Tight writing, skill with creating tension and suspense and the ring of reality makes this book a winner. Singer has done it again as he weaves a plot of intrigue into a story that grips you from the first paragraph and keeps you going to the very end. The characters are believable and the author makes you care about them. Don't miss this one!
The Last Plea Bargain
380 pages, $13.99
The Last Plea Bargain
Randy Singer Returns with Thriller Loosely Based on Real Case
(Carol Stream, IL)—In 2002, Donna Somerville was indicted for first-degree murder of her husband, Hamilton Somerville, Jr., in Virginia. The prosecution alleged that Donna Somerville had poisoned her husband with a lethal cocktail of hospice drugs and the case drew national media attention, including a multi-page story in Vanity Fair and a Lifetime movie, Widow on the Hill. Donna Somerville was found not guilty in the criminal case in 2004, but, in 2010, she was found legally responsible for her husband’s death in the civil case.
Attorney and best-selling author Randy Singer represented Hamilton Somerville’s daughters in the civil case, and in his latest legal thriller, The Last Plea Bargain (Tyndale House/March 2012), Singer loosely draws on the case as he looks at revenge, mercy, and the question of where the God of justice is when tragedy strikes. He also explores what would happen to the prison population—and the legal system overall—if plea bargaining was no longer an option.
Prosecutor Jamie Brock, first introduced in Singer’s book False Witness, is known in the legal world for her refusal to plea bargain with criminals, no matter the stakes. But despite her legal toughness, Brock is fighting her own demons as she awaits the execution of Antoine Marshall, who sits on death row convicted of murdering Brock’s mother and wounding her father. Marshall claims to have experienced a religious conversion while in jail but still holds fast to his claims of innocence.
Brock’s nemsis, powerful defense attorney Caleb Tate, represented Marshall in his intial trial, but now faces his own challenges as he’s indicted for the murder of his wife, Rikki, for allegedly poisoning her with a lethal cocktail of drugs. Tate maintains his innocence, claiming that Rikki, a former Las Vegas show girl, was an addict, and even takes an on-air lie detector test.
Brock leads the fight against Tate for the prosecution, wanting nothing more than to nail him on the charges. But things get crazy when Tate allegedly comes up with a way to logjam the system by convincing criminals not to plea bargain, overwhelming prosecutors and styming their ability to work effectively. Fueled even more by a desire for justice, Brock pushes on in her fight against Tate. But what she doesn’t realize is that things aren’t always what they seem and people aren’t always who they claim to be.
Randy Singer is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. He 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. He has authored ten legal thrillers, including the 2003 Christy Award-winning Directed Verdict, Irreparable Harm, Dying Declaration, Self Incrimination, The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney, False Witness, By Reason of Insanity (2009 Christy Nominee), The Justice Game (CBA Bestseller), and Fatal Convictions as well as the novella, The Judge Who Stole Christmas. He has also authored or co-authored three nonfiction titles. Randy runs his own law practice and was recently named to Virginia Business magazine’s select list of “Legal Elite” litigation attorneys. He also serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, VA. He calls it his “Jekyll and Hyde thing”—part lawyer, part pastor. He teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School Randy and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach and have two adult children. Visit his Web site at www.randysinger.net.
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What the Reviewers Say about Randy Singer
The Last Plea Bargain
Veteran attorney Singer turns out another admirable legal thriller that will again draw comparisons to the inestimable John Grisham. . . . Singer skillfully loosens the strings and reweaves them into a tale that entertains, surprises, and challenges readers to rethink justice and mercy.
The Justice Game, CBA Best-Seller
Christy-Award winning novelist and lawyer, Singer (Directed Verdict) lets the action sprint out of the gate with a murder in the first few pages. With murderer and victim dead, the moral issue of gun control takes center stage in the book, with a number of side dilemmas. … a book that will entertain readers and make them think—what more can one ask?
By Reason of Insanity, Christy Award Nominee
Inspirational suspense novelist Singer (Directed Verdict) hooks readers from the opening courtroom scene of this tasty thriller, then spurs them through a fast trot across a storyline that just keeps delivering.
At the center of the heart-pounding action are the moral dilemmas that have become Singer’s stock-in-trade. In addition to scrutinizing the insanity defense from an ethical point of view, Singer offers similar appraisals of the death penalty and vigilante justice. This is inspirational fiction, but it isn’t didactic or preachy, and it’s an exciting thriller all on its own.
In this gripping, obsessively readable legal thriller, Singer proves himself to be the Christian John Grisham. The three students … are especially well-developed. Indeed, readers may want to meet them again in a sequel.
Booklist *Starred Review*
Great suspense; gritty, believable action; and unnerving scenes of torture make this entry Singer's best yet.
Directed Verdict, Christy Award Winner
There is plenty of room in evangelical Christian fiction for fresh voices, and debut novelist Singer is a promising one.