Anthony Murdock has a lot on his mind. He is a minister in training at Second Baptist Church of Shepherd Hills and a top-level account executive at Shaw Enterprises. But as a Christian man, Anthony finds himself caught up in deceit when he makes a decision despite a gnawing feeling inside that warns him against it to compromise his morals for a lot of fast cash. His wife Terri, a snotty, successful interior designer, is becoming increasingly nervous that she might one day be forced to live the life of a cash-strapped preachers wife. Regretful of his get-rich-quick decision, and about to be caught, Anthony decides to make things right, only to find himself compromising again. Disgusted with himself, he knows he must do more than confess his greed; he must conquer it. Anthony, like Samson of the Bible, now risks going down with his enemies to do the right thing, preserve his marriage, and regain his reputation.
Wow, this book is a hard one to review. First of all I thought the story dragged for awhile, and was a bit too long. Then BOOM, it came to a crash ending--and at a hyper-speed pace. Twists and turns made for an interesting and not-at-all predictable story, yet some of the alliances between characters didn't make sense to me. Sometimes their motives seemed a bit over-the-top, IMHO.
While Anthony was a lovable guy, I couldn't stand his wife Terri. She was a self-centered-money-obsessed-image-focused woman and I didn't think her character arc worked at the end. Her shift was too sudden. (Can you tell I didn't like her?) I would have preferred if she had started to regret her thoughts and actions toward her husband before she was duped by the bad guys. That would've improved the story a lot, IMHO. Plus, I found it unrealistic that they could be married and spend so little time together and then not wonder what the other person was up to when they didn't come home or were detained. If the author was trying to show a marriage with no substance, she did a great job. There were quite a few times where the author head-hopped, which I found distracting, and she had one-too-many points of view which confused me further when I didn't know whose head I was in at the opening of a scene.
On the positive end, there was some great dialogue occurring between characters and the author created an intricate plot. There were clues and details up the wazoo, so I give the author credit for coming up with an amazingly complex and well-though-out storyline. I also loved the hero and wondered how he'd get out of the major pickle he'd gotten himself into. And the element of surprise was fabulous. I won't tell you and make it a spoiler, but let me just say you'll NEVER guess who was behind the evil scheme. For the most part the story did keep me reading, however, it did take me several months to finish this story. It just didn't pull me like I thought it would from reading the cover. I think for a debut novel it was a good effort by Leslie. It just wasn't the story for me. So for that reason I'm only posting this review on my blog for those of you who think my opinion is worth two cents. I respect the author too much to post this review on other sites because it's only one opinion. :)
Like Sheep Gone Astray was published by Warner Books/Walkworthy Press in July 2006.