Mal Thomas has had a brilliant international career in advertising that appears to be winding down, as he and his wife enjoy the peace and serenity of their dream home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, Mal gets a call that pulls him back into his old world and sets him and his eclectic team of cynical mad men and women on a path to undertaking an extraordinary assignment: Alfredo Baptiste, the world’s most powerful and mysterious industrialist, charges them with promoting the alleged second coming of the Messiah.
As Mal and his team seek to confront their own doubts about the validity of Baptiste’s seemingly ridiculous claim that the latter’s adopted son Sebastian is this new Messiah, they find themselves thrust into a world of greed and revenge. Once Mal begins to glimpse the forces at work behind this incredible claim, we are taken on a journey that ultimately has its roots in the Cuban Revolution. As he crisscrosses New York, North Carolina, Miami, and Buenos Aires seeking answers, Mal’s own life and the safety of all those involved are put in jeopardy, when he begins to assemble the pieces of a seismic conspiracy.
In a fast-moving and often sardonic narrative, the story underscores our endless obsession with fame and pop culture, as Mal’s team develops an unstoppable global campaign that attracts a who’s who from the world of politics, religion, and entertainment, all swept up in a universally addictive promotional idea. As the team launches one of the largest advertising campaigns the world has ever seen, a global media feeding frenzy ensues, causing people to set aside all logic and reason, leading to tragic consequences.
Ultimately, Baptiste’s motivation is revealed in a powerful and unexpected ending that will leave you wondering how you didn’t see it coming.
Sea of Doubt provides a window into the modern world of digital and social media-driven mass persuasion, while forcing us to examine whether it’s love or revenge that rules the world. Author Jeremy Holden will have you laughing out loud at the absurdity of the challenges that Mal and his team find themselves confronted with, while at the same time forcing us to examine the role we all play in enabling the media to shape our thinking and dictate our lives.