Randy Singer is an award-winning author of more than 10 legal thrillers and a veteran trial attorney. He cites his new title, THE ADVOCATE, as the story he was born to write. For Christians, this particular work of fiction allows them to see more closely into the life and times surrounding Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Singer uses his historical research to bring to light to modern readers all the corruption and political waywardness that occurred during the Roman Empire’s reign.
Singer opens this dynamic page-turner with the protagonist’s own story from his youth as he recounts having to carry his cross miles down the Appian Way under the tutelage of his instructor, Seneca. This is the starting point for Theophilus’s journey toward manhood as he, along with 11 other students, was being molded into future Roman senators, commanders or magistrates. It was exactly on this auspicious day when Theophilus also tangled with Caligula (Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus), the bully son of the great general Germanicus, and his wife, Agrippina. Little did Theophilus realize that, by simply stating truth in answer to a question posed by Seneca, his day --- and, later, his destiny --- would be altered when Caligula would take vengeance upon him.
"Readers of legal fiction will adore Singer’s work, and those who understand biblical history will find THE ADVOCATE even more thrilling."
As Theophilus treasured truth telling, Caligula treasured power and control, so the bully Caligula enlists the help of some other students to kidnap Theophilus and crucify him in earnest that same night as Seneca made a lesson of it during the day. Theophilus didn’t die that fateful night, but never recovered from the ordeal, either. He quit school, and his parents sent him to Greece for the remainder of his education.
Years pass, and then Theophilus returns to Rome as a young man eager to take his place in society professionally. Soon after, Seneca, his old teacher and mentor, acquires for Theophilus a position as an assessore to Pontius Pilate. Eventually, Theophilus actually stands behind Pilate and tells him to offer a release of Barabbas so that Jesus might be freed. The plan backfires, and the mob demands Barabbas’s freedom while Jesus is condemned to die.
Fast forward three decades. Theophilus must face Caligula again as the ruler of Rome, and Theophilus realizes that his old enemy is as cunning and crazy as ever. Trying to circumvent more needless bloodshed and protect the woman he loves, Theophilus plots the death of Caligula and succeeds, though Rome is still completely corrupt. As soon as one tyrant dies, another rises to take his place; this time, Theophilus must fight to protect Paul from Nero. Theophilus works endlessly to secure Paul’s release and, in the midst of his efforts, finds himself believing in the same God Paul serves…to his own demise.
As Singer writes, “The Advocate’s first trial altered the course of history. His last will change the fate of an empire.” Readers of legal fiction will adore Singer’s work, and those who understand biblical history will find THE ADVOCATE even more thrilling. No wonder that Singer’s books are being heralded as award-winning fiction. He’s just that good.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on July 17, 2014