Dras Weldon, 22 years old and unemployed, might have grown up the son of a preacher, but you would hardly know it from his behavior and the bar he frequents. Jeff Weldon, his brother, followed in his father's footsteps and became a preacher. He is serving as pastor of the Good Church of the Faithful, the same church his father, Jack Weldon, pastored.
The bogeyman has taken up residence in Greensboro. The town of Greensboro has an evil secret. "The Strange Man" by Greg Mitchell is the first installment of "The Coming Evil Trilogy", and is about a man who discovers a secret so evil even his brother or his best friend, Rosalyn, won't believe him. As the Strange Man gets closer to Rosalyn, Dras must fight to save her. He reaches out to his friends and family, but ultimately he is left to face the evil alone. Will he survive? Or will evil win in this suspense-filled tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat?
If you enjoy Christian suspense/horror stories, you will love Greg Mitchell. I fell in love with the characters as if they were real. I loved how he made the town of Greensboro as much of a character in the story as Dras, Jeff, Rosalyn and Isabella. I was glad to know I would get to meet them again soon in Book Two, "Enemies of the Cross".
I have never read this author before, but I found that I really enjoyed the book. It was creepy and suspenseful and I found myself caring about the characters and their fates. The only complaint I have, is that in a couple of places the plot description was not clear and that annoyed me. But it was minor plot stuff, nothing that threw the story off. Worth the read.
Greg Mitchell's novel "The Strange Man" alerts the reader to the insidious impact and influence of evil powers roaming the earth today. This is the first novel in an upcoming trilogy "The Coming Evil" which combines a action suspense plot centered around a theme of evil, demons, ghoulish globs, and the reality of spiritual warfare encountered by Christians.
Other reviewers and the publisher description provide an excellent synopsis of the plot line. The protagonist, Dras Weldon, an immature, 22year old drop out, exhibits resentment and rebellion against his Christian upbringing. Dras is targeted to be used by the "strange man" to frighten the townspeople. The devil, with his demonic forces, is determined to take over the community of Greensboro. Dras is faced with the reality of the coming evil. He renounces the devil's demands to save the eternal soul of his friend Rosalyn.
I found Mitchell's writing compelling, strong, suspenseful, and dramatic. His word pictures produce visual images that drew me into the narrative. Although he provided a background prologue to relate the story telling power of childhood stories of the "bogeyman" designed to scare the daylights out of children, and although I heard my share of these stories as a child, I found the recurring use of this as a reference to the strange man distracting. This is personal. I may have missed the humor or the target audience. For me it did not strengthen the otherwise strong spiritual message of included throughout the narrative. Otherwise an excellent read.
As reviewed for Midwest Book Review.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from publisher. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines.
The faith of the forebears of Old Greenesboro had bound the Strange Man to the North Woods for over a century. But now the faith of that bygone era has faded. The people have stopped believing in demons and God. The Strange Man is free to roam.
A terrifying storm approaches the town. The turbulent clouds darken the sky as approaching evil darkens the community. There is a creature from the North Woods stalking - a spiritual being with only evil intent. As the terrible storm passes over the town some can sense a feeling of spiritual darkness settling upon them.
Many of the inhabitants remember their parents telling them of the bogeyman. For generations the tales were told to the children. The bogeyman was said to live in the North Woods. Has the evilness of the bogeyman been released from the North Woods to haunt the town?
People begin to feel and see a being that causes pure terror. Could the taloned creature be the devil come to claim those he thinks are his? Is this the bogeyman?
The novel centers around Dras, a twenty-two year old unemployed man who drinks too much and scorns the faith of his brother and parents. When the evil creature says he is after Dras' friend Rosalyn, the prodigal Dras knows he has to protect his friend. But how? Even his preacher brother refuses to help. Is there any way Dras can keep the evil away from Rosalyn?
This book is not for the weak at heart. I usually read fiction right before bed but I had to read this earlier in the day. Frank Peretti step aside. This novel brings spiritual warfare to a new level of visualization and excitement. And the story does not resolve at the end of this book. "...[T]he battle is just beginning..." (266)
There is also a short story at the end of the book, a sort of prequel to the novel. (The action takes place ten years before the novel.) I would have placed it at the beginning and suggest you might read it before the novel.
I am not so patiently waiting for the sequel.
This book was provided for review by Realms, A Strang Company.
In The Strange Man by Greg Mitchell, the devil is unmasked to reveal his pure evilness. Dras Weldon, a twenty-two year old irresponsible man, is a pastor's son, unemployed, living in his own apartment off of the occasional generosity of his parents. He was raised hearing the truths of God's Word, but totally rejected them to live a party life at a local club called The Rave Scene. One night, The Strange Man, makes his appearance at the club. To some, he appears in all his evilness. To Rosalyn, Dras' best friend since childhood, he appears handsome and attractive. Rosalyn's beauty reminds The Strange Man of the very first woman he deceived, which changed everything.
One night, The Strange Man appears to Dras in all his evilness and reveals his plan to destroy Rosalyn. Dras knows he has to make a decision; to choose to do nothing, which is surrendering to the devil, or to stand for God and truth. When a storm of the devil's demons, who first appear gentle and adorable, invade Greensboro, this small town is turned upside down. Dras seeks the counsel of his dying father, and his older brother Jeff, who is now the pastor of his father's church, and decides what he must do to save his friend.
This book is the first in The Coming Evil Trilogy. It is fast paced and difficult to put down. Because of the age of the characters, it has an appeal to young adult readers, but will be enjoyed by anyone who likes horror. There were a few parts that were almost scary enough to curl my naturally poker straight hair. But this book is all clean, no vulgarity, and no swearing. Through this book, the devil's true nature is revealed, which he states the modern world has forgotten. "People have stopped believing in demons, and they've stopped believing in their God, too." Concerning what he observed since creation, " I saw a race of creatures that delighted in wallowing in their own filth. The things you do to each other, not to mention what you do to God. If only you could hear the halls of heaven weep over the mess you've made of this once perfect world. You disgust me. I look on you, and I feel hate in my heart. I hate you all." ~ The Strange Man
The author clearly tells of the devil's desires, but he also clearly tells and shows the way of salvation. The entire plan of salvation is completely and plainly told in this literature. This fiction also reminds the believer of the importance of Scripture memorization for power against evil, and that the unseen forces of evil are also constantly watching all we say and do.
Although this book is the first of this trilogy, it does stand alone. There is an additional short story at the end of this book, which actually occurs a decade before the plot. I suggest those purchasing the book read the short story first.
Greg Mitchell is the co-author of Time Changer, which was made into a theatrically released motion picture in 2002. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Paragould, Arkansas.