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.
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 http://www.randysinger.net.
Randy Singer has long been a favorite author of mine, writing the legal suspense novels that I love. In his latest book, The Advocate, Singer takes on the culture and politics of 1st Century Rome while supplying the same excellent writing his fans have come to expect. The Advocate may be a departure from his standard fare, but it is a book I would highly recommend to anyone — fans of history, suspense, politics, or those looking for their next great read.
The novel follows the life and career of Theophilus a Roman citizen who aspires to be the greatest advocate Rome has ever seen. Born during a time of change and upheaval, trained by the great teacher Seneca, and witness to life-changing history, Theophilus is ever searching for the truth. His journey takes him from Rome to Greece to Judea and back as he takes on political foes that include emperors.
Little is known about the historical Theophilus. Mentioned only by Luke in his Gospel and the Acts of The Apostles, Singer creates a well-developed fictional character a reader can identify with and cheer for. In fact all of the characters in The Advocate are well-drawn. Complex with flaws and faults, doubts and fears, and triumphs and griefs, these ancient Romans come to life for the reader. Singer’s historical research is excellent as well, including the political intrigues and culture of the day. This book made me want to know more, and I found myself googling Nero, Caligula and other historical figures described. The brutality of the Roman system is never sugar-coated and there are some cringe-inducing scenes in the book — necessary to fully represent the historical background of the novel.
Theophilus is a true Roman. He is a product of his day and time, yet has a sense of justice and truth that devolved from the days of the Republic to the time of the Emperors. Singer has him present at the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, an event that puts Theophilus on a faith journey to discover just what truth is. Theophilus grows throughout the novel, and his thoughts resonate with the reader.
I listened to the audio version of this book and the narrator did a wonderful job of bringing Theophilus to life. If you are looking for a rich listening experience, this audiobook is for you.
Great for Book Clubs.
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(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)