Thursday, November 29, 2012

Out of Darkness



Title:  Out of Darkness
Author:  Darrell Case
Pages:  250
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Self-published
                Darrell Case has written a very good mystery.  Out of Darkness is a contemporary fictional story set in Indiana.  The author uses good suspense building skills to progress the story.  There are many minor characters in the story that contribute to the plot, and make it a well-rounded one.
                The main character is Pastor David Padgett.  He began as a small-time minister, working at as a grocery bagger in the evenings while evangelizing in the mornings house-to-house.  He has little success in drawing people to the small church building he built with his own hands.  He is about ready to throw in the towel when he reads an advertisement for a “self-help” guru.  He attends the conference, taking copious notes.  He uses the last of his savings to meet personally with the guru.  He takes his advice, and begins to turn to himself and his “advisors” for supposed ways to reach the masses for Christ.  These advisors are labeled as “ghosts”, but I think they are far more evil.  His ministry sky rockets.  He becomes a very highly paid minister, highly paid guest speaker, and author.  Along the way, however, he sacrifices his relationship with his wife, son, and God.  Everything is about his ministry and all else comes after.  He talks of turning things over to his son soon.  His son never really wanted to be a minister, but is eager for the power, wealth, and other benefits he sees his father receive.  David’s wife, Anne, who so devotedly supported him in the beginning of his ministry, starts a guest speaking career of her own to earn her own money.  She covets a Mercedes Roadster.
                Suddenly, he finds himself covering up what appears to be a suicide to protect his church’s reputation as well as his own.  Is it a suicide or murder?  Then, he finds himself the prime suspect in this murder as well as others.  Everyone turns against him, including his family.  He blames God.  Hasn’t he sacrificed his life to serve God?  He is taken to jail to await trail.  His personal assets are frozen so he can’t pay his lawyer, who then quits.  He is assigned a public defender fresh from passing the bar.  How much more can he take?  He is innocent of these crimes, but who could be framing him?  Who hates him this much?  Is it is own son?  Can he humble himself, admit his sins of greed and pride, and return to God?  Can he give up all he has worked for?
                His son deserts him and his wife as soon as he is taken to jail.  His son is angry, shamed and guilt-ridden by his own behavior.  He mourns the death of his young wife.  Was it an accident or did she too commit suicide rather than remain with him?  While he is on the run, he too is caught fleeing the scene of a crime.  He is caught and jailed.  Who visits him while there?  Who can save him?
                Anne relishes her newfound fame and money of her own.  She imagines writing a bestselling book as well.  If her husband doesn’t want her to be a guest speaker, then that is just too bad for him.  Now she faces eviction, homelessness, and hopelessness.  She believes in her husband’s innocence, but she is alone with her son and husband in separate jails, both accused of murder.  Who can help her?  Will she realize how far she has fallen away from God?  Can she give up her lifestyle?
                While there are a few clichés, one being the “good cop-bad cop” routine, they don’t take away from the story.  However, there were numerous typos, punctuation/grammar errors, inconsistencies with verb tenses, and a few poor chapter breaks.  These can be easily fixed with a good proofreader/editor’s keen eye.  Otherwise, the story was interesting and easy to read.
                My rating is 3.5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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