Frank Peretti would have to be one of the most prolificAmerican novelists around. It is claimed that he has 12 Million novelspublished and is known as, “America’s hottest Christian novelist.”“This present Darkness” was his first novel published in1986. It had a slow beginning but it finally took off and became a best seller.It was followed by.”Piercing of theDarkness” which was also won acclaim and also became a best seller. Between them they sold 3.5million copies. So, what is this novel all about? And, would you like toread it?I believe that it would make riveting reading for anyone nomatter what your convictions. There is no Bible thumping evangelists with deepand meaningful messages to be absorbed or, as would by in the majority ofcases, suffered and ignored. For the believer it is an insight as to how the spiritualand temporal worlds are dependent on each other. We humans too often see ourselves as pieces in a greatspiritual chess game. Being moved by the will of another to perform actions thereasons for and results of which are decided by someone else. Mr Peretti takes us to a small town called, “Ashton” off amain highway 27 somewhere in America. The forces of evil have targeted this townto be a centre of their activities for no particular reason. Probably becauseit is a typical small, God fearing town college town.. There are evil peopleobtaining control of the town and it all seems set to be completely overtakenand destroyed spiritually.The leader of the earthly villains is Alexander Kasepa C.E.Oof a muli-bullion dollar corporation which has targeted Ashton as a site for ahuge development. He allows himself to be possessed by, “The Strongman” chiefof all the demons. To assist him in these endeavours, he hires Juleen LangetrotPsychologist and head of the local college. She is intent of introducing the“New Age” teachings into the school. She also has influence over the localsheriff. But God does not sit quietly by and allow Satan to have hisway so the focus of the eternal war is on Ashton. God’s forces consist of twoangels who come to scrutinize the situation. They are assisted by the youngpastor of a local church, and, eventually, by a world wise and weary newspapereditor.
Imagine going to such a person and saying, “Satan is going to take overthis town.” One would be greeted by intense disbelief and ridicule. This young, inexperienced pastor resists the teaching of“New Age” philosophies in the school and must survive a manufactured sexscandal, which disrupts his personal life. The editor has, however, to solve the mystery of one of hisreporters being murdered and to contend with the lack of co-operation of thelocal police and the corruption at the highest level in the town council. Asevents transpire he is forced to have another look at himself and hisbeliefs. The young pastor fights the fight from a spiritualperspective while the editor fights on the temporal plain. How the two finallyjoin forces is just part of this rich story.This is not one of those stories where sprits and demons andangels talk to people and visa versa. Mr Peretti shows us what it transpiringin the temporal world and then what is happening in the spiritual and how onehelps and supports the other the other. It results in a most satisfying andgrand battle. For the believers it is an explanation of how each of us isvital in the continuing war between good and evil personified by God and SatanIt can help them understand that each has a place in God’s great plan.For the non-believers it is a thrilling and absorbing storythat will entertain and delight them. It has all the elements of a thriller,suspense, murder, and plenty of action without any Bible bashing to try to gethim to change his position although there is, of course, a subtle suggestionthat he should do so. A most enjoyable book that is hard to put down no matterwhere you stand in spiritual understanding.