Reviewed by C.J. Darlington
The Justice Game by Randy
"...complex plot spins and colorful, realistic characters combine to bring us a rich reading experience..."
Based on a real-life case attorney Randy Singer tried ten years ago, The Justice Game artfully portrays both sides of the gun rights debate. Interestingly, Singer didn’t set out to convert anyone. He told me, “I wanted to write a book so balanced that both sides would look at it and say, ‘That fairly represents our case.’”
The Justice Game opens in TV news reporter Rachel Crawford’s point of view. A crazed gunman named Larry Jamison, the subject of a scathing news report, barges into the studio and shoots Rachel dead. The crime is clearly caught on film, but it’s not the killer who ends up in court during The Justice Game. Rachel’s grieving husband sues the manufacturer of Jamison’s assault weapon for her wrongful death. He believes they are responsible since they knew the gun store who sold the weapon was known for illegal straw sales.
But this story isn’t about Rachel as much as it’s about young and ambitious defense attorney Jason Noble and up-and-coming prosecutor Kelly Starling. Both believe in their clients. Both are on top of their games. And both have pasts worthy of blackmail. Mix in the intriguing concept of a cutting edge company who predicts the outcome of trials for financial gain using shadow juries, and you have a true Randy Singer plot—full of delightful twists and turns you never saw coming.
Pay careful attention during the beginning chapters. Because so many of these concepts are unfamiliar, and many key players aren’t introduced until later in the story, there’s the potential for confusion. But there’s also a great glimpse into the fascinating aspects of shadow juries and we come to understand why gun control is such a visceral issue to so many. At times you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement with the defense as they present their case; then you’ll empathize with the prosecution as they present theirs. Which just goes to show Singer has succeeded in what he set out to write—a novel that evenly presented both sides.
The Justice Game doesn’t feel like an issue novel. We’re never pounded over the head with its message. Instead, we’re subtly led to our own conclusions as we examine the facts. Should a gun manufacturer be held responsible for a crime committed with one of their guns?
Before Singer finished writing The Justice Game a four minute interactive promotional video was created that presented the closing arguments of his fictional case. Then readers were asked to cast their vote on the verdict, and that would become the ending of the book. Their decision would be final. According to Randy the side that started out ahead stayed ahead.
Randy singer is one of the best Christian legal thriller writers out there in the purest sense. His complex plot spins and colorful, realistic characters combine to bring us a rich reading experience in The Justice Game.
C.J. Darlington is the award-winning authof of Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. She is a regular contributor to Family Fiction Digital Magazine and NovelCrossing.com. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a paint horse named Sky. Visit her online at her author website. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.