Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Advocate by Randy Singer

At the trial of Christ, Theophilus, brilliant young assessore raised in the Roman aristocracy, stands behind Pontius Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” The strategy backfires, and Theophilus never forgets the sight of an innocent man unjustly suffering the worst of all possible deaths—Roman crucifixion.

Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant’s quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.

Now he must face another evil Caesar, defending the man Paul in Nero’s deranged court. Can Theophilus mount a defense that will keep another innocent man from execution?

The advocate’s first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.

My review:
   Randy Singer has long been a favorite author of mine, and I am always excited to see a new book come out by him.

  This one, I wasn't so sure about. Up until now, he has only written books set in modern times, and they are suspenseful legal thrillers that give John Grisham a run for his money. But I wasn't so sure about a Biblical novel, though the book is actually classified as historical fiction. But Randy did not let me down.

  Although the book has a lot of real historical people in, Jesus included, it still is fiction. Not much is known about Theophilus, other than the books of Luke and Acts both being addressed to him, but Singer makes him the main character in this novel and as all historical fiction and Biblical fiction authors do, take some liberties. Such as Theophilus being present for Jesus' trial and crucifixion, and playing a part in the trial. However, it made for a very fascinating story.

  In the book, Theophilus is an advocate, basically a lawyer, and for not knowing much about the real Theophilus, Singer did a great job of creating a character who it seems like may have really lived.

  I have read a lot about Rome in the first century A.D, the emperors, and what the Christians went through, but I still learned a lot while reading this book. Although I prefer Randy's other books over this one, this was still a great read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Through a fictional story, the reader is given insight into the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, and also into what the legal system may have been like in those days. Randy Singer is a lawyer, and I found the way he portrayed the trials of that day very interesting.

  Something I learned in the book, and I researched it to see if it was true, is that the Romans came up with a word to describe the pain of crucifixion - "excrutiatus". I figured we got our word "excruciating" from that, and we did.

  The book doesn't have a happily ever after ending like I enjoy, but I still enjoyed the book. Not only was it a fascinating look into first century Rome, it was a reminder of where America could end up if we keep marching on the way we are. A good reminder, though sobering.

About the author:

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than 10 legal thrillers and 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. Randy runs his own law practice and has been named to Virginia Business magazine's select list of "Legal Elite" litigation attorneys. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing"—part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and civil litigation at Regent Law School and, through his church, is involved with ministry opportunities in India. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his website at

The Advocate is available from Tyndale Publishers.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.