This Present Darkenss is the first book in the Darkness Series. The plot follows a young pastor and a reporter from New York as they fight the Satanic cult bent on conquering their little town while unseen angels and demons clash around them.
"For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
- -Ephesians 6:12 (RSV)
- Alf Brummel : Corrupt Ashton Chief of Police
- Hank Busche : Godly Pastor of Ashton Community Church
- Mary Busche : Hank's wife
- Bobby Corsi : a demon-possessed man. He attacks Mary Busche in a parking lot and savagely beats Bernice Krueger
- Jimmy Dunlop : New Deputy Police Chief
- Edith Duster :A little elderly and crippled woman whose prayers start the ball rolling for the angels to battle. Her prayers strengthen the General when he was fighting the Strongman
- Andy Forsythe
- Ron Forsythe- Student
- Kate Hogan : Marshall's wife
- Marshall Hogan : New owner and editor of the Ashton Clarion
- Sandy Hogan : Marshall's daughter, a devoted student to Dr. Langstrat at Whitmore College
- Susan Jacobson : A partial friend of Pat Krueger's and Kaseph's girlfriend.
- Juleen Langstrat : Professor of Psychology and New Age Philosophy at Whitmore College
- Alexander Kaseph: Owner of Omni Corporation, head of a “Universal Consciousness Society,” and host for the Strongman.
- Bernice Krueger : Reporter for the Ashton Clarion
- Patricia Krueger : Bernice Kruger's sister who committed suicide.
- Ted Harmel : owner of the Clarion before Marshall
- Eldon Strachan
- Gordon Mayer
- Shawn Ormsby :Shawn is a student at Whitmore College.
- Carmen : New secretary for the Ashton Clarion, and a spy sent by the Omni Corp to watch Marshall's every move
- Lou Stanley
- Tom McBride : a paste-up man who works for Marshall for Clarion
- Sam Turner
- Oliver Young : Pastor of a highly liberal megachurch (Ashton United Christian Church) in Ashton, and a frequent participant in Langstrat’s “mediation” exercises
- Sergeant Kinney : Ashton Police Department
- Lucius: Servant of Ba’al Rafar and the third in command.
- Ba'al Rafar: Servant of the Strongman and the Second in command.
- The Strongman: Vassal of Satan, possessor of Kaseph, and first in command.
*Contains Spoilers*JESUS-AMEN, HALLELUJAH!!!!
The story begins when Hank is unfairly slated for dismissal for rebuking an adulterer in his congregation. He starts believing that the most influential churchgoers didn’t want him in the first place, and that they meant to elect a more liberal pastor instead. At that same time Marshall finds that his daughter is spending more and more time in New Age philosophy classes with the sinister Dr. Langstrat. Both start out thinking that the reasons are only skin deep, but over time they find that there’s far more under the surface. Separately they uncover different ends of the same conspiracy. Hank finds that his deacons have more planned than just finding a new pastor, and Marshall discovers a scandal between Ashton’s most prominent citizens, a nearby college, and the police force. If that wasn’t enough, the pressure is turned up a notch when Kaseph’s girlfriend defects and warns the editor that this conspiracy was formed by the deadly Omni Corporation. However, it doesn’t stop there. Hank finds that there are demons running amok in the town, Marshall discovers that Kaseph is heading a “Universal Consciousness Society” (which wants to forcefully convert the entire world to the New Age philosophy), and they put the two together when they meet in prison: Kaseph and his New Age flunkies are minions of a demon lord known as the Strongman. In the meantime the Christian Remnant in Ashton is prompted by the Spirit to pray, which calls down a host of angels. These beings clash with the demonic forces of the demon Ba’al Rafar and the Strongman as Hank, Marshall, and several others storm a meeting that would literally sell there souls to the devil. During the fight Brummel, influenced by a jealous demon, shoots Langstrat which throws the meeting into turmoil and lands the police chief in jail. Eventually everything in the town goes back to normal, but everyone is left a little wiser and a little more religious.