The Ambition: A Novel by Lee Strobel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A crooked judge, cynical newspaper reporter, and a big time pastor turning political candidate are just a few of the characters that you will find in Lee Strobel’s debut fiction suspense novel The Ambition: A Novel. The characters are woven into a fascinating story where the mob plays into the judicial corruption of a case. With a pay off to a certain judge the system was able to be manipulated so that cases could be steered toward a certain judge who would get them off. Also woven in to the storyline, is Eric Snow; a well off mega-church pastor who is feeling the draw of the political arena and truly believes he can use his influence for good in a Senatorial position opening up due to the current senator’s scandal and Eric Snow is one of the possible candidates to take over. The other possible candidate is Chief Judge Reese McKelvie also vying for that senatorial position. Yes, you quickly see the character’s “ambitions” all over the place. Some motives are pure others corrupt and the story just takes off from there,
The Garry Strider character which is a Chicago new reporter looking to dig up any possible dirt that he can on Pastor Eric Snow gives the perfect cynical character particularly with regards to anything to do with God. Not having much use for God himself, Strobel paints a great picture of the path of cynicism and disbelief in God to a door cracking open just a little bit as the character faces different challenges. For instance he witnesses with his own eyes a true healing and miracle and faces challenges with his girlfriend Gina who is a new Christian. I like it that Garry is taking his time in really figuring out what he believes. One can’t help but feel that this character is close to the author’s own life experience, if you’ve followed Lee Strobel’s non-fiction work The Case for Christ. With that being said, this character in particular, rings very true to me.
The last fourth of the book is very exciting and moves very quickly. I would have to say that the end feels a little rushed but I was able to overlook it because it was clear to me that a sequel is to be written, so we will find out more about how these characters fair. My thoughts are that as a first run novel the story kept my attention and I felt the characters were interesting. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, but with all the people groups that the author melded together- judicial, political, mega-church, journalistic and also “the mob”, it was necessary. In the final analysis I always ask myself- do I like these characters and do I care about what happens to them in the future which helps me gage the effectiveness of the story. The answer is yes, I did and I look forward to Lee Strobel’s fiction offerings in the future.
Disclosure- A free Digital review copy of The Ambition by Lee Strobel was graciously provided for me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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