Tag Archives: legal suspense fiction

First Line Friday — Veteran’s Day Edition

10 Nov

For all those who have or are now serving in our Armed Forces, this First Line Friday is for you! Thanks to Hoarding Books for prompting this theme. To find out what other patriotic books bloggers are featuring today, click HERE.

I am featuring Randy Singer‘s latest novel, Rule of Law, a book that highlights bravery and betrayal. This novel is an excellent choice if you are looking for a legal suspense novel. You can read my review HERE.

 

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel “Directed Verdict.” In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors.

Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

To participate in First Line Friday, grab the nearest book and comment with the first line of the first page. Easy! Then head over to Hoarding Books for more first lines.

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November Book Club Picks

1 Nov

The temps are going lower here in middle Georgia, and my book clubs have a couple of great books to snuggle with! By The Book is reading A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow (one of our all-time favorite authors), and Page Turners is reading For Such A Time by Kate Breslin.

Have you read either book?

We’d love to know your thoughts.

In a small Georgia town where racial tensions run high and lives are at stake, can one lawyer stand up for justice against the tide of prejudice on every side?

Adisa Johnson, a young African-American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable — defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.

This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice and to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

 

Powerful Retelling of the Story of Esther

In 1944, blond and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric’s secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric’s compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp’s prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

Book Review: Fatal Trust

13 Oct

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job–but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

Todd M. Johnson has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. Todd’s passion for writing blends well with his legal career and his novels are drawn closely from his personal experiences as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, Todd taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law and has served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Johnson’s first novel, debuted in 2012. His second novel, Critical Reaction, was released in October 2013.

My Impressions:

If you are a fan of legal suspense, a la Grisham, Singer or Whitlow, then you definitely need to check out Todd M. Johnson. I have read all of his novels to date and am impressed by the twisting plots, well-developed characters, and the nuances of the legal wranglings. (Read my reviews of The Deposit Slip and Critical Reaction.) In Fatal Trust, a young lawyer must choose between doing the right thing or protecting his family — a family he quickly discovers has lots of secrets. I found this novel to be fast-paced and well-written, and is definitely a recommended read.

Set amidst courtrooms, seedy bars, and family neighborhoods of Minneapolis, Fatal Trust has a great sense of place. Johnson makes his home there and it shows. I’ve never been to the Twin Cities, but this book made me feel right at home. Of course, many of the attractions described in the book — alleys and barrooms — I’ll settle for visiting in the pages of the book! 😉 Main character Ian Wells is a character I quickly came to love. A man who has sacrificed his career dreams for his family, Ian is just about at the end of his rope at the beginning of the story. A windfall fee for a week’s worth of work on a trust is too good to resist. But as Ian soon discovers, something too good to be true usually is. Ian’s struggle is so very real. It is easy to be tempted to turn a blind eye or justify our actions when money is involved. Secondary characters are complex as well, especially Ian’s friend, US Attorney Brook Daniels, and Ian’s mother, Martha, and give this plot-driven legal suspense novel depth. The reader is let in on more of what is actually going on before Ian, but there are plenty of surprises in store for both. The ending is great and certainly not what I was expecting.

There is more action outside of the courtroom than in, but there’s plenty of legal maneuvering to satisfy fans of this genre. All in all Fatal Trust is a riveting read. I am hoping for many more from Johnson.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Rule of Law

19 Sep

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel “Directed Verdict.” In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors.

Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

My Impressions:

Rule of Law by Randy Singer is fiction, but to this cynical reader, it could just as easily be the depiction of a real-life scandal with wide-ranging implications. And that’s what makes this novel not just an unputdownable adrenaline-laced book with both courtroom and battlefield drama, but a really believable story of intrigue, deception, and cover-up at the highest levels of government. Filled with well-developed characters and a plot that is all too possible, Rule of Law is suspense at its best. It gets a very highly recommended rating from me.

Paige Chambers is a young prosecutor who specializes in appellate cases when she meets Patrick Quillen. Patrick, or Q, as he is known to friends and colleagues, is a dedicated and determined Navy SEAL. An all-in kind of guy, he soon wins Paige’s heart. But the unbelievable happens, and Paige is left to grieve. She soon becomes embroiled in uncovering a military mission gone horribly wrong. But power often corrupts, and Paige has to decide just who has caused the unthinkable to occur.

There is so much right with Rule of Law — page-turning suspense in the courtroom and in war zones, a plot that seems inconceivable, but you fear is all too plausible, and characters that you can cheer for as they fight corrupt government officials. Set in the highest halls of D.C., courts of law, and the war torn middle East, it portrays an Executive Branch that has seized power for its own agenda. Written before the 2016 election concluded, the novel is pure fiction, but draws on the actions of previous administrations and trends in our fight of terrorism. Singer has done his research to make Rule of Law highly readable and believable. A bonus to this military/legal suspense novel, is the faith thread that Singer weaves throughout the novel. Not preachy, it, nevertheless, makes a clear statement of the power and sovereignty of God in our lives. There is one chapter in particular in which main character Paige comes to terms with the turmoil and sorrow in her life. The images are profound and made me think long after I closed the covers.

If you love military or legal suspense novels, then you have got to read Rule of Law. I could not put this one down and will not hesitate to recommend it to everyone I know. Excellent and insightful, this novel will be on my best of 2017 list.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Happy Book Birthday! — Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

5 Sep

The long anticipated novel by Rachel Dylan is finally here! Deadly Proof, the first book in Dylan’s Atlanta Justice series, is a fast-paced romantic suspense full of danger, threats, and sweet romance. I finished Deadly Proof last night . . . and loved it! Make sure to check it out!

 

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

To purchase, click HERE.

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. The Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta kicks off with Deadly Proof. Lynette Eason described Deadly Proof as “a legal thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night”. In addition, Rachel writes the Danger in the Deep South including Lethal Action and Devoted Defender which appeals to fans of edge of your seat romantic suspense. Rachel also writes the Windy Ridge series including Trial & Tribulations and Fatal Accusation. These legal thrillers with elements of spiritual warfare are great for fans who enjoy books by Peretti or Dekker. Trial & Tribulations was a Selah finalist in 2016. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors Dad Will Love

13 Jun

Father’s Day is only a few days away. Have you picked out a tie or socks for your favorite dad yet? Don’t do it! Get them something they will really love! The authors I am featuring today have already been dad-approved. My husband and many of the husbands of the gals in my book club have read the books below — and loved them! You won’t have a problem with things that don’t fit or having to return that nose-hair trimmer that doesn’t work. (EWW!) Seriously, these guys know how to write a book that will keep dad turning the pages and thanking you for the great gift you gave him this year. Not convinced, then head over to The Broke And The Bookish for other bloggers’ recommendations based on dads.

 

 

Top Authors For Dad!

 

J. Mark Bertrand

J. Mark Bertrand is the author of the crime novels Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds, and Nothing to Hide, featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. The Weekly Standard dubbed him “a major crime-fiction talent.” He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lives with his wife Laurie in South Dakota.

Find out more online at http://www.jmarkbertrand.com.

 

 

Mark Mynheir

Mark Mynheir is a former Marine who’s worked in law enforcement over twenty-eight-years. In his career, Mark has served as a patrol officer, an undercover narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. Team member, and a homicide detective.

Mark has parlayed his police experiences into a successful speaking and writing career. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, Lookout magazine, and Christian Fictiononline and is also the author of five novels: Rolling Thunder, From the Belly of the Dragon, The Void, The Corruptible, and the Christy nominated The Night Watchman. Mark has also co-written two books with Max Lucado — Pocket Prayers for Dads and Pocket Prayers for Military Life.

He and his family currently live in central Florida. You can visit Mark’s website at http://www.copwriter.com or on his Facebook page.

 

Randy Singer

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel Directed Verdict. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a 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 ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.

You can find Robert Whitlow at his website, robertwhitlow.com.

Top 10 Tuesday: Suspenseful Waiting

30 May

When I began making a list for the books I can’t wait to meet this year, I noticed one thing. They were all suspense novels! Whether the books have contemporary or historical settings, take place in the courtroom or on the mean streets, or involve a bit of romance, I love this genre! So this week’s Top 10 Tuesday features the 9 Suspense Novels I Cannot Wait to Read.  For what other bloggers are waiting on, visit The Broke And The Bookish.

 

Top 9 Suspense Novels I Cannot Wait to Read

Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon (available October 2017)

Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death–and puts Trish under police scrutiny–her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge–and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.

 

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan (available September 2017)

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

 

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson (available August 2017)

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job–but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

 

The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright (available December 2017)

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own — are lost?

 

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley (available September 2017)

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

 

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks (available August 2017)

Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming—and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, Gwen’s ex-husband is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.

 

Rule of Law by Randy Singer (available September 2017)

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

 

A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow (available September 2017)

Adisa Johnson, a young African American attorney, is living her dream of practicing law with a prestigious firm in downtown Atlanta. Then a split-second mistake changes the course of her career.

Left with no other options, Adisa returns to her hometown where a few days earlier a white police officer shot an unarmed black teen who is now lying comatose in the hospital.

Adisa is itching to jump into the fight as a special prosecutor, but feels pulled to do what she considers unthinkable — defend the officer.

As the court case unfolds, everyone in the small community must confront their own prejudices. Caught in the middle, Adisa also tries to chart her way along a path complicated by her budding relationship with a charismatic young preacher who leads the local movement demanding the police officer answer for his crime.

This highly relevant and gripping novel challenges us to ask what it means to forgive while seeking justice, to pursue reconciliation while loving others as ourselves.

 

Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris (available November 2017)

During Garrett Addison’s first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She’s the third victim in a string of disappearances with one thing in common–a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies–number six–Garrett blames himself and believes he doesn’t have what it takes to be an agent. What he’ll discover is that, while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him — or Jordan.

 

What books are you waiting on?