Book Review: Darkness Rising

13 Oct

51CeSyzf2+L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_The evil in East Salem is no longer content to hide in the shadows. The stakes ― and the darkness ― are rising.

Dani Harris thought there wasn’t much left that could surprise her after serving as a forensic psychiatrist in East Salem. And Tommy Gunderson has faced few challenges in his life that he couldn’t overcome by either physical strength or his celebrity status.

But as they race to uncover what’s really happening behind the high walls of St. Adrian’s Academy, it becomes clear that supernatural forces have been at work here for generations. And now their focus is on making sure Dani and Tommy don’t interfere.

When the unseen becomes seen, faith is the only weapon strong enough to fight in a battle involving not just murder and betrayal ― but angels and demons.


logoLis Wiehl is one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded commentators. Currently, she is the legal analyst and reporter on the Fox News Channel and Bill O’Reilly’s sparring partner in the weekly “Is It Legal?” segment on The O’Reilly Factor. Prior to that she was O’Reilly’s co-host on the nationally syndicated show The Radio Factor. She is also a Professor of Law at New York Law School. Her column “Lis on Law” appears weekly on

Prior to joining Fox News Channel in New York City, Wiehl served as a legal analyst and reporter for NBC News and NPR’s All Things Considered. Before that, Wiehl served as a Federal Prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s office.

Wiehl earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland.

Wiehl is also the author of The 51% Minority, which won the 2008 award for Books for a Better Life in the motivational category, and Winning Every Time.

She lives with her husband and two children in New York.

fea4e03ae7a06dbcacda3210-l-_v192614257_sx200_Pete Nelson lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York. He got his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1979 and has written both fiction and non-fiction for magazines, including HarpersEsquire, MS, Outside, The Iowa Review, National Wildlife, Glamour, Redbook. He was a columnist for Mademoiselle and a staff writer for LIVE Magazine, covering various live events including horse pulls, music festivals, dog shows, accordion camps and arm wrestling championships. Recently he was a contributing editor and feature writer for Wondertime, a Disney parenting magazine.


My Impressions:

Darkness Rising is book 2 in Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson’s East Salem series. The action begins where Waking Hours left off (my review HERE). Filled with demons, this supernatural thriller definitely registers high on the creepy meter. If you like scary this one is for you. If not, I’d give it a pass.

Dani Harris, a forensic psychiatrist, and Tommy Gunderson, ex-football player turned PI, continue to investigate the bizarre murder that has rocked the quaint town of East Salem, New York. Evidence mounts up implicating the local academy that prides itself on teaching future leaders. As Dani and Tommy get closer to the truth, the action ramps up, including demonic activity that is determined not to be stopped.

Darkness Rising features new and returning characters. The bad guys are not well-developed, but Wiehl and Nelson make sure the good guys’ emotions, motivations and background are explored. The emphasis of the novel is the struggle of good and evil and uses an interesting framework to portray the ancient battle. Demons, as well as angels, play a major role, and the book does not shy away from the violence of the battle. The theme of Christ’s redemptive work is portrayed along with God’s plan and purposes in His people’s lives. Even as the demons work to separate Dani and Tommy, God turns those efforts to work out His plan.  I did have one problem though. A character who is a believer becomes demon-possessed. This is contrary to my understanding of scripture. I believe in demonic attack and oppression, but never possession in a believer. 1 John 4:4 states — But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world (NLT). *For this reason I would not recommend this book to non-believers.

Darkness Rising ends with a battle won, but the war is definitely not over. The characters are united and committed to uncover truth and expose evil, but it will be a daunting task. I look forward to the conclusion of this series.

*Recommended. (Please see note above.)

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Darkness Rising”


  1. Top 10 Tuesday — Spooky Christian Fiction | BY THE BOOK - October 27, 2015

    […] Darkness Rising — Dani Harris thought there wasn’t much left that could surprise her after serving as a forensic psychiatrist in East Salem. And Tommy Gunderson has faced few challenges in his life that he couldn’t overcome by either physical strength or his celebrity status. […]

  2. Audiobook Review: Fatal Tide | BY THE BOOK - November 9, 2015

    […] East Salem series. The race against the forces of evil that began in Waking Hours and increased in Darkness Rising, takes on a greater urgency as Satanic forces make a last push to wreak mayhem on the world. But […]

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