Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members? Add Randy Singer’s new legal thriller, Rule of Law, to your must-read list this fall. For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top. Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know what happened. But will equal justice under law work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant? Read our the story behind the story with Randy Singer to learn more about Rule of Law.
Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?
Three streams of inspiration merged to form this story.
First, as a lawyer, I represent victims of terrorism against state sponsors of terrorism such as the Islamic Republic of Iran. Two of my clients, American citizens John Hamen and Mark McAlister, were working for the United Nations in Iraq when they were captured by the Houthi rebels and held as hostages. John heroically tried to escape and was killed. Mark made it through six months of imprisonment without every renouncing his Christian faith. Rule of Law begins with SEAL Team 6 on a rescue mission for an American journalist held in Yemen. That part of the story, and all the repercussions that spring from it, were inspired by my case.
Second, as a pastor of a church in Virginia Beach, we have several church members who serve in the special forces, including several SEALs. Getting to know these men, I have been so impressed by their courage, their commitment and their quiet professionalism. One of our members who was a former SEAL, Jeremy Wise, was killed in the line of duty and I presided at his memorial service. I wanted to write a book that would be a fitting tribute to his courage and the valor of all the SEALs. I dedicated the book, in part, to Jeremy.
Third, we live in a crazy and polarized political environment. One of the biggest issues facing our country is how much power the president has (or should have). Is he subject to the law like everyone else? What limits are there on his ability to order military action or drone strikes, particularly if it is under the auspices of the CIA? And what about this shadow war that is being fought in the Mideast by the CIA? I intentionally used a female president (who bears no resemblance to Hillary) so that we wouldn’t jump straight to our political biases but could instead think about these things in a rational way in the context of story.
What was the hardest part about writing your latest novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?
This is the first book I have authored that is a combined political/military/legal thriller. (My past contemporary novels have been pretty much pure legal thrillers.) Researching and writing the SEAL Team scenes and other military events were the hardest parts of the process. I wanted to make sure that those scenes were realistic but I couldn’t use my friends in the SEALs as consultants for obvious reasons. (If you wonder why this is a bad idea, Google the computer game “Call of Duty” and “Navy SEALs disciplined.”)
How I managed to pull this research off without leaning on my military friends is classified information☺
What do you love most about your main character?
Paige Chambers is a young attorney with a lot of insecurities, but she will not stop fighting for justice. She is way tougher than she looks. I love her idealism and determination. I love that she just keeps going—in spite of her fears, in spite of her deep hurt and in spite of the fact that she’s in so far over her head she can’t even see the surface.
When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
Appreciation for what our SEAL teams do. Inspiration to fight for justice. And information—sometimes disturbing information—about the way our foreign policy and shadow wars are actually conducted.
What are you working on next?
I have several different plot-lines in the development stage, including a sequel to my historical novel, The Advocate, and a few contemporary legal thrillers. The one that seems to be rising to the top. . .
The Devil’s Lawyer, a story about an attorney who represents a terrorist suspect whom the lawyer thought was innocent. But when six coordinated terror attacks occur on the opening day of trial, the lawyer must choose between his country, his client and his family. This book is not for the faint of heart.