A failed SEAL Team rescue mission. The President with unchecked power and a possible agenda. Terrorists, drones, and CIA secrets. Headlines from our recent past serve as the building blocks for Randy Singer’s novel, Rule of Law. His latest release is equal parts legal, political, and military thriller.
Rule of Law jumps right into the action with a SEAL Team rescue mission. Singer’s narrative makes it easy to imagine the darkness, the heart-pounding turn of a corner, and the rebels waiting to ambush the brave warriors. On the other side of the world, the President monitors the raid from the Situation Room. She watches the mission fail, and brave men fall.
Broken hearted and full of questions, the novel’s heroine, Paige Chambers, files a law suit to determine just how much the President knew and when she knew it. Secret sources, classified information, Supreme Court drama, and back door meetings keep this fast-paced thriller interesting from beginning to end.
Singer builds a complex story that asks relevant questions about critical, current issues. “Is the President above the law in matters of foreign policy?” “Should the CIA fight shadow wars with drones and special forces in countries where we have not declared war?” If you haven’t asked these questions before, you will ask them once you finish the novel. Singer makes the reader care about the secret war on terror and the lives of the brave men and women who fight it.
Rule of Law was inspired by real events involving American contract workers detained in Yemen. Even for a non-news watcher like me, past headlines and “based on a true story” movies like 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi connect this work of fiction to our current reality. The storyline seems real enough to make tonight’s evening news.
Singer is skilled at weaving a multi-level story in such a way that the reader is never left behind and always wanting more. Rule of Law involves an extensive cast of characters including members of the executive branch, the military, and the Supreme Court. Each key character is well-developed and memorable. The military and legal action span the globe, from a Houthi prison to the halls of the Supreme Court. The pace of the novel keeps the reader turning pages making this a fast read.
Randy Singer is a lawyer in real life, but he also serves as a teaching pastor. While this novel is primarily a legal thriller, the spiritual elements are notable. One scene in particular, when Paige comes to terms with her grief and her God, is incredibly moving. I slowed down while reading the symbolic representation of surrender and redemption Singer crafted, not wanting to miss the beauty of the moment.
A powerful story can make us care about important things. Rule of Law is an important work of fiction because it makes us care about the power and secrets floating around Washington. News stories about the war on terror come and go so fast, it’s easy to forget real people suffer tragic losses. When real lives are on the line, those in charge need be held accountable for the decisions they make. The phrase rule of law means “the restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws.” Singer’s book certainly builds a case for greater scrutiny over arbitrary power.