Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso

This novel is not for the weak of heart. Nor would I recommend reading it late at night. A disemboweled dog, a live cat thrown into a roaring furnace, a dog beaten to death. Senseless murders. It is not so much scary as it is just gruesome.

Sam Travis is a self employed carpenter living near Gettysburg. Falling off a roof, he suffered a trauma to his head. Months later, he now hears his brother's voice. His brother Tommy. His brother who tortured animals. His brother who was caged in their family basement. His brother, dead for years. His brother is calling him.
One night he hears the guns and canons and screams from the Civil War battlefield. His wife and daughter hear nothing.
And then there is the writing. The writing from his own hand but the words those of Civil War Captain Samuel Whiting describing the Gettysburg battle. Writing about the deaths and the dark thoughts: Kill Lincoln. The writing. It just appears on Sam's desk. The writing is pulling Sam into its darkness.
And then there is Symon. He is heading to the Travis household, just as the voice instructed. His target is the girl, Eva, Sam's daughter. The daughter will be the insurance that Sam will do what the voice wants.
And then there is Jacob. Jacob is Eva's protector. Eva won't let anyone tell her he is imaginary. Jacob is concerned about Eva's daddy. Daddy is going to do something terrible. Eva must pray for her daddy and tell him she loves him, and Jesus loves him.
And then there is Senator Stephen Lincoln. The Senator is prepared to put his name on the bill calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion. He knows it would kill his career, his bid for the White House. Or will it? He is going to make the public announcement at Gettysburg.
It comes together in Sam's head. Kill Lincoln. Sam had exceptional sharpshooting skills as a teen. He hasn't fired his rifle in years. He feels compelled to grab his rifle and go to Gettysburg.

Dellosso's novel is gripping. The plot and writing kept my interest through to the end. There is a clear sense of good and evil presented. The gospel is an essential part of the novel's completion. Even though parts of the novel are gruesome, it is very readable and compelling.
I did feel there were a few loose ends. I understood the demonic influence over Symon. But I was a bit puzzled over the writing Sam did. I felt that at the end there could have been a better explanation as to how that happened (not just that Whiting was an ancestor.) Was this the result of a generational curse? Was this a demonic kind of automatic writing? Was it something from the Marxist group? And we never did find out how the window breaking fit in. (Just to get a policeman there and increase the body count?)
Nonetheless, these issues are minor and do not detract from the overall enjoyment of the novel. If you like novels on spiritual warfare, you'll like this one.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

Buy the book from ChristianBook.com.

I am only one of several bloggers reviewing Darkness Follows this blog tour. See the reviews by others participating in this tour:


Mike Dellosso said...

Joan, thank you for your honest and balanced review. I appreciate you taking the time to participate in the tour.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Joan, a great review. You made some excellent points. I thought there were some loose ends that needed to be tied up. The subconscious writing was one, especially with the hidden letters. I didn't know what the purpose of that was because the journal entries included an overt message about darkness and the intent to kill Lincoln.

It sure was a gripping story.