Prison changes a person. It certainly changed former pro-quarterback Landon Reed, who just finished serving a sentence for his part in a point-shaving scandal. Landon discovered two things while he was locked up: his need for a Savior and his desire to become a lawyer.
The first thing he does upon his release is reconnect with the woman who has stood by his side through his entire ordeal, and their infant daughter. He can’t put a ring on Kerri’s finger fast enough, practically dragging her to the chapel to get married. The second thing he does is enroll in law school. Landon is now intent on proving himself as a worthy husband, father and attorney. And his newfound faith is now an important part of making that happen.
"DEAD LAWYERS TELL NO TALES is a gripping and gritty read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end."
Landon eventually earns his law degree, and through a series of circumstances is taken under the wing of successful defense attorney Harry McNaughton of the McNaughton and Clay law firm. Harry is taking a big chance hiring an ex-con, and even though some of Harry’s ethics are questionable and his old-school ways are frustrating, Landon couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity he has been given. Especially when Landon is assigned to one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in years. The case involves former prosecutor Elias King, who has been charged in the murder of the paralegal with whom he had been having an affair. Not long after Landon and Harry are retained, lawyers at McNaughton and Clay start turning up dead. Evidence leads the remaining partners to wonder if the murders may be connected to one of their former clients --- or perhaps it has something to do with the Elias King case.
DEAD LAWYERS TELL NO TALES is the latest fast-paced legal thriller from Randy Singer, who has been referred to as the “Christian John Grisham.” This story is not overtly “religious,” but more of a mainstream novel with significant Christian elements. The main characters are definitely Christians and regularly refer to their faith, but most of the secondary characters are not believers. The result is a realistic and glaring worldview as seen through the eyes of a Christian. In other words, it contains subject matter some Christians may want to avoid or close their eyes to.
But while heavy doses of reality are not for everyone, readers of suspense --- and Grisham fans --- will find a lot to love here. Singer’s unique style does not consist so much of delving deep into character sentimentality and personal motivation, but the actual art of his storytelling can’t be denied. It’s almost as if the narrator is looking down on the scene and relaying the details in such a riveting manner that the reader can’t look away for fear of missing something. The twists and turns are non-stop, the story is compelling, and the characters, though perhaps not developed in the emotional sense many authors use today, are engaging and believable.
Lots of underlying takeaways are threaded throughout. The sanctity of marriage is a biggie. This is handled extremely well, as Landon and Kerri experience their share of trials, where temptations exist, mistakes are made, and commitment is tested. Another theme is the unquestionable ability for a person to change, as well as deserve the right to a second chance. Landon sets out to redeem himself for his past mistakes and is living proof of being “made new in Christ.” Perfect? No way. A work in progress? No doubt.
The fact that Singer is a pastor and a lawyer indisputably plays a large part in the authenticity of his novels. But in my opinion, his storytelling skill is the reason for their success. DEAD LAWYERS TELL NO TALES is a gripping and gritty read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on June 14, 2013