Sunday, June 18, 2006

Randy Singer's The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney~Reviewed

The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney
By Randy Singer
Published by WaterBrook Press
ISBN 1400071666

Randy Singer has taken novels to a new level. In his clever way of weaving a courtroom suspense, he’s also intertwined this fiction novel with a sister non-fiction work. This ingenious way of sharing Christ through fiction yet enticing the reader to study the corresponding non-fiction novel makes reading the Cross Examination of Oliver Finney a true suspense.

In this novel, Judge Oliver Finney is selected for the newest craze of reality shows – one which pits religions against each other in an effort to prove one is correct. There’s only one real catch. Each participant must have a life threatening illness; twisted, yet habit forming for the reading.

Finney, dieing with lung cancer, has been chosen to defend Christianity against a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim and a female scientist. The reality show, developed and financed by a billionaire who is dieing with a brain tumor, opens the book in the first chapter to set the pace, then the reader only assumes his presence lurking in the shadows for the remainder of the book.

Nikki Moreno, an aspiring law clerk studying to take her LSAT, serves with the Judge before he is chosen for the show. During their work together Judge Finney begins to teach her about a special code used by the writers in Biblical times. He introduces her to an apologetics book he’d written entitled The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ.

While on Paradise Island the Judge learns of a possible plot to possibility injure or kill one of the contestants. Knowing his internet activity is monitored every moment, he devises a code in conjunction with his out of print apologetics book. He hopes his young female co-worker will remember his friend, Wellington Farmington – computer geek math whiz, to help decipher his code in time to end the plot.

What happens next? The first letter is actually the last letter and groups of two or three represent simple words…guess you’ll have to decipher the code.

An excellent read which markets not only a fiction work, but also a unique non-fiction piece which actually does approach the true cross examination of Jesus. Interesting and clever, this is a book (or books) you’ll want to experience.

Reviewed by Cindy Sproles
Kingsport, Tennessee

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