ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)–“Directed Verdict,” a novel by Randy Singer, executive vice president of the North American Mission Board, has received the Christy Award as best Christian suspense novel published in 2002.
Published last October by Waterbrook Press, a division of Random House, the novel tells the story of an attorney who files an unprecedented civil rights lawsuit against Saudi Arabia on behalf of the wife of an evangelical missionary tortured and killed in the Middle Eastern country.
“While I’m grateful for the award, I’m also mindful that the real heroes of the Christian faith are those who this book is about,” Singer told Baptist Press. “It’s one thing to try and advance the Gospel with the pen, it’s quite another to advance the Gospel while risking the sword.”
Singer, who worked for 12 years as the head trial lawyer for one of Virginia’s largest law firms before joining NAMB five years ago, said he drew on his legal career in writing his first novel which topped more than 30 other Christy nominees, including several by best-selling authors.
“I hope it will be an encouragement to anybody with a story locked up inside themselves or gathering dust on their computer’s hard drive,” Singer said. “Two years ago, I was just one of thousands with a book in search of a publisher. I’m so thankful that the good folks at Waterbrook Press saw the value in telling the story of the persecuted church in Saudi Arabia.”
The Christy Award, created by nearly a dozen Christian publishers in 1999, honors novelists whose Christian worldview helps shape the plot and character development of their stories. It was named in honor of the late Catherine Marshall’s 1967 Christian novel, “Christy,” about a 19-year-old girl who leaves the comforts of her home in North Carolina to teach school in the poverty-stricken Smokey Mountains.
Directed Verdict as well as Singer’s second book, “Irreparable Harm,” released in May by Waterbrook, include clear presentations of the Gospel and some characters who commit their lives to Christ.
Irreparable Harm focuses on an attorney who runs a gauntlet of bioethical nightmares and life-threatening confrontations in addressing the highly controversial issues of cloning, stem cell research and the fate of the unborn.
“I pray that the books would particularly get in the hands of unsaved lawyers, judges and law students,” Singer told Baptist Press in an earlier interview.
Both of the soft-cover books are available at LifeWay Christian Stores and a variety of other bookstores as well as online through LifeWay.com. The books also are available on audiocassette and CD.