Title: Sea of Doubt: The Greatest Story Ever Sold
Publisher: Clean Publishing
Publication Date: To be released October 3, 2017
Source: Clean Publishing and NetGalley
Title and Author: Sea of Doubt: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Jeremy D. Holden
You know by the title that you are in for a super tongue-in-cheek, intelligent, and socially unacceptable ride and after the hook at the beginning, that’s how this book proceeds with barely a hitch in the giddy-up in the middle.
His former partner suddenly calls in Mal Thomas, who’s sworn off the old high drama, blood pressure raising profession of the marketing world, for a special project. He’s been enjoying the sweet life with his beloved wife in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and really doesn’t need the aggravation. In the world of high market accounts and powerful men and immense holdings, how can you turn down the plea of one who will willingly back, no matter the cost, the announcement to the world of the Second Coming?
Mal has had some history with Alfredo Baptiste before, knows the extent of his holdings and wealth, and is sucked in by the man’s most sincere belief that his adopted son, Sebastian, is the Messiah. Of course, the assignment is one of global proportions, and skeptical or not, the conditions he elicits are met. How can he not proceed?
Naturally, part of his conditions require that the best of the best of his former team join him in the endeavor, each bringing their own particular expertise that made his company, CREATIF, a promotional leader the world over. The characters, Del, in particular are fleshed out to the point you can see sweat beads on her upper lip and feel the power each member generates. These are smart, educated and sophisticated people. The successful acquisition of these persons must, in turn, spell the success of the project.
After the problem of getting the team to accept the assignment, they must then brainstorm to set the campaign. And in a world bombarded with “fake news,” will this really be that difficult, or once having unleashed the direction, will the momentum carry itself around the globe? Look how the simple “ice bucket challenge” swept the world. Would it be that difficult to construct a media frenzy around a new Messiah? Apparently not. Some people can sell anything–look no further than our recent political candidates as evidence.
Holden manages to convince us through subtle and not-so-subtle biblical references how this might have all made sense. Mal Thomas? Doubting Thomas? And if he can believe–why shouldn’t you? With arguments that could be challenged and overcome, how easy would a bombardment of advertising, innuendo, and a mask of heavenly physical features sell the public?
You gotta give it to Holden for coming up with this premise and then “selling” it. The momentum of the plot keeps you turning pages and you can’t rest until you’ve seen the revelation. Although the author throws more than one twist to the story, you won’t guess the end; you can’t, because there may be more than one objective and each must garner some satisfaction.
I was given this digital download through NetGalley and the author/publisher and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. There were many farcical moments that had you laughing and shaking your head in disbelief. Then there were the serious moments–and really–a nerve-tingling ending. Bravo! A thoroughly enjoyable read with a different spin than you might be used to. Heartily recommended for those who enjoy mystery, thrillers, suspense, and spiritual or religious themes.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five of Five Stars
The Author: Jeremy Holden is an award-winning author with ties to both sides of the Atlantic. He received degrees in England and moved to the United States in 1995 where he met his wife, Natalie, and became a citizen. He has worked for some of the best-known advertising agencies in the world and during his tenure in the industry received the “Gold Effie,” the advertising industry’s Golden Globe. He has counseled some of the world’s most recognized names and brands. His vast marketing experiences have been integrated into Sea of Doubt and his upcoming novel, Valley of Time. He has also written a non-fiction book receiving wide-ranging media coverage including The Huffington Post.
Jeremy currently lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina where he runs Clean Design, a successful brand communications agency with partners, Natalie and Scott. He also teaches at UNC Chapel Hill as well as run workshops and speaking engagements. He is father to two overachieving children and enjoys spoiling his dogs. You can find out more about his books at jeremydholden.com. ©2017 Virginia Williams