Thursday, April 02, 2009
Eric Van Lustbader's First Daughter ~ Reviewed
by Eric Van Lustbader
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
Pub. Date: August 2008
Explosive new political thriller by the New York Times bestselling author of The Testament and The Bourne Betrayal
This tense story intersects the past and present and ties characters together in overlapping and twisting plot lines. Jack McClure is haunted by his past, and his future as colored by his past. Alli Carson is the soon-to-be president's daughter, a young woman who doesn't want the mantle that is being placed on her. When she goes missing, Jack is pulled in to find her as she was his daughter's best friend.
The plot moves along quickly and Jack's previous life is woven within the story of Jack's race against time to find Alli which adds more suspense as facts are revealed. The usage of a different tense during Jack's memories makes the melding of past and present more intriguing. Lustbader pens some truly picturesque and creative paragraphs. Told from many points of view, omniscient in many scenes, there is much to process from the many characters' lives.
One of the more fascinating aspects of the story is the underlying subject matter, basically separation of church and state. I began reviewing books that were strictly Christian fiction labels. As I've had more opportunity to read more and more ABA I've discovered that the gulf between ABA (secular) and CBA (christian) is narrower than I had realized. Many Christian titles are so light on God and spiritual themes that I sometimes wonder why they carry the particular house label. On the flip side, First Daughter's political themes and suspenseful plot are so steeped in spiritual conversations and themes that the story bogs down at times and begins to feel like a device to share an underlying author worldview. I, too, hate religion. And I agree that stuffing rules and religion down the throats of people, including crafting laws with an agenda, is the last way to fix society's ills. Reading this novel, where the characters are left to find their own way in the world, and peace and acceptance come through knowledge, left me feeling a hopelessness that really wasn't worth the investment of my hours.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer