This Present Darkness by Christian author Frank Peretti is a sprawling page turner that provides a fascinating glimpse into the unseen realm of angels and demons.
As journalists Bernice Kreuger and Marshall Hogan, begin to investigate some of the unusual events taking place in the small town of Ashton they begin to realize that unseen forces are at work. Joining forces with pastor Hank Busche, they will eventually uncover a sinister plot. Devious opposition and series of trying setbacks steadily raise the stakes until their very lives are in jeopardy.
What is most interesting about This Present Darkness is that, as the human drama unfolds, we are shown a fascinating parallel battle taking place in the unseen realms. Angels and demons are very much invested in what happens on the ground. The angels are portrayed fearsome warriors and loyal protectors of humans. While demons are not so brave and prone to fighting dirty by perverted the thought processes of humans whenever possible.
I found This Present Darkness entertaining and engaging and I stayed up late in order to finish it. I also thought that it managed to paint a surprisingly insightful picture of how the enemy really works. Of special interest to me were the passages that illustrated the role of the demonic in New Age and occult deception.
What impressed me less were some of the choices the author made about the various ways demon’s chose to defame key characters (both in this book and its sequel, Piercing the Darkness). While characters were falsely accused of range of misdeeds including murder, tax evasion, and theft, I wasn’t pleased to see false accusations of rape, incest and child abuse added to the list.
Having said that, I enjoyed This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. Both are well thought out and suspenseful supernatural thrillers offering an important alternative perspective on New Age spirituality.