Randy Singer is one of the best writers of legal thrillers I know. I have devoured every one of his novels but By Reason of Insanity eclipsed them all. I have selected By Reason of Insanity as my book club’s June selection – its going to be fun!
I love this insight into Quinn Newberg, a quintessential skeptic and lawyer extraordinare! Over to you, Randy:~
Brief physical description
Quinn Newberg is a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, described by the media as a “legal magician.” He is a little over six feet, angular and lean, with the fluid movements of an athlete. He has the mysterious look of a Vegas illusionist, with straight black hair and a trim goatee. Dark eyebrows shade expressive almond eyes that seem to dance and spark in ways that have you nodding your head when he speaks.
Think of a taller version of Apolo Anton Ohno, the Olympic speed skater.
Rel:~ It wasn’t how I pictured Quinn but now I have thought about it, Apolo is just right!
Strengths and weaknesses
Quinn is a showman from Vegas, the show capital of the world. He learned his theatrics at Vegas magic shows and applies them in the courtroom—combining the flair of a performer with the unpredictability of a high stakes gambler.
Underneath the flamboyant exterior is a guy incredibly loyal to his sister and niece, a man with a strong (though misguided) sense of honor and justice, and a tenacity that pretty much knows no bounds. He is also extremely practical and realistic, unafraid to confront enormous challenges head on.
He doesn’t see the spiritual dimension in life. Everything is fair game for his legal manipulations and maneuverings. The insanity plea is nothing more than a tactical maneuver. He also has deep-rooted insecurities that spring from an abusive childhood.
Quirk (if any)
He loves to gamble and he’s pretty good at it. He’s not above teaming up with another Vegas card shark to cheat wealthy out-of-towners for a good cause. He is more calculating than most compulsive gamblers, but he still has a hard time knowing when it’s time to fold—in cards or in life.
Your inspiration for the character
With Quinn, I wanted to dive inside the mind of a spiritual skeptic. I decided that Las Vegas would be a good place to find one. And what occupation would be better than that of a trial lawyer—not just any trial lawyer, but one who specializes in the insanity plea for criminal defendants?
I wanted to shine a sliver of light in the darkness. To do that, I needed it dark. The work of criminal defense lawyers is dark.
The work of a criminal defense lawyer with an abused childhood representing an accused serial killer—that’s real dark.
But if it’s going to be dark, I wanted a protagonist whose personality would help lift him above that a little. So, I pulled together a composite. The passion of a friend who practices criminal defense law and always believes he has justice on his side. The showmanship of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. And the intensity of David Blaine, a famous Vegas illusionist. Add two cases that are very personal in nature, shake vigorously and bake—and out pops Quinn Newberg.
Background to the story
I wrote By Reason of Insanity to help readers think about whether a spiritual dimension exists. Quinn doesn’t think so. But then, how can he explain the supernatural visions that his client has about serial murders? Either she’s guilty or there’s another dimension—a God who speaks to those who are willing to listen.
Prior to writing this book, I was intrigued by reports of Muslims who have been led to Christ after seeing visions (typically during Ramadan). Does God sometimes communicate with us in extraordinary ways right here in the United States? I think He does. But we must also realize that God has already fully revealed Himself to us through His written Word and would never show us anything in visions or dreams inconsistent with His Word.
Putting all that together, here is a brief synopsis of the story:
Quinn’s latest client is Catherine O’Rourke, a Virginia Beach reporter accused of being the serial killer named the Avenger of Blood. Catherine maintains her innocence, though she claims to have seen visions with graphic details of the crimes—details only the killer would know. Quinn doesn’t believe in the supernatural and thinks these “visions” are nothing more than the product of a fractured personality disorder, triggered by a traumatic event in Catherine’s past.
Quinn knows insanity cases are unpredictable, but nothing in his past has prepared him for this one. To win, or even survive, he’ll need more than his famed legal maneuvering and biting sarcasm.
On this case, he’ll need a miracle.
Loved this, Randy ~ thanks for giving us some of your valuable time to share this spotlight!
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Relz Reviewz Extras
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