When a brilliant billionaire is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, he realizes that all his considerable wealth cannot prepare him to meet his Maker. But he has an idea that might: He will stage life’s greatest reality show. With his true agenda hidden, he auditions followers from all the world’s major religions, inviting them to the trial of their lives on a remote island, defending their spiritual beliefs against all challenges.
Oliver Finney, a feisty old judge with his own secrets, is “chosen” to defend Christianity. As the program takes a strange twist, he quickly realizes that he’s trapped in a game of deadly agendas that may cost him his life. With internet access monitored, Finney sends coded messages to his former law clerk, Nikki Moreno.
Aided by a teen crypto-geek, Nikki soon discovers the key to understanding Finney’s clues in an apologetics book, The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ. In a unique twist, readers are invited to join Nikki in a race against time as she struggles to decipher the mysteries contained in the ancient words of Christ before her former boss dies defending them.
Bestselling author Randy Singer offers an innovative new suspense thriller that will have you scrambling with Nikki to track down and decipher the clues–and come away with a stronger faith.
|Publisher:||The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.26(h) x 1.11(d)|
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Read an Excerpt
The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney
By Randy Singer
Random HouseRandy Singer
All right reserved.
There must be some mistake.
The room started spinning as soon as the Patient heard the words.
Inoperable brain cancer. Frontal lobe.
He gripped the arms of the chair and began the denial process immediately.
He never trusted this doctor in the first place and now...he could
swear the doctor smirked when he told him. All doctors, but especially
surgeons, envied the Patient. Hated the Patient. The doctor was wrong,
his judgment blurred by a subconscious bias. Men the Patient's age do not
get brain cancer. Especially men who run three times a week and drink
one glass of red wine every evening.
Do not. Cannot.
In the ensuing days, the Patient would get a second and third opinion.
The top surgeons at the best hospitals in the country, all singing from
the same song sheet. We're sorry, there's nothing we can do. Chemo might
slow the spread of the disease, but you probably have less than a year. They ticked off symptoms like a parade of horrors: behavioral changes, impaired judgment, memory loss, reduced cognitive function, vision loss,
The Patient worked quickly through the stages of acceptance. Denial
turned to anger. Tragedy seemed to stalk the Patient's family. His mother
died from a stroke when the Patient was in college. His sister lost a teenage
son in a freak motorboat accident. A first cousin died before her thirtyfifth
birthday. And now this. But anger eventually gave way to grief and
then ultimately resignation--all within a span of four weeks. Yet he wasn't
prepared for the last stage, and he couldn't shake the irony of it.
Remorse. Nearly a billion dollars in net assets that he couldn't take
with him. Today he would trade all of his wealth for one additional year.
All the eighty-hour weeks, jetting around the country, the dog-eat-dog
world he faced every day, the enemies he had made--everything he did to
build the net wealth so he could one day retire early and enjoy life. And
now he had twelve months.
He started getting his affairs in order. He signed a living will and
durable power of attorney, spurred by the knowledge that he might lose
his sanity before he drew his last breath. He changed his last will and testament a dozen times but eventually lost his enthusiasm for disinheriting the estranged children of his first and second wives. For the most part,
they were young and firmly in the clutches of their overbearing and greedy
mothers. No sense punishing the children. He changed it one final time
and made each child a millionaire, even his rebellious fourteen-year-old
daughter who reminded him way too much of her mother.
The one thing he couldn't prepare for preoccupied his thoughts day
and night, night and day. He wasn't ready to face whatever lurked on the
other side of death. He tried praying to some vague notion of God but
just felt silly. What kind of God would listen to a man who had spent his
whole life denying that God existed? Yet the thought of stepping into the
darkness of death without solving life's greatest mystery scared the Patient
most of all. If he were God, he would judge his own life harshly. Sure, he
had accumulated vast amounts of wealth, but what good had he done?
Who would say that life on earth was better because they had known him?
The sad and honest truth kept him awake at night and haunted his
daytime thoughts. Maybe there was still time. A lot could be done in
twelve months. But even if he wanted to curry favor with God, how could
he do that? He still didn't really believe that God existed. And if God did
exist, which of the gods worshiped on planet Earth was the true God?
It hit him while watching Survivor, nearly four weeks after the initial
diagnosis. Life's greatest reality show! It seemed like such a deliciously
good idea that it was either a stroke of genius or the brain cancer deluding him ahead of schedule. Powerful advocates for each of the world's
major religions would be chosen as contestants. Their faith would be put
to the ultimate test on a remote island. They would be forced into the trial
of their lives: defending their faith against all challenges. The winner's god
would gain a whole raft of new adherents, including the Patient. He
would donate millions to the right causes. The ratings for the show would
The losers' gods would be exposed as impotent--powerless frauds in
the face of death.
Excerpted from The Cross Examination of Oliver Finney by Randy Singer Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A man who has been given only a few months to live comes up for an idea for an unusual reality show. The show will pit representatives from the major religions against each other in a legal type competition. Oliver Finney is a judge and the person chosen to represent Christianity. He and some of the other contestents begin to suspect that there is a plot to kill one of them. Finney figures out a way to send coded messages to his assistant, Nikki Moreno (who Singer fans will recognize from his other books). Nikki and an assistant figure out how to crack the coded messages using "The Cross Examination of Jesus Christ" (A tie in book Singer wrote to go along with this one). But will they be able to convince the powers that be and help Finney stop the assasin before it's too late?As far as a novel this was OK, it wasn't riveting or surprising but pretty solid. The religion aspect is of course very strong. The code thing would be cool if you are into that.
I absolutely loved this book by Randy Singer! Mr. Singer has the very important quality as a writer of making you care about his characters. I fell in love with Judge Finney and found myself not wanting the book to end. I have read a lot of suspense and mystery genre books and Mr. Singer still throws me at the end. This is a must read.
The Patient has seen numerous doctors, but all say the same thing: he has twelve months at best to live in spite of his billions. While watching reality TV, the Patient decides to arrange a show where representatives from the major religions including science compete for charity by defending their Faith on Trial in front of billions.----- Though his clerk and protégé Nikki Moreno tries to talk him out of it the Christian representative is fifty-nine years old Judge Oliver Finney, a cryptologist expert who has written a bestselling theology book on decoding hidden secrets in the bible. Kareem Hasaan the Moslem, ¿Swami¿ Skyler Hadji the Hindu, and an atheist scientist Victoria Kline are the other contestants the rabbi having backed out under pressure from the Anti Defamation League. Besides scripting and re-shooting scenes, Oliver and his rivals are to be advocates for their religion in front of a judge and a jury of TV watchers. However, none of the participants are prepared for the reality that death as sacrifice is part of the tradition of most religions including science and the only hope to survive is if Nikki breaks the cryptic messages Finney sends her though she stinks at puzzles.----- Readers should note that there is a companion non-fiction book that provides further insight into the Bible while relating back to this fine thriller. THE CROSS EXAMINATION OF OLIVER FINNEY is a deep look at the commonality of the major religions and a strong argument between evolutionary sciences vs. faith while inside a terrific thriller filled with cryptographic messages and murder. Fans of religious thrillers will appreciate this fine tale that grips the audience from the moment feisty Judge Finney solves the case of the gangbanger murder and never slows down until the final confrontation on the island.----- Harriet Klausner