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Posted September 28, 2010
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haunting, beautifully written psychological thriller
His name is Charles Graves. He can wear any face; imitate any voice; fit in anywhere. His work for the Agency is legendary, especially among the hidden clusters of Christians he has helped uncover and "reclaim." His father and only remaining family, Senator Cotton Graves, loves him. His coworker, relentless logic-girl Julia Jenkins, will do anything for him. His competition, Agency hot-shot Richard Farris, is determined to discredit him.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
But no one, least of all Charles himself, really knows who Charles Graves is.
Haunted by his traumatic childhood and equally addicted to alcohol and playing with a wood-block puzzle, Charles turns himself into other people in a desperate attempt to escape himself. On assignment to find the Reverend James Cleveland, a dangerous preacher on the loose in downtown Houston, Charles is just minutes away from the crowning success of his career-until he sees the light in Cleveland's arresting presentation of the gospel.
Suddenly, Charles has changed sides and plunged himself, Julia, Cotton, and Cleveland into a pitched battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil-a battle that will bring each one face-to-face with their reality's most startling, life-changing truths.
Marc Schooley's dystopian novel The Dark Man is an elegantly written psychological drama that's nearly as spell-binding as one of James Cleveland's sermons.
While the book contains plenty of action-movie chases, espionage, and helicopter fights, where it really stands out is in its gripping exploration of the human mind and spirit. Farris, Cotton, Julia, and especially the tormented Charles carry on conversations with themselves, their memories, and their hopes that are revealing, disturbing, and sometimes profound. Into their struggles, the voice of the gospel offers peace and the power of redemptive sacrifice.
The Dark Man is a powerful introduction to Marc Schooley and another memorable offering from Marcher Lord Press.
- Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Seventh World Trilogy: Worlds Unseen, Burning Light, and Coming Day
Posted October 31, 2009
fans will relish this profound look at persecution as religious tolerance is unacceptable
In Texas undercover agent Charles Graves, the man with a thousand faces, is assigned to destroy the last remaining powerful Christian leader in the United States, Reverend James Cleveland. As he gathers evidence, Charles goes to arrest Reverend Cleveland, but suddenly hears voices in his head insisting he heed the message his target proclaims.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This turns Charles from a cynic to a believer in God. He quits his law enforcement position and works to protect James and the word against his former associates, which includes his father. However, the Dark Man from his past urges him to forget this Christian nonsense and take care of himself especially when his former comrades are searching to assassinate him as a traitor. Charles has to choose between standing up for God or standing up with the Dark Man who haunts his breathing.
This is a fascinating but grim future tale that has Big Brother (and Sister) watching you ready to prance and harass. Charles is a terrific conflicted protagonist pulled schizoid like in two directions. Although The Dark Man inside his head also appears inside other people's brains abating the issue of the hero's sanity, fans will relish this profound look at persecution as religious tolerance is unacceptable.
Posted June 11, 2009
A witty, thought-provoking novel
Review by Jill WilliamsonWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In this near-future psychological thriller, undercover agent Charles Graves is working to bring down the last remnants of Christians in Texas. Charles is capable of the ultimate disguises, like the kind that Tom Cruise uses in the Mission Impossible movies. Charles' assignment: bring down Reverend James Cleveland, the one remaining influential Christian leader in the US.
Just before Charles can arrest Cleveland, he hears God's voice through the Reverend's message. Charles surrenders his heart to God right there and goes awol. Now Charles is working against his former colleagues, including his own father. Charles' dark past continues to haunt him in the form of a wooden puzzle from his childhood. This "dark man" argues with Charles, urging him to look out for Charles and Charles alone. As Charles tries to serve his new God, he must continually stand up to the dark man of his past.
I thought this book was excellent! It started out with a fascinating slow-pace that, for some reason, reminded me of when I read 1984. I think it was the way Schooley created his future world. It was as if anyone in the government could be watching you, waiting to arrest you for the smallest infraction.
When Charles converts to Christianity, the story turns into a chase. Charles' ex-comrades are seeking to bring him down, but Charles needs to rescue some people and avert a major disaster without being caught. I liked how everyone had a voice in their head, I thought it was an interesting way to look at how people struggle with decision making and temptation. This is a deep, thought-provoking novel and well worth a read.