Congratulations to commenter #17.
I recently read Fatal Convictions by Randy Singer and it turned out to be my favorite book of the summer. It's a great legal-thriller, but I really liked the way it forced me out of my little comfort-zone...making me think about a lot of stuff I usually avoid and pointed out just how hard it truly is not "judging" others in this world. In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I did a little Q&A with Randy and I got a second copy so that one of you can read it, too.
1. Randy, how did you first come up with the idea for this story?
My idea for the book came when I asked this question: What makes To Kill A Mocking Bird the best legal thriller of all time? My answer: Because Atticus Finch performed the highest duty of a lawyer, representing a man he believed was innocent, a man nobody else would defend. Then I asked the question: What would that look like today? My answer was Fatal Convictions. A Christian lawyer defending a Muslim imam accused of honor killings.
2. Can you give us a snapshot of the overall plot, without giving away any spoilers?
Sure. Alex Madison is a Christian pastor and lawyer. (I know, a highly unusual combination!) He ends up landing a profitable personal injury case for a woman named Ghaniyah Mobassar, who happens to be the wife of a local Muslim imam. But when a different woman in the imam’s mosque is brutally murdered after she converts to Christianity, the imam is arrested for ordering the honor killing. Alex believes the imam is innocent and decides to defend him in the biggest murder case Virginia Beach has ever seen.
Alex immediately comes under fire from both the media and his own church members for taking the case. Things get complicated when the imam’s beautiful daughter arrives from Beirut, determined to help Alex out. Before it’s over, Alex will have to summon a level of courage and tenacity he never knew he possessed, defending a man whose culture is practically at war with everything Alex holds dear.
As the evidence mounts, so do Alex’s doubts. Is the imam an innocent reformer caught in an elaborate sting? Or is he a manipulative killer who will stop at nothing to advance the cause of Mohammed?
3. How did you research your book to ensure that the Islamic faith was realistically and fairly portrayed?
You’re right, it was very important for me to portray Muslims authentically and accurately in this book. It was also important to show some of the diversity in the Muslim faith.
Thus, the imam whom Alex defends is an ardent reformer (or at least he appears to be). For the nuances of this character, I relied heavily on the Islamic reformers portrayed in Joel Rosenberg’s excellent book Inside the Revolution. But there’s also a main character in Fatal Convictions named Hassan Ibn Talib, who is a committed Islamic radical. To portray Hassan accurately, I spent time with Kamal Saleem, a former Islamic terrorist and probably the most intense man I’ve ever met. With Kamal’s permission, I patterned the childhood, terrorist training and spiritual beliefs of my character after Kamal. In addition to this type of research, I’ve also spent time in Beirut, Lebanon, visiting my daughter who worked there with a ministry organization.
Don't you want your own copy of Fatal Convictions by Randy Singer? Well, just leave me a comment below telling me what intrigues you most about this book. I'll pick a random winner from all of the comments on September 10th at 9PM.
Followers of this blog can have a 2nd entry by leaving a 2nd comment.
I was provided this book free of charge from Tyndale Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
My thoughts are my own and were not influenced in any way.