Clark Shealy is a bail bondsman with the ultimate bounty on the line: his wife’s life. He has forty-eight hours to find an Indian professor in possession of the Abacus Algorithm—an equation so powerful it could crack all Internet encryption.
Four years later, law student Jamie Brock is working in legal aid when a routine case takes a vicious twist: she and two colleagues learn that their clients, members of the witness protection program, are accused of defrauding the government and have the encrypted algorithm in their possession. After a life-changing trip to the professor’s church in India, the couple also has the key to decode it.
Now they’re on the run from federal agents and the Chinese mafia, who will do anything to get the algorithm. Caught in the middle, Jamie and her friends must protect their clients if they want to survive long enough to graduate.
More about the book:
This is kind of long, but I thought it was interesting and it explains more about why this book was re-published:
What is our responsibility for obtaining justice for those in need? Does the end always justify the means? Randy Singer examines these questions while taking his readers through twists and turns on a powerful journey in his novel False Witness. This engrossing legal thriller is a re-telling of Singer’s original novel by the same name. The new version has many substantial changes—some designed to bring about Singer’s original vision for the book inspired by his friend’s funeral.
The deceased was David O’Malley, Singer’s good friend and former client. O’Malley’s wife had asked Singer to give her husband’s eulogy. So, at the funeral, Singer talked about his friend’s generosity and big heart. Everyone there had a David O’Malley story, so heads nodded as he shared his. David’s pastor followed Singer in the pulpit. He spoke about a man named Thomas Kelly. The man was a scoundrel involved in organized crime. He turned on everyone he knew. “You don’t think you know Thomas Kelly, but you do,” the pastor explained. “David O’Malley was Thomas Kelly before he went into the witness protection program—before he came to the Lord.”
Prior to that moment, the only people that knew about David’s past were the government, his family, Singer, and his pastor. There was utter silence as the pastor concluded with a line Singer said he will never forget. “The government can give you a new identity,” he said, “but only Christ can change your life.” It was then that he decided to write this book.
But Singer also wanted to draw attention to one of his passions. He wanted to highlight the challenges of today’s church in India. He believes that most Western Christians are unaware of the persecution of the church and the miraculous things happening there.
India is a land of civil rights, in theory, but of brutal oppression, in fact—especially for the 165 million members of the Dalits, India’s lowest caste. During Singer’s first trip to India a few years ago, he saw firsthand the systemic oppression of the Dalits (formerly known as untouchables) through the Hindu caste system. Singer was astonished by the fact that the world’s largest democracy was also a breeding ground for the world’s largest human-trafficking operations, that it would allow the exploitation of 15 million children in bonded labor, that it would tolerate temple prostitution and other forms of sexual slavery, and that it would foster economic and social systems that oppress nearly 25 percent of its people.
But there is a silver lining. A bond was formed between the Dalits and Christians. The Dalits began asking the church to help educate their children. Hundreds of schools sprang up, providing thousands of Dalit children with an English-based education (critical to landing good jobs) and newfound self-respect. The Dalits responded with another invitation: “If this is the Christian faith, come start a church in our village.” The result is that millions of Dalits and other Indians are coming to Christ, drawn by a religion that believes the ground is equal at the foot of the cross.
Singer was moved by the plight of the Dalit children, struggling to throw off the yoke of oppression and replace it with real freedom and dignity, so he committed to do his part because he believes that “no child should be untouchable.” So he is donating every penny from the sale of False Witness to the Dalit Freedom Network. His novel will take readers from the streets of Las Vegas to the halls of the American justice system and the inner sanctum of the growing church in India with all the trademark twists, turns, and legal intrigue his fans have come to expect.
Randy Singer is one of my favorite authors, and I have read all of his books, to my knowledge. Most of my books are in storage, so I couldn't check to see if I had this one, but I assume I do. However, if I have read it, it has been too long to remember much about it, and too long to know what parts of the book have been updated, as this book is a new version with new material added.
That said, I really enjoyed reading this book. Singer writes in the style of John Grisham, but without the cursing. The plot was complicated, but easy to follow, with a lot of twists and turns. I didn't know who the bad and good guys were for sure for most of the book, and the unexpected kept on happening.
A lot of the story revolves around Federal Witness Protection, and I found that kind of thing totally fascinating. There is a lot of suspense in the book, and Singer also separates himself from Grisham in the fact that he isn't afraid to write God into the story.
This is the kind of novel I hate to put down, but one does need to sleep, so I finished it this morning, instead of late last night - but I couldn't wait to finish it. There were a few surprises and even a disappointment.... I wish the author had done something different with a romantic element, but we can't always have the book end exactly like we want it to.
He also tried to show the plight of the churches in India, and I feel he did a great job of doing that.
I highly recommend this book, and any of Singer's books to readers who enjoy legal thrillers. This one is a great one, definitely worth reading.
Fatal Witness is available from Tyndale House Publishing.
Thanks to Tyndale and B & B Media for the review copy.