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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review, Author Interview, and Book Giveaway: The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer!!

Photobucket~Review Copy~
The Last Plea Bargain by Randy Singer
Tyndale House Publishers, March 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4143-3321-2
Amazon / Goodreads

About the book:

Plea bargains may grease the rails of justice, but for Jamie Brock, prosecuting criminals is not about cutting deals. In her three years as assistant DA, she’s never plea-bargained a case and vows she never will. But when a powerful defense attorney is indicted for murder and devises a way to bring the entire justice system to a screeching halt, Jamie finds herself at a crossroads. One by one, prisoners begin rejecting deals. Prosecutors are overwhelmed, and felons start walking free on technicalities. To break the logjam and convict her nemesis, Jamie must violate every principle that has guided her young career. But she has little choice. To convict the devil, sometimes you have to cut a deal with one of his demons.

My rating:

My thoughts:

I haven't read that many books by Randy Singer, but The Last Plea Bargain is definitely my favorite one so far! It caught my attention from the beginning and I loved getting to know Jamie Brock better (a character we first meet in False Witness).

The Last Plea Bargain was very suspenseful and there were so many twists I did not see coming. I kept trying to figure out if so-and-so was guilty of a crime, but in the end there was just so many unexpected surprises (some good, some bad).

I liked a lot of the characters, but my three favorites were Jamie, LA, and Mace. I also really liked Chris (Jamie's brother).

The Last Plea Bargain was a real eye-opener to me about how plea bargains are important to our court system and that without them many felons would walk free.

There are a few words said that some people might not like (including "H*ll and "Cr*p"), but I didn't have a problem with them.

Overall, I loved The Last Plea Bargain and completely recommend it! I think even people who aren't huge fans of legal thrillers will enjoy this book because it is great!

*I received a complimentary ARC copy of this book from the publishers for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Watch the trailer!

Interview with Randy Singer!

PhotobucketWelcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Randy! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

I have the privilege of serving in two very different professions. I’m the teaching pastor at Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a new church that started five years ago. I’m also the managing partner of the Singer Legal Group and have been practicing law for 26 years. A reader once emailed me and said that she liked my books but her son doubted that anybody could really be both a pastor and a lawyer. However, in our church we believe in the priesthood of the believer such that every member is a minister and every member is a priest. My law practice is just as much a ministry as my pastorate at the church.

I have a wonderful family with a great wife and two grown kids. My black lab, Lambeau, teaches me the meaning of loyalty and enthusiasm.

PhotobucketWhat inspired The Last Plea Bargain?

The Last Plea Bargain was inspired by an actual case I handled a few years ago. In 2002, Donna Somerville was indicted for the murder of her husband, Hamilton Somerville, Jr., in Orange County, Virginia. Hamilton was the heir apparent to the DuPont fortune. The prosecution claimed that Donna Somerville poisoned her husband with a lethal cocktail of hospice drugs and the case drew national media attention, including a front page story in Vanity Fair and a Lifetime movie named Widow on the Hill. Donna Somerville was found not guilty in the criminal case in 2004, but I subsequently represented the daughters of Hamilton Somerville in a wrongful death civil case against their stepmother and the daughters won back the family estate. That litigation, and the tension between seeking justice and extending forgiveness, played a huge role in the writing of The Last Plea Bargain. 

What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you? 

I like endurance sports. I used to compete in marathon canoe races that spanned 70 miles. Now that I’m older, I stick to running.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

In 1999, God gave me an idea about a Christian missionary in Saudi Arabia persecuted for starting churches. I thought the story might highlight important issues in the arena of international human rights. I started getting up two hours before work so I could work on the story every day. That story became Directed Verdict, which won the Christy Award for best Christian legal thriller in 2002. Writing that book was actually the first time I ever saw myself as a writer.

How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

I’ve written 15 books. I’m not sure I actually have a favorite, but if people ask for a recommendation about which book to start with I typically say either False Witness or The Last Plea Bargain.

What would you say is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?

I love the creative parts of being a writer. For me, that’s the development of the original story idea and the plotting that soon follows.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love to run, mentor kids and watch college football.

What are three things you wouldn't want to do without (besides the Bible, food, and family)?

 My dog Lambeau. Meaningful work. A good church.

Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

I would love to visit Rome. I hope to do that within the year.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

Christ is Risen by Matt Maher is my favorite song. In terms of movies, I love both The Prestige and Inception. 

Do you have a favorite Bible verse? 

I actually have several favorites. When I’m a lawyer, I love Amos 5:15: “Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.” As a writer, it’s 1 Corinthians 2:7: “For we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” As a pastor, it’s all about 1 Corinthians 2:1-2: “When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you tell us about it?

My next book is entitled The Rule of Law. It’s the story of another flawed protagonist. He’s a former college quarterback who got caught up in a point-shaving scandal, served time in prison, and then went to law school and became a lawyer. He finally gets his first job but ends up in a firm where somebody is killing off all of the firms’ lawyers, one by one. It’s a story about loyalty and trust, honor and betrayal.

At the same time, I’m working on a longer-term project (one that’s been on my desk for a long time) which will give readers a front row seat to the two most important trials ever—the trial of Christ and the trial of Paul in front of Nero. It will be the most important book I’ve ever attempted.

Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web? 

You can find me on the web at www.randysinger.net. Thanks for giving me the chance to do this interview.



The prize is a certificate valid for one copy of The Last Plea Bargain AND a signed book plate from Randy. The certificate can be redeemed at the winner’s local Christian bookstore or through Tyndale (if there is no local store).

This giveaway is only open to the US.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below (here is a tutorial, if you aren't familiar with Rafflecopter). The mandatory entry is to leave a comment on this blog post - after you do that, the other entries will become available. :) 
  a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I've read several books by Randy Singer and really enjoyed them, especially Irreparable Harm and False Witness. Thanks for the fun interview and this opportunity to win his new book! Blessings!

    1. Thanks for entering! I read False Witness last year and really enjoyed it! Will have to check out Irreparable Harm! :)

  2. What a fascinating background for an author. I'm always curious about what makes the water in a mental kettle boil into a story. This sounds like a great read.

    1. Thanks, Olivia! Glad you enjoyed the interview! :)

  3. I haven't read any of Mr. Singer's books yet, but I am reading all about this new one! So many favorable reviews! I'm going to have to find his books and get started.

    1. This is my favorite of his so far (I've only read a few). Thanks for commenting! :)

  4. thanks for the great giveaway.

  5. Hi, Melanie...i love your blog. i really enjoy Randy Singer's suspense novels and would be honored to win. Thank you for the opportunity.

    marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks, Marianne! I'm so glad you like my blog - it means a lot! :)

  6. Great author interview! I love courtroom drama and Randy Singer brings the suspense. Sounds like another terrific story.

  7. I've got all of Randy Singer's books on my TBR list. Not sure why I haven't actually read any yet, but I'm pretty sure 2012 will be the year.

    1. Cool! I've only read a few, but I want to read more! :) Thanks for commenting!

  8. Thank you for the giveaway. I'm always looking for something new to read.

  9. Thanks for the awesome giveaway...both my sister and daughter love to read books like this.
    sandy1955 at comcast dot net

  10. Have read Randy Singer books before and this looks like another great one. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Thanks for entering! Hope you enjoy The Last Plea Bargain if/when you read it! :)

  11. I do like legal thrillers that John Grisham and others write so this book by Randy Singer appeals to me. I've not yet read any of his books but they sound so good I know I need to! It would be great to win a copy of The Last Plea Bargain. Thanks.

    1. If you like legal thrillers you'll probably enjoy The Last Plea Bargain! It was great! Thanks for entering! :)

  12. Great giveaway! I've been wanting to read one of Randy's Books.

  13. I would love to win Randy's book....The Last Plea Bargain! I have heard so much about his books and am anxious to read them. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. This is a great interview! I've never read any books by this author, but this one sounds great!

  15. I haven't read any of Randy's books yet but this certainly sounds quite interesting. Enjoyed the interview.


  16. Wow this sounds REALLY good!!
    I really liked the trailer. That made me really want to read it!
    I've read a few books by Randy Singer and I LOVED them!

  17. I enjoy Randy Singer's books. I'm just now getting into this genre and I think I started with the right author. He makes it seem so real. Rebecca

  18. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  19. I've been told he's comparable to Grisham, which is a major compliment as far as I'm concerned.

  20. I'm sorry; I forgot to list my Rafflecopter name. It's Tammy Ford Cuevas

  21. Now this is a book I can't wait to get my hands on so I'm so very happy for a chance at winning a copy. Thanks!

  22. This would make a wonderful gift for my Father In Law
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  23. The Last Plea Bargain sounds wonderful. Thanks for the chance.


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