Book Review: The Judge

A reality show brings Judge Finney and others, each representing several faiths, and an atheist to Paradise Island. The shows producers however have hidden agendas. The Judge by Randy Singer is a tale of intrigue, education, and a trial that tests all faiths.

Judge Finney and his legal assistant, Nikki Moreno are embroiled in a trial where the suspect uses code to issue a death warrant on a witness. While this trial has no bearing on the story, we get a hint of what the Judge uses farther along in the book to get messages to Nikki Moreno and a young genius, Wellington Farnsworth.

Paradise Island is a secret location in which the contestants are whisked away in a mock trial to test their faiths intellectually and emotionally. There are several political groups against the show, and one of the producers’ father is a pastor who is boycotting the show. Faith on Trial tests each faith. Strangely, all of the contestants become friends and that friendship creates a strong bond in the face of the evil lurking on the island.

Through a series of codes, Judge Finney gets Nikki Moreno and Wellington Farnsworth to investigate the producers and the backers of Faith on Trial as he gets clues that their lives are in danger.

Randy Singer does a great job in putting together a complicated and well researched novel that keeps me guessing. I thought Kareem, the Muslim, was the snitch. What came in the end of the novel took me by surprise.

I like a novel that keeps me guessing. It also educated me on different faiths and the history of codes. I found it fascinating. The different codes made my mind spin. Math isn’t my strength. It caused me to want to read the history of codes or search for the hidden treasure. The novel was very technical. There is no romance in it. The novel was written for the male. What I thought was the best line in the novel was when the producers questioned why Swami wasn’t willing to die for his faith and he replied in essence that a television show was not worth dying over. The swami wasn’t Christian. I kept thinking of what I would do in Judge Finney’s place.

Unless a television show’s results were rigged, I wouldn’t be against defending my faith in a reality television show. In one scene, Judge Finney admitted that science wasn’t his strength and when he had to question a microbiologist, he was pretty weak having no background in it. In the same vein, I don’t think I would volunteer to defend my faith in a setting like that as I’m not quick on my feet. Answers come slowly after much thought.

Even in arguments or tense situations, I always manage to find the best answers long after the opportunity has passed. I like talking to people. With all the books available on different religions, a reality show seems unnecessary. What’s more effective in glorifying God is face to face communication when the Holy Spirit softens a heart, making them open to hearing the truth.

This is my first Randy Singer novel and I am hooked. I gave it five stars.

*Novel given by publisher to review.