Donovan's Reviews > This Present Darkness

This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
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Feb 25, 12

bookshelves: thriller, fantasy
Read in October, 1995

This is the first of 2 books that were given to me during a very difficult and painful part of my life. I am not one to read religious (particularly Christian) based books if it's not a horror but these were different. This Present Darkness is the first of the two that I have read and is simply the good versus evil story with a much more contemporary drive behind it. More important is the 'hope' that this book can inspire - particularly if you are having a hard time trying to come to terms with why things happen. I don't think you could consider this a feel good book but if you are Christian oriented in your faith, then you will probably enjoy this more than others will.
While I am not a Christian myself, this was a particularly interesting read - especially with how it introduces Angels & Demons.


Plot ***Spoilers***
This Present Darkness takes place in the small college town of Ashton. Bernice Kreuger, a reporter for the Clarion, Ashton's town newspaper, is falsely arrested on prostitution charges after taking a photograph at the annual Ashton Summer Festival. When she is released the next day, she discovers that the film in her camera was destroyed.

Marshall Hogan, owner/editor-in-chief of the Clarion decides to go to the town police station/courthouse and confront Alf Brummel, the police chief, about the incident. Brummel denies any wrongdoing on behalf of the police department and insists it was all a mistake. Brummel then advises Marshall to drop the matter. Marshall does not fall for Brummel's story and, ignoring Brummel's advice, begins an investigation.

As the investigation continues, Marshall and Bernice begin to realize that they're onto something much bigger than they thought. They slowly uncover a plot to take over the town via buying the college, that is being carried out by The Universal Consciousness Society, a powerful New Age group. When the Society decides Marshall has found out too much they take the Clarion, and his house. They also falsely accuse him of murder, adultery, and molesting his daughter, who attends the college and who unwittingly has been pulled into the Society. When he and Bernice are caught in a desperate attempt to keep the society from winning out, he is arrested and thrown in jail, and she escapes, running off to find help.

Meanwhile Hank Busche, the unwanted pastor of the little Ashton Community Church discovers that there are many demons in the town and wonders why they have all congregated here. When he gets to be a nuisance to the demons they have the Society falsely arrest him for rape.

Hank and Marshall meet in jail. They compare stories and finally put both halves of the puzzle together.

During the time that this is happening the story take on a spiritual dimension - revealing a perspective based on the idea of unseen forces at work

Meanwhile, Bernice finds help and makes contact with the County Prosecuter, the State Attorney General, and the Feds. When Alf Brummel finds out about this he releases Hank and Marshall.
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