Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review of Randy Singer's Fatal Convictions

Step aside, John Grisham. Randy Singer is the CBA's creator of legal novels. His "Fatal Convictions¨ is an outstanding work of art.

When the wife of a prominent Muslem leader is brutally murdered shortly after converting to Christianity, Alexander Madison "happens¨ to meet Khalid and Ghaniyah Mobassar at the hospital. An automobile/truck wreck has left her with a terrible head injury, and Alex urges them to give him a call about the case. When Khalid is accused of the murder, he requests Alex's representation.

Attorney Alexander Madison isn't interested in taking the case; he's busy with the promising personal-injury case, and his role as a part-time pastor. Though every other lawyer is shying away from it, deep down he believes the accused imam is innocent and decides to defend him in the biggest murder case Virginia Beach has ever seen.

Pressure from his church to drop the case and increasing evidence against his client all make Alex wonder if he¡¦s made the biggest mistake of his life. When the imam's beautiful daughter arrives from Lebanon to help with the case, Alex is torn between his feelings for her and his obligation to his client.

But Alex is not a quitter. He's not about to let a ruthless assassin go free even if it is the fight of his career and his life.

Singer's characters are realistic and flawed, but likeable. Hiding behind the determination that's been bred in him, protagonist Alexander Madison has just a touch of laziness and ne'er-do-well that sneaks out at times, lending him an air of a southern gentleman meets hardcore business man. On top of those traits he has a tendency to flip flop: yes, I should take this case; no, I shouldn't. He's tolerant of lazy, incompetent help, easily swayed by a beautiful face and body, and ready to take full advantage of his partner's dedicated work habits.

Yet in spite of his insecurities, he¡¦s a character we can all relate to. He loves intensely. He stays with the stuff (even though he'd rather run). Once his mind's made up, no church, and certainly no church boss, is big enough to sway him.

I could see Khalid Mobassar and his wife, Ghaniyah; his very obvious intelligence and gentleness, her passion for her Islamic faith.

It was easy to dislike the bad guy, to wonder who was behind his dastardly deeds.

Khalid's daughter, Nara, stood out as a lovely vision of modern woman working toward a better change for women in an centuries-old Muslem world.

Shannon Reese, Alex's hard-working partner, was a figure of steadiness. I enjoyed seeing her spurts of jealousy, her intelligence, and her enthusiasm for the law.

Every aspect of the setting was true. I had no trouble with being drawn into it and seeing it throughout the book. The plot was carried through ably, the whole book easy to read.

Fatal Convictions is great book, and one I highly recommend if you love courtroom drama.



Karen said...

I just finished Grisham's The Appeal and I need to move on to someone new. Thanks for the recommendation!

Linda Glaz said...

Sound amazing! Can't wait to read.

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