Friday, September 22, 2017

RULE OF LAW by Randy Singer


Randy Singer has become one of my favorite authors for legal-centered fiction, but I was a bit apprehensive about his new book RULE OF LAW which delves into the political-military scene as well. No need for concern, Singer delivers a complex story line that had me engaged from the opening scenes right through until a powerful, emotional ending.  Action begins with a secretive SEAL operation outside a prison in Yemen and bounces to the strategy room of the White House.  Soon readers will be led to the hallowed ground of Arlington Cemetery, the steps of the Supreme Court, and even to the dusty roads of the Middle East for a secret meeting with a radical Muslim Holy Man. 

Following a SEAL operation gone wrong, Paige Chambers, a young prosecuting attorney leaves her job to represent the widow of "Beef" Anderson who was killed along with all his teammates, including Paige's boyfriend (soon-to-be fiancee) Patrick Quillen.  Both Paige and widow Kristen have received anonymous information that high level government officials, either the CIA director or the President, or both, knew that this secret mission had been compromised, but proceeded in sending the SEALS to their deaths. But soon the legal case seeking answers to what happened at the raid seems to turn against Paige and her co-counsel, Wyatt Jackson.  Both are accused of receiving classified information, and when a sealed deposition is leaked to the press, they are the most likely suspects.

This plot line is complicated, filled with legal twists and even more overseas "turns," but Singer's writing pulls the reader along at every step, explaining legal dilemmas at just the right moments. The jumping back and forth between settings and characters happened at a pace that kept me informed but also kept the suspenseful thread proceeding.   Paige's co-counsel Wyatt Jackson adds that renegade-type lawyer that seems to be prevalent in so many legal dramas, and the rocky relationship between Paige and Jackson adds yet another layer to the story.  SEAL Patrick Quillen, although physically only present in the early pages, has a presence throughout the book, as Paige draws on his faith to strengthen her own.  Having finished the book late last night, my mind today keeps coming back to some of the big questions that RULE OF LAW proposes -- what role should drones play in our country's military?  Who should be able to initiate and carry out a drone strike?  What intelligence should be necessary for using drones?  Do we, the American people, know what is being done?  Do we have a right to know?  How much of a president's actions are protected information?  Just reading this book made me realize that each day technology and world circumstances makes what we consider "military action" or "war" has changed and continues to change.  Keep telling the stories, Randy Singer, and keep raising questions that stack our actions against our values.  I received a copy of this title from LITFUSE.  I was not required to write a review.  All opinions are mine.

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