Christian preacher, Randy Singer is also a writer whose novels are legal thrillers that focus on controversial issues and biblical teachings. His first novel,Directed Verdict, was published in 2002 and won the Christy award for the best Christian suspense novel that year. "I'm a writing nerd," Singer said in an interview on the Chris Well: Learning Curve Web site. "I love to write and do it every spare second I can. On the airplane, in the hotel room, in church (oops), you name it." Singer has also written nonfiction books.
In Directed Verdict, Singer presents a case in which attorney Brad Carson sues the nation of Saudi Arabia for the persecution of two missionaries. Sarah and Charles Reed are captured and tortured in Saudi Arabia for spreading their Christian faith. Furthermore, they are framed as cocaine users. Charles eventually dies, and Sarah finds herself in dire financial straits because their life insurance company refuses to pay on Charles's policy because they deem him a drug addict. When Brad decides to sue Saudi Arabia and the Muttawa, he soon finds that he is confronting some powerful and nefarious forces who resort to intimidation, kidnapping, and bribery to clear the country's name. Brad suspects that someone in his own law office is working for the other side; meanwhile, he must face an abortion pro-choice judge whom he has battled before. Calling the story "compelling," a Publishers Weekly contributor added that "the reader is left guessing until the last chapter about the identity of a potential double-crossing informant."
Writing on the In the Library Reviews Web site, Phillip Tomasso III called Irreparable Harm a novel that is "jam-packed with tension and suspense … [that] will have readers engrossed from the opening prologue until finishing the last line of epilogue." Mitchell Taylor is a young and inexperienced attorney who finds himself defending the right of Maryna Sareth, a young surrogate mother, to have a baby that has Down's syndrome. Maryna is carrying the child of Dr. Nathan Brown and his wife, Cameron. She became pregnant via a controversial method of in vitro fertilization that involves cloning. When Dr. Brown dies, his will stipulates that the remaining embryos be used for stem cell research, while his wife wants the baby Maryna is carrying to be aborted. The case revolves around a complex set of bioethical issues, and both Mitchell and Maryna face threats from a powerful corporation. Noting that the author has created an "interesting … legal thriller," a Publishers Weekly critic went on to write that "the novel includes an appealing romance element and some welcome touches of humor."
Singer tackles another controversial issue associated with religion in Dying Declaration. Thomas and Theresa Hammond are extremely conservative Christian parents who do not believe in using doctors, relying instead on the will of God to cure any ailments in their family. When their young child dies as a result, their other two children are taken away by the state. The couple also faces negligent homicide charges and are defended by divorced African American law professor Charles Arnold. "Singer knows how to incorporate just enough legal details to make things interesting without overdoing it," wrote Cindy Crosby in Christianity Today. A Publishers Weekly contributor appreciated the novel's "complex and well-drawn characters."
The Judge Who Stole Christmas was called "a straight-from-the-headlines look at the real battles going on in our legal system today" by BookLoons contributor Melissa Parcel. This time the case revolves around an annual live nativity scene in Possum, Virginia. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) questions the legality of presenting the live nativity scene, and a judge declares it unconstitutional. Nevertheless, Thomas Hammond, who plays Joseph in the scene, refuses to back down. This leads to a court case in which Thomas is defended by Jasmine Woodfaulk, who is just finishing law school. One of her professors suggested she represent Thomas in order to meet a requirement to join a large law firm. Joyce Handzo, writing for In the Library Reviews, noted that the author "brings his keen legal mind to the pages of this book," adding: "The courtroom drama is an intriguing blend of precedents and participants."
Self Incrimination finds sixteen-year-old Tara Bannister on trial for the murder of her abusive stepfather. Represented by Leslie Conners, Tara pleads self-defense. Soon, however, Leslie finds that Tara's confession is not what it seems. In the meantime, Leslie is engaged to marry her law partner, Brad Carson, but discovers that she has a rare heart condition. Handzo, once again writing in In the Library Reviews, commented that the author's "experience as a trial lawyer, combined with his Christian worldview, give this book an amazing blend of courtroom drama and spiritual discernment."
In The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ, Singer provides a fictionalized account of the trial of Jesus. "Randy Singer slices through the rhetoric and gets to the real in this up close and personal look at the trial of Jesus of Nazareth," wrote Handzo for In the Library Reviews. "Keen analytical reasoning, combined with penetrating spiritual insights, provide these pages with crisp and compelling writing." The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney ties in with The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ. This novel revolves around a dying billionaire who stages an extravagant mock trial in which he invites leaders of all faiths to come and defend their beliefs. An aging judge named Oliver Finney comes to defend Christianity but soon finds that the dying billionaire has another agenda that may cost Finney his life. Meanwhile, Finney's law clerk, Nikki Moreno, must decipher the coded messages that Finney sends her to get by the monitored Internet on the island where the trial is being held. Nikki soon discovers that the key to unlocking the messages, real meanings lies in the book The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ, which Finney wrote under the pen name Randy Singer. Of this book, Handzo wrote: "Although each book is complete in itself, the interlocking plots pack an intriguing kind of power."
False Witness revolves around a mathematical code that can undo the Internet's safeguards. Created by a deeply religious professor, the code is about to fall into the hands of gangsters. Repo man David Hoffman becomes involved and recovers the program, only to find himself pursued by federal agents who want him dead or alive because of the threat presented by the code, and by mobsters, who know he has the code. Eventually, three law students working at a local legal-aid clinic find themselves representing Hoffman in court. Tomasso, again writing for In the Library Reviews, felt that the author "has only gotten better and more intense."
Singer is also the author of two nonfiction books written with Bob Reccord. Live Your Passion, Tell Your Story, Change Your World, focuses on ways to conduct a Christian ministry anywhere at any time. Made to Count: Discovering What to Do with Your Life conveys their belief in God's call to make a difference in the secular world.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Christianity Today, September, 2004, Cindy Crosby, "Courtroom Thriller," review of Dying Declaration, p. 91.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2007, review of False Witness.
Library Journal, June 1, 2004, Tamara Butler, review of Dying Declaration, p. 116; September 1, 2005, Tamara Butler, review of The Judge Who Stole Christmas, p. 122.
MBR Bookwatch, May, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Self Incrimination.
Publishers Weekly, September 9, 2002, review of Directed Verdict, p. 41; April 7, 2003, review of Irreparable Harm, p. 45; April 19, 2004, review of Dying Declaration, p. 41; January 16, 2006, review of The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ, p. 60; March 5, 2007, review of False Witness, p. 38.
Today's Christian, May 1, 2006, "Two Books United by One Incredible Truth," profile of Randy Singer, p. 20.
BookLoons,http://bookloons.com/ (November 7, 2007), Melissa Parcel, review of The Judge Who Stole Christmas.
Chris Well: Learning Curve,http://chriswellnovelist.blogspot.com/ (December 26, 2005), "Randy Singer, Pt. 1," interview with author; (December 27, 2005), "Randy Singer, Pt. 2," interview with author; (December 28, 2005), "Randy Singer, Pt. 3," interview with author.
In the Library Reviews,http://www.inthelibraryreviews.net/ (May 8, 2005), Joyce Handzo, review of Self Incrimination;(January 19, 2006), Joyce Handzo, review of The Judge Who Stole Christmas;(May 25, 2006), Joyce Handzo, reviews of The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ and The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney;(June 11, 2006), Phillip Tomasso III, review of Irreparable Harm;(October 27, 2006), Phillip Tomasso III, review of The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney;(August 16, 2007), Phillip Tomasso III, review of False Witness.
Randy Singer Home Page,http://www.randysinger.net (November 7, 2007).
Wilcox & Savage Web site,http://www.willcoxandsavage.com/ (November 7, 2007), profile of Randy Singer.