Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Lis Wiehl: The Candidate

By Kelly Bridgewater

How far will a candidate go to become president? Erica Sparks—America’s top-rated cable-news host—is about to find out. 

Mike Ortiz is a dynamic war hero favored to win the White House. Standing by his side is his glamorous and adoring wife, Celeste. But something about this seemingly perfect couple troubles Erica. Is Celeste really who she seems? And most importantly, what really happened in that squalid Al-Qaeda prison where Mike Ortiz spent nine months?

But more than the nation’s future is at stake. Erica’s relentless search for the truth puts the life of her preteen daughter Jenny in danger, even as Erica’s own dark past threatens to overtake her.  

In her latest Newsmakers thriller, New York Times bestselling author and Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl weaves a taut and chilling story. The Candidate is packed with political intrigue and media manipulation as the lust for power turns deadly indeed.

From Barnes and Nobles
My Review:

I have enjoyed Lis Wiehl's novels in the past. Her novels feature relatable characters, an unique mystery that is usually somewhat related to what is going on in the world today. With her newest release, The Candidate, Wiehl really jumps into the mind and playing field of the presidential campaign. The Candidate is a realistic view of what could go on behind the scences, but with a character that I have come to empathize with.

The writing is strong and concise. I had no problem following Erica, the heroine and reporter, as she told the story. The subplot was told by Celeste, Mike Ortiz's wife. Mike Ortiz is the presidential candidate the story reveals around. While the tension involves Erica trying to figure out more about Ortiz's background before he became a candidate, the story's tension is much deeper than Erica or I truly imagine. The pace kept me engrossed in the story. I really enjoyed how much research Wiehl put into the story by discovering and making an Al-Qaeda prison come to life. It was a horrible setting to be held hostage in for a couple of months. I cringed as I watched Erica travel through the prison walls in Iraq.

As for the characters, I really empathized with Erica. All she has ever wanted to do was be a top-notch reporter, and it appears all her dreams are coming true, but she also wants to be a great mother to her eleven-year-old daughter Jenny. This struggle is real with every working parent in today's culture, so it was easy to come alongside Erica and feel her pain. Wiehl does a good job at delving into the worries and thoughts of Erica as she decides between hunting a new lead or spending time with Jenny. On the other hand, Celeste, the second viewpoint, is a multi-complicated character. She wants higher power and pushes her husband, Mike to reach the pentacle of his career.  I had a hard time liking her as a character because she was too "perfect."

With this novel published by Thomas Nelson, a leading Christian publishing company, there really wasn't a lot of spiritual elements in the story, so fans of the ABA market could enjoy this book just for the mystery. Fans of James Patterson and J. B Robb might devour The Candidate.

A word of caution . . . Wiehl does include a relationship between two women that made me cringe and flip through a number of pages. The perspective of the character had her lusting after the other woman with the other woman responding to that lust. While ABA readers probably won't mind it, but since this book is published by Thomas Nelson, Christian readers will probably turned away by this element of the story. I wouldn't recommend passing this book off to young mystery readers, only mature audiences.

The Candidate by Lis Wiehl has a realistic heroine who struggles between motherhood and her career, a mystery that is necessary for today, but there is a scene between two women that really made me want to put the novel down.

I received a complimentary copy of The Candidate from Thomas Nelson publishing and the opinions stated are all my own. 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Would you or have you put down a novel with a gay couple or foul language? I know I have. 

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