The Ambition is the debut novel from Lee Strobel, who is best known for his non-fiction “The Case for” books, such as “The Case for Christ.” I received this book for review from Zondervan Publishing, and it was released on May 17, 2011.
This novel takes place in modern-day Chicago, and is centered on a huge church that has sprung up in the suburbs over the last decade, Diamond Point Fellowship. Its head pastor, Eric Snow, suddenly has political aspirations. This news, along with a current ‘investigation’ of the church by a reporter from The Chicago Examiner throws the church, and its leadership, upside down.
Garry Strider is the reporter currently investigating Diamond Point Fellowship. After being recently passed over for a Pulitzer, Garry is desperate for any dirt that can help him write an article that will truly be Pulitzer Prize-worthy, and hidden sins in a church as large as Diamond Point will only help him.
Attorney Tom O’Sullivan did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps, but that is exactly where he finds himself. But doing ‘errands’ for the mob seems to be the only way to get out of his gambling debt. After this particular errand is over, Tom vows to conquer his addiction once and for all, however he can.
After a little bit of a rocky start and what I saw as ‘new author’ issues (introducing six or seven main characters in the first two chapters was a little much for me), I was pulled into the tangled web of the lives of these characters. I knew that the seemingly disconnected characters would somehow come together, and I was not disappointed.
It is rare to read a novel that contains all of these themes of murder and corruption but that does not also contain gratuitous violence and language and sexual material. That is one thing that was so refreshing about The Ambition. The spiritual aspect, for me, was a bonus that still fit well with the story and was not over-the-top. (The one exception maybe being the miracles that take place, but I really don’t want to get into some theological discussion here, especially since I don’t really know what my stance would be!)
The ending, I think, leaves a door open for a possible sequel. There is finality to the end of the book, but I could also envision the characters in a follow-up novel.
Political intrigue, mob hits, jaded investigative reporters, corrupt judges, disillusioned pastors: The Ambition has everything necessary for a remarkable suspense novel. To me, this book delivered just that.
I will give The Ambition by Lee Strobel… 4 BookWorms
You can see my review of this novel online at “The Christian Manifesto” here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Zondervan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
And now for the contest!
I have a copy of The Ambition to give away. If you are a follower of my blog, you will receive an automatic entry. To gain additional entries, you can become a new follower of my blog or you can leave a comment on any of my posts.
The more comments you leave, the more entries you will get! J
My contest will run through Monday, May 30th, and I will announce the winner on May 31st!The Christian Manifesto
website will also be having a contest for The Ambition
. It will run sometime in June.