Our Illinois lawyer Timothy Capps has just been interviewed by the literary magazine Dappled Things: A Quarterly of Ideas, Art and Faith, about his new genre-bending novel Judging Angels released by Hope and Life Press last month in paperback and ebook editions. Click here to read this great interview and learn about “a fully fleshed-out urban fantasy world based on Catholic theology (dogmatic and speculative), that also explored serious moral dilemmas that don’t always end well for the moral agents involved.”
Great book! I just blew through this book in three days, fast for me with other things I’ve got going on. I’m not sure I’ve completely got my head around it, but I described it thusly in recommending it to a friend this morning:
“A mash-up of legal thriller, urban fantasy, theological treatise, dark satire, commentary on the sorry state of both the modern-day Church and the modern-day world – but above all, very well written and entertaining,”
which latter point is where a lot of current genre fiction falls down hard. I highly recommend this book — and look forward to the sequel that is obviously intended.
Seriously Catholic! The author, Tim Capps, pulls off a tour de force of the modern challenges of being a practicing Catholic in today’s world. In the guise of a novel, the author presents a serious reflection on sin, temptation and adultery. A serious work for Catholics and wrapped in an entertaining plot. Looking forward to the next installment.
Unique and thrilling take on urban fantasy! Themes of marital strife, estranged family ties and fidelity are thrown for a unique curve ball in this fast-paced, urban fantasy thrill ride. A cast of original, complex characters (including everyone’s soon to be favorite redhead) are interjected into the life of our protagonist, George. On his journey to rescue his kidnapped daughter, Sandy, we are led through a world of forensic analysis, other worldly challenges and well-painted suspense, and mystery on the end of every page. Tim Capps incorporates his knowledge of the legal scene into a world of mystical, harrowing action that makes Judging Angels a compelling page turner. Highly recommended, Judging Angels is an urban fantasy masterpiece that will be difficult to put down and impossible to forget. Hungry for the next installment of the The Rubricatae Chronicles.
Difficult to put this one down! Excellent urban fantasy novel with a frank and, at times, painful exploration of a marriage in its darkest moments. The story deals with characters in difficult situations discovering that it’s not always the best idea to do “anything” to save someone else. It was hard to put this one down. Can’t wait for the next installment!
Awesome read! Loved it. Fresh writing, the style flows well, can’t wait for the next one. Especially like the spiritual aspect of this story.
An action-packed thriller with plenty of food for thought! With its devilish twists and turns, a suicidal lawyer and his explosive family, redheads and thugs, “Judging Angels” keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen next. But the action is dictated by George Able – hero or anti-hero? – whose many quandaries lead him to any number of flawed decisions, sowing destruction along the way. Tim Capps’ writing is humorous and profound. Temptation, suicide, adultery, pride, murder and mayhem follow on each other’s heels in a deeply moral, but never moralizing story. Plenty of violence and sin, but no vulgarity or complacency towards them… There’s even an instance of life-giving love where you would least expect it. It’s a book that’s hard to put down, once you accept to put narrow-minded rationality aside. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Hope and Life Press is proud to announce the release of the psychological thriller Judging Angels by top Illinois death penalty defense attorney Timothy Capps, Esq. The novel is the first book in the Catholic fiction series The Rubricatae Chronicles.
Christmas Eve finds renowned, but now disgraced, defense lawyer George Able paying a final visit to his two children, Brian and Sandy. It is a final visit of a different sort to his estranged wife and her lover: George has a .38 in his coat pocket. Later that night, he finds himself on a deserted highway in deep dark country with missing bullets and missing time. It looks like a Christmas Miracle, especially when he meets a beautiful redhead who offers him a second chance. But the seemingly naive Red Morgan proves to be a troubling mix of love, lethality and, possibly, lunacy.
When George’s daughter is kidnapped by a man who might be associated with Morgan, the Able family and the criminal justice system are faced with a threat they are not equipped to handle. As a rescue attempt snowballs into a crime spree from the top of Illinois to its tip, a family must put aside its problems even as moral compromises undermine their good intentions. And while Red Morgan is too useful to send away, her dream of a white Vegas wedding with George faces one obstacle…
Judging Angels draws on police procedural, urban fantasy, and heroic quest to provide the reader with an original Catholic psychological thriller that blends genres and provides more twists and tension than a murder trial. Timothy Capps, a recognized death penalty defense expert, tells this exciting, yet thoughtful, tale with the relish of a seasoned lawyer’s closing argument. And just as trials must probe the motives of defendants, the reader will discover that the real story is on the inside: ordinary people tempted to do the worst things for the best reasons. Judging Angels is available in paperback and ebook editions from Amazon, directly from the publishers Hope and Life Press, and major booksellers.
“Criminal justice elements in Judging Angels are expertly handled by a highly respected death penalty lawyer. But then Capps blends genres and gleefully pushes the reader down the rabbit hole of an original, frightening, yet darkly humorous fantasy . . . Do not miss it” – Richard Leo, Ph.D., J.D., Professor of Law and Psychology, University of San Francisco.
“Criminal jury trials are full of twists and turns and unexpected predicaments, and Author/Attorney Capps brings that same sense of the unforeseen and unknowable to his novel . . . Just like the packed trial gallery awaiting a verdict, you will be guessing and anticipating what is written on the final page” – Terence Green, Esq., former State’s Attorney and long-time criminal defense lawyer.
“Marvelous, in a style unlike anything else I have read, entertaining and thought-provoking. Capps draws on multiple genres to create something new that defies easy labeling” – Frank Magill, Esq., Telecommunications Attorney (ret.).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Timothy Capps, Esq., started his career as an Arabic linguist with the US Army where he received crypto training and held top secret clearance. He served with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, doing voice intercept and radio direction finding. Capps then graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law and became a US Navy JAG lawyer. He received the NYC Bar Association’s Committee on Military Justice Award for Trial Advocacy. He was called “a young lion in the courtroom” and awarded the Navy Achievement Medal. In 1990, Capps transferred to Sigonella, Sicily, and had two missions to the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, for which he was awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal.
Capps then became a public defender. He also served as prosecutor in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. Capps set up his criminal defense practice based on the cornerstones of character, competence, communication and compassion, becoming well-known for handling death penalty cases with innovation and tenacity. The Illinois Supreme Court invited him to serve on the committee that approved lawyers to serve as defense counsel in capital cases. Some of Capps’s high-profile cases were covered in Life Magazine, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Nancy Grace, and on CNN.
After People v. Pontious, the only case in which expert testimony on false confession was used successfully in Illinois, Capps became a recognized expert on false confessions. He was hired by the State to train death penalty defense teams. He was also given the Richard Cunningham Award for “distinguished service as a death penalty defense advocate who, in the course of performing high quality representation, has demonstrated extraordinary and tenacious commitment to the capital client’s cause and whose continuing dedication and tireless advocacy is an inspiration to all defenders in the continuing struggle for fairness and justice in Illinois capital cases.”
In 2011, the abolition of executions bill passed the Illinois legislature, but the Governor deliberated over signing it into law. Capps wrote a widely circulated Letter to the Editor, arguing against the death penalty from his experience as both prosecutor and defense counsel. To the extent his letter was influential, however, Capps put himself out of a job. His professional legacy includes a perfect record on death penalty cases, a not-guilty verdict by jury where evidence included a videotaped confession, and the development of original tactics still used in murder cases today.
In my death penalty defense career, I frequently said, “You can’t make this stuff up.” Judging Angels proves me wrong. The author has made up a very original story told with the relish of a seasoned trial lawyer’s closing argument. His depictions of the thoughts and workings of all players in the criminal justice system, including the forensic processes, immerse the reader into a high-adrenalin, high-profile case in a thoroughly accurate manner. Capps convincingly imagines a family and a criminal justice system confronted with realities they are ill-equipped to handle. A ‘one more chapter’ read full of twists and shocks and mordant chuckles – John J. Hanlon, Esq.
Executive Director, Illinois Innocence Project,
University of Illinois at Springfield.
George Able, a skilled criminal defense attorney with a faultless 21-0 record in saving clients from the death penalty, soon finds that such perfection cost him everything he held near and dear: his soul, marriage, children, right to practice law, and maybe even his life. Just when he thinks he is at his very end, Red crosses his path and he finds the journey has just begun. With her otherworldly beauty, irresistible charm, and skills of a special forces soldier, Red might be an angel or a demon – or the force that could lead George to get back all he has lost. As a former State’s Attorney and now criminal defense attorney for over 30 years, I can attest that Tim Capps, the author and mind behind Judging Angels, is a skilled criminal trial attorney and acknowledged expert on capital punishment cases, having both prosecuted and defended those charged with murder where the ultimate sanction, the death penalty, is sought. Criminal jury trials are full of twists and turns and unexpected predicaments, and Author/Attorney Capps brings that same sense of the unforeseen and unknowable to his novel. Is this work a murder mystery, love story, science fiction tale, or a fantasy account? it is hard to say. What is easily said is that as you read one page, you will not be able to guess what is on the page that follows. Just like the packed trial gallery awaiting a verdict, you will be guessing at and anticipating what is written on the final page – Terence Green, Esq., former State’s Attorney and long-time criminal defense lawyer.
Judging Angels starts as a mystery and police procedural by a highly-respected former death penalty lawyer. Criminal justice elements are expertly handled by an insider. But then Capps blends genres and gleefully pushes the reader down the rabbit hole of an original, frightening, yet darkly humorous fantasy. It is a story of ordinary people doing bad things for the best of reasons. Some are seized by love and all are caught in the middle of their own cosmic war. No character is safe. The novel is hard to put down as Capps teases you into ‘just one more chapter.’ It is not often that something as original as this is published. Do not miss it – Richard A. Leo, Ph.D., J.D., Author of Police Interrogation and American Justice, Hamill Family Professor of Law and Psychology, University of San Francisco.
Marvelous, in a style unlike anything else; entertaining and thought provoking. Ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary chain of events try to do right in the face of human frailty and temptation. Draws on police procedural, urban fantasy and heroic quest, to create something that defies easy labeling. Capps compels the reader to realize how often we misunderstand ourselves and our world, and the supernatural that lies beyond – Frank Magill, Esq., Corporate Attorney (ret.).