Jeremy D. Holden uses his real life experiences from the world of advertising to bring to life Mal Thomas, a man who finds himself connected with what might be the most bizarre promotional campaign to ever exist. After leaving the business he helped to create, Mal receives a call from one of his former partners and is thrust back into the world of advertising with a former client. Sea of Doubt is a thought provoking read that will definitely shock you by the end.
Mal Thomas is a talented man with a gift for using various skills that are termed as combining right brain and left brain thinking. These skills have allowed him to garner influence within the world of advertising, but following a scandal at his firm he has decided to retire from the industry. Out of the blue he receives a call from the current head of the company, a former partner he now detests, and learns he has been specifically requested for a campaign by their largest client, BAPTIST, run by Alfredo Baptiste. Mal creates a team for this project and they are all invited to visit Baptiste at his headquarters in Miami. The issue is that no one has any idea what the project he wishes them to take on is. In a one on one meeting with Mal, Baptiste reveals that he has living with him a special man named Sebastian, who happens to be the new Messiah. The team, with Mal in charge, grapples with the idea of promoting a new Messiah to the world and ultimately they agree to the project. What follows is a story of intrigue, deception, and a massive reveal that had me reeling.
Holden’s knowledge of the advertising field lends to creating a story that is exceptionally fleshed out and engaging. His main character Mal Thomas is given a rich backstory and I love the tone of voice through which he shares these events. Mal has a droll sort of humor that lends itself to sharing a tale full of seemingly outlandish claims. Beyond that his use of movie quotes works delightfully well with the mention of the Messiah. Not only is Mal well done, but Holden dedicates time to creating multifaceted characters and he establishes a rich history for each of his core characters. Personally my favorite is Delilah Bishop, otherwise known as Del, Mal’s sharp tongued former partner from Australia. Sea of Doubt not only creates a story full of surprises, but the ending will leave you grappling with not only a massive twist, but the idea of faith and spiritual powers. Holden does an exceptionally job of creating an interesting and fast paced read.
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