Dying Declaration

by Randy D. Singer

Paperback, 2004

Status

Available

Call number

813.6

Publication

WaterBrook Press (2004), 432 pages

Description

Thomas and Theresa Hammonds believe in tough love and old-fashioned discipline. They do not believe in doctors. When their controversial beliefs lead to personal tragedy, the Hammonds face heartbreaking loss, a crisis of faith--and a charge of negligent homicide by a relentless prosecutor. Defending Thomas and Theresa is freewheeling lawyer Charles Arnold. He believes in grace and mercy, but nothing in his colorful past has prepared him for the challenges of this shocking case, or for the dangerous conspiracy at its heart.

Language

Original language

English

Physical description

432 p.; 8.21 inches

ISBN

1578567769 / 9781578567768

User reviews

LibraryThing member debs4jc
Plot Summary: What happens, When & Where, Central Characters, Major Conflicts

This legal novel revolves around a case involving Thomas & Theresa Hammond, parents who believe in letting faith heal instead of doctors and medicine. So when their son becomes ill they wait to take him to the hospital,
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where he dies in the emergency room. Now the Hammonds are being tried for murder and face not only jail but also losing their other two children. Enter Charles Arnold, a recently converted Christian lawyer who himself has gotten on the wrong side of the law for his street preaching. Arnold, assisted by the flamboyant Nikki Moreno (who also appears in Directed Verdict by Singer), seeks to find a way to free Thomas Hammond from jail, but is distracted by a politically ambitious ex-wife who wants to keep past secrets buried and by his growing attraction to Nikki. Nikki, meanwhile, has problems of her own as she has been charged with watching the Hammonds two kids--which inteferes with her plans to investigate the prosecution and dig up some dirt on them.

Style Characteristics:
I loved the suspense, both of the legal case and whether they would be able to win and of the varying relationship conflicts. Singer shifts from character to character, interweaving the story which eventually emerges into a bigger picture. Some parts I could guess, but not enough that there weren't a few surprises. And the moral implications and watching the lawyer try to live out his faith give the reader something bigger to think about too. The only flaws were that the romance seemed trite, and some of the ending seemed pretty improbable.

How Good Was it?
A wonderful read for fans of suspense, blended with a compelling human interest story that makes this one a winner.
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LibraryThing member CarmenMilligan
You all know how I feel about Christian Fiction, blah, blah, blah. However, this one is pretty good. Charles is a street preacher, so the faith aspect of the story is very natural and not at all forced. He is a real man, with real issues, in a real world. That is hard to find in Christian fiction.

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However, I am a very black-and-white thinker, and I can't help but feel that the parents are, indeed, guilty of negligent homicide. While the doctor was definitely at fault, his decisions would have been moot if the parents had sought medical attention even one day earlier. Thomas and Theresa were certainly likable, but there is no denying that their lack of action was the cause of their young son's death. Blindly following an ignorant teaching is no defense.

While the author obviously wants the reader to despise Rebecca, even going to the lengths of giving her the nickname "barracuda", I found myself thinking that she was only doing her job. As the state's deputy prosecutor, her job was to prosecute. The fact that she was ambitious and preening for the camera made no difference to me. Again, she was trying to find justice for this child, as she said several times in her internal monologue.

Nikki was a redrawing of Marisa Tomei's character in the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinnie, except Nikki was infinitely more irritating. She was a caricature, as the "scantily clad with a heart of gold" Latino.

The relationship of Buster and Armistead required some suspension of belief, but to say anymore would be a spoiler.

I give this 3 looks despite all of the negatives because the story itself was gripping, and the ending had my head spinning.
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