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Trade Paperback
278 pages
Mar 2005
Tate Publishing

Fires of Darkness

by Tom Buford

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Review:

Amy Canton is scared. Something is trying to kill her and her unborn child, but she doesn't know what or why. She has become a pivotal player in the spiritual takeover of tiny Cory, Nebraska. Satan has plans for the little town, and Amy is in the way.

Tom Buford tells of the attempted takeover of Cory in his novel, Fires of Darkness. When a strange woman comes to town penniless, but is soon driving a Mercedes and opening a store, frightening things begin to happen. A young Christian teenager comes home drunk in this dry town without knowing where the liquor came from. Then tragedy overtakes the family of the town prayer warrior, Mrs. Osborn. A second strange woman in black shows up, but no one can see her long enough to speak to her. She disappears, leaving a large black hat behind.

Douglas and Amy Canton, Mrs. Osborn, Sheriff Farnsworth, Grandy Johnson, and Pastor Dewey see that something bad is happening to their town as liquor, pornography, and cocaine appear. As the powers of darkness and the angels of light confront each other in the battle over the town, the people affected have to take sides.

Buford takes on some of society's poisons in this spiritual thriller. Often the book is suspenseful, but too much talk and too much narrative-telling lessen the impact of the suspense rather than build it. For instance, following the attack on Amy, Buford tells us several times that the people of the town are frightened, but immediately after he has the women giggling with Amy in the hospital as if everything is fine. He could have shown people searching the sky, not letting their children go out, and locking their doors which would have increased the suspense.

The characters, including the demons and angels, appear one-dimensional. We know some of the appearance of characters, but they are not memorable, except for the demons having no eyes. Even the town seems one-dimensional as Buford isolates it to the point that nothing negative is coming into it--no bad music on the radio, no TV-- until this assault begins.

A couple of times the viewpoint confused me as the author introduced a character, then switched a paragraph later to another character, then had the first character enter the scene.

Buford emphasizes the dangers of liquor, drugs, and pornography, and the importance of prayer. He does not build on the prayer aspect as strongly as Frank Peretti did, nor do the battles between the forces of good and evil seem to avail much until the final battle for the town. The spiritual forces fight and are wounded but seem to heal quickly. We're not shown their pain, just their scattered body parts. The skirmishes make one side or the other back off, but there is no big price to pay for either spiritual side. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.comBook Jacket:

Fires of Darkness is the tale of Cory, a typical small town in the Midwest until it becomes the target of a grave and dangerous evil … an ancient evil that means to destroy the town and its people. Cory becomes the background for a spiritual clash between good and evil, and the battleground is fierce as drugs, pornography, and homosexuality are introduced into the community with devastating results. Written with insightful imagery and a vivid understanding of spiritual warfare, the author takes the reader into the Fires to see the eventual power of faith, prayer, and love. A heroic pastor and the town’s Sheriff recognize the real enemy and join forces to combat the terror. Add to this, expert character development and unforgettable personalities and you have an entertaining, yet thought-provoking read. Fires of Darkness fills the bill in the spiritual thriller genre and will keep you reading to the very last page. This book will impact how you think about the spiritual realm and God’s incomparable love for His own.