Book Review: Ballots and Blood

Ballots and Blood: A NovelBallots and Blood: A Novel by Ralph Reed
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My wife found this at our favorite used bookstore. It was shelved in the Christian Fiction section and is distributed by B&H. First, Ralph Reed knows his way around beltway politics. His characters at times come off as being copies of current or former politicians and their actions are founded in truth. Second, he can develop a mystery that makes sense and seems to be believable.

In this book, a US Senator is found murdered and it may be connected to CIA/NSA investigations on the Iranian Nuclear program. To add to the intrigue, he is found in the basement of a known high class call; even though, he is a member of the conservative party. The problem is that even though it is a political thriller, it is masquerading as Christian Fiction. Granted it is not laden with expletives, like many in the Political Thriller genre, and characters have some kind of faith, many are associated with a group similar to the Family Foundation, but the issue is that their faith is not necessarily motivating their actions. The reflective introspection of many characters as they challenge their faith with secular politics are lacking or completely missing. Compared to others who write in the genre their is no overwhelming faith driven characterization.

I would put his prose and storytelling on the same level as Joel C Rosenberg and Davis Bunn but there are times that his writing seems a bit flawed. If you are looking for inspiration from a character who is a prayer warrior or a flawed character looking for faith in a broken world, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a David Baldacci without the cussing and gratuitous sex, this is your book. In reality it should be a political thriller written by a Christian instead of Christian Political Fiction. I may find and try one of the other two books in the series but I’ve got others in the que ahead of this one.

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