Darkness Rising (East Salem Series #2)

( 19 )

Overview

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 ...

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Darkness Rising (East Salem Series #2)

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Overview

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.

“Wiehl’s latest is a truly creepy story with supernatural undertones that seem eerily real.” -Romantic Times review of Waking Hours

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Wiehl and Nelson's heart-pounding second East Salem thriller (after 2011's Waking Hours), forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and her partner (both professional and romantic), ex-football star Tommy Gunderson, continue to investigate the ritual murder of Julie Leonard, last seen alive at a party attended by students from St. Adrian's Academy, an exclusive boys' school in New York's Westchester County. Another death—of an Alzheimer's patient and pious historian, Abbie Gardener, somehow crushed by sucking asphyxiation one night in her room at the school—complicates their inquiry. Romantic jealousy flares when Dani draws on the expertise of her neuro-chemist ex-boyfriend, while a demonically possessed friend tricks Tommy's model ex-girlfriend into thinking it's time for a visit. Wiehl's world, in which humanity plays a central role in the eternal war between God and the devil, will appeal to readers who like their morality unambiguous and their heroes righteous. Agent: Todd Shuster, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“Wiehl’s latest is a truly creepy story with supernatural undertones that seem eerily real.”
Romantic Times review of Waking Hours
Kirkus Reviews
The demonic evil that first became apparent in St. Adrian's Academy for Boys spreads further in this sequel to Waking Hours (2011). When a resident of Westchester County's High Ridge Manor is 102, it's not exactly surprising to find her dead. But no one can figure out just how archivist and author Abigail Gardener died--not county Medical Examiner Baldev Banerjee, not forensic psychiatrist Danielle Harris, not even Dani's ex-fiance, neurochemist Quinn McKellen. One thing that seems certain is that Abbie's passing follows from the murder of Julie Leonard, even though the death of Julie's presumed killer, sociopathic St. Adrian's student Amos Kasden, might have seemed to close that case for Detective Philip Casey of the East Salem Police Department. Another thing that seems equally certain is that there's more than a whiff of sulfur and brimstone around St. Adrian's. The place so reeks of infernal possession that Dani and her boyfriend, private eye Tommy Gunderson, try to snoop electronically on Dr. Adolf Ghieri, the school's psychologist. Their failure to bug the sinister Ghieri's computer kicks off another round of demonic manifestations, fueled this time by a warning angelic messengers deliver separately to Dani and Tommy: "Someone is going to betray you. Someone you trust." As the intrepid pair, afraid to confide in each other, struggle to discern who the trusted betrayer is, the authors can't resist spilling the beans to the gentle reader, cutting the mystery without significantly increasing the suspense. Since Wiehl (Eyes of Justice, 2012, etc.) and Nelson's pulp Armageddon runs into all the usual middle-of-trilogy problems--an ill-defined beginning, a cliffhanger ending and endless, relatively shapeless conflict in between--readers are advised to start with Waking Hours before entering this door to East Salem.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595549440
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Series: East Salem Series , #2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 199,306
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lis Wiehl

Lis Wiehl is a New York Times best-selling author, Harvard Law School graduate, and former federal prosecutor. A popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel, Wiehl appears weekly onThe O’Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Imus in the Morning, Kelly's Court,and more. Visit her website at www.liswiehlbooks.com Twitter: @LisWiehl Facebook: LisWiehl

Pete Nelson is the co-author of Waking Hours as well as the author of Left to Die which won the 2003 Christopher Award. He was listed in the Esquire Register of Best American Writers and nominated foran Edgar Award.

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Read an Excerpt

DARKNESS RISING

THE EAST SALEM TRILOGY BOOK TWO
By LIS WIEHL PETE NELSON

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Lis Wiehl
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-943-3


Chapter One

Abbie Gardener could remember sitting on the back of a very broad, gray, docile plow horse named Bob. She loved Bob.

"You are a very special girl," her father had told her, but she knew fathers always told their little girls they were special.

"Why?" she said.

"Because Jesus loves you. Do you believe Jesus loves you?"

"Yes, Papa."

"Did you say your prayers last night?"

"Yes, Papa."

"Did you say your prayers this morning?"

"Yes, Papa."

"That's a very good girl. You must say your prayers every morning and every evening before bed, and the Lord will protect you and keep you safe."

And she had done so for many, many years. But lately she couldn't remember if she'd prayed or not. It troubled her greatly. She was often certain that she had, but the next minute she wasn't sure, and two minutes after that she'd forgotten what it was she was trying to remember.

Bob pulled a plow. He was a good horse. I used to feed him green apples.

She suddenly realized where she was. She was not a little girl. She was very old. She was in the same town where she'd lived her whole life. East Salem, New York. But she was not in her home. She was not on her farm. She was in a nursing home.

Why am I here?

It was dark outside. The clock on the bed stand had jumped ahead again. Beside the clock there was a small paper cup with two pills in it and a glass of water. She'd promised the girl in the blue jacket she'd take the pills before she went to bed, but she hadn't.

Because it was coming.

It was coming soon, she knew, because it knew she couldn't fight it any longer.

She went to the window in her nightgown and looked out. She looked at the floodlight in the parking lot and saw that it was raining.

"Of all the gifts in God's domain, I think the most sublime is rain," she sang. She could only remember the hymns she'd learned as a little girl. There were so many more, she knew, but she couldn't remember them. Only fragments. "A mighty fortress is our God ..." She suddenly realized that she needed to lock the windows.

She tried to find the button to call the girl in the blue jacket to tell her she must lock the windows. Where was the button? Was it a blue jacket? Was it green?

She wanted to lock the door, but there wasn't a lock to lock.

The bracelet on her ankle itched. She wanted to take it off. If she didn't remove the bracelet, the thing that was coming would use it to find her.

Bob pulled a plow. He was a good horse.

She went to the window. It was still raining.

"When God first saw the world in pain, I think he wept and called it rain ..."

She thought she saw something moving on the lawn, in the shadows just beyond the light in the parking lot. Had she said her prayers tonight? Perhaps she should say them again, just to be safe.

"Our Father, who art in heaven ..."

How did it go? Why couldn't she remember?

"Our Father, who art in heaven ..."

"Our Father ..."

"It will come for you one day," her father had told her. But it wasn't her father. It was another man. The banker? "You have been chosen. You have been given gifts, and you will fight and be strong, but you will live to be very old and too weak to fight, and then one day ..."

She looked out the window and saw a shape in the rain, or rather a hole in the night where rain was supposed to be. It moved slowly, deliberately, wending its way toward her.

Where was the button to call the girl?

But when she checked, the windows were already locked. Good.

It drew closer.

She looked around the room for anything she might use to defend herself. The chair was too heavy for her to lift. Her umbrella was one of those short, collapsible ones, not the long kind with a sharp point that might have been useful. She would fight it even though she could not win.

She moved behind the bed.

The thing was outside her window now. She saw it rise up, translucent at first, or made from darkness, absorbing light. She could see through it to the parking lot beyond.

Then it came through the window.

She could smell it before she could see it, a stench like rotten eggs, fetid and metallic—she could taste it at the back of her throat, harsh and revolting.

The entity began to take solid form, drawing molecules from the air and the walls and the floor. She saw its heart first, black and horned, sprouting arteries and veins like vines, wrapping around stone-gray bones. As it grew, it gradually stood upright, the vertebrae of its long neck like a string of black beads. "You'll know it by the form it takes," the man had told her. "In the olden times, brave men fought it and called it a dragon, but it's a demon by any name or shape."

Scales great and small covered its skin. Unsightly blisters spread across the underbelly. The room turned cold. A month ago they'd killed the girl. Abbie had tried to warn the girl, but she was too old.

"What a friend we have in Jesus," the old woman sang. "All our sins and griefs to bear ..."

Fully formed now, the thing tossed the bed aside and stepped toward her. The room was dark. It looked like some kind of animal, but nothing she'd ever seen before.

"What a privilege to carry ...," she sang, louder now.

"WHERE IS IT? WHERE'S THE BOOK?" it said, commanding her not with sounds her ears could hear but with words that impaled her thoughts. A month ago they'd killed the girl because they knew her father was the one. The next. The girl, Julie, had tried to find him, and they killed her. Then they burned down the girl's house to kill her mother and sister. Had they killed her father too? If so, the book was the only hope left, the only thing standing in their way. Abbie tried to remember where she'd hidden it, then laughed, because she couldn't remember. What better hiding place was there than one the hider couldn't find?

"Get thee behind me," she answered.

"WHERE'S THE BOOK?"

"Is this the book you mean?" she shouted as she grabbed the Bible from the shelf next to the bed and held it up like a shield.

The beast cried out and slapped the Holy Book from her hand, sending it sailing across the room. It stepped closer, reached out, and pressed a bony finger to her lips. She struggled, lashed out at it, but couldn't back away. She felt all the air inside her being sucked out. As the air left her lungs, the air outside her body pressed in. She was being crushed beneath an invisible weight.

The demon lifted its finger from her lips, and she could breathe again, gasping.

"WHERE IS THE BOOK?"

She looked at him defiantly and spat in his face.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," she said. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside—"

The beast again pressed its finger against her lips, and the air rushed out of her. She was unable to breathe, her vision dimming. Slowly, life left her body as the room and the sky and the world pressed down on her. She heard her bones cracking but she felt no pain, no fear, and she was able to finish the psalm silently, reciting the words in her head as she died: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever ...

Then darkness.

Then light ...

Chapter Two

"Into the lions' den," Dani said.

"Danielle and the lions," Tommy said. "That has a ring to it. Hopefully we'll get the same kind of help he had."

"Hopefully we won't need it," Dani said.

"We're here."

Tommy put the Jaguar in neutral, handed his keys to the parking valet, a boy who didn't look old enough to drive, walked around the front of the car, and opened the door for Dani. Couples waiting to enter had gathered on the patio outside the art museum, men in tuxedos and cashmere overcoats, women accessorized in pearls and gold and diamond chandelier earrings.

The last time Dani Harris, a forensic psychiatrist, and Tommy Gunderson, her "assistant," had visited St. Adrian's Academy for Boys, it had been to question a boy they'd suspected of murdering a girl named Julie Leonard at a place called Bull's Rock Hill. Dani's employer, Ralston-Foley Behavioral Consulting, had been hired to consult with the district attorney's office. Although the DA had officially closed the case, as far as Dani and Tommy were concerned, it wasn't over. And though Dani was technically on leave of absence to deal with any post-traumatic stress disorders she might be experiencing, she knew there was no time to waste.

"Ready when you are," Tommy said. In his pocket he had a device he'd purchased on the Internet, an electronic bug in the form of a coil of wire with what looked like a small black transformer on one end and a USB jack on the other. It could be plugged into a free USB port in the back of any computer, where its presence would go unnoticed, hidden in plain sight in the nest of wires and cords most people had connecting their peripheral devices. Once programmed and in place, it would use the Internet to transfer all the host-computer's hard drive and keystroke data to a second monitoring computer, in this case, Tommy's. They'd come to plant the bug or die trying, though dying wasn't part of the plan, exactly.

"Onward," Dani replied, offering Tommy her elbow.

* * *

The art museum was a brightly lit modern building with straight, clean lines and white surfaces on an ancient campus where the dormitories, halls, administration building, and student commons favored stone or red brick covered with ivy, slate roofs, garrets, balconies, leaded windows, bell towers, sloping dormers, marble cornices, and chimneys capped in wrought iron.

The occasion was an exhibition marking the first time the major works of Dutch renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch had been shown in America. The show included his mysterious triptych Garden of Earthly Delights, on loan from the Prado in Madrid but owned by St. Adrian's alumnus Udo Bauer, a German multibillionaire whose family owned Linz Pharmazeutika. Dani's boss had received an invitation but had a prior commitment and couldn't attend. Dani had said she'd be happy to go in her stead, though "happy" wasn't the right word, because she didn't know how to be happy and scared at the same time.

Inside, Tommy steered Dani to the coatroom off the entry hall.

"Quite the turnout," Dani said. "A Who's Who of East Salem."

The reception was in the atrium. Boys in black pants, white shirts, and black bow ties circulated bearing silver trays of canapés or glasses of wine. Dani accepted a tomato and basil bruschetta as Tommy surveyed the room.

"Keep an eye out for anything that isn't human," he said. "And make allowances for bad plastic surgery."

They passed two women in conversation, both of whom looked like their faces had been shrink-wrapped in cellophane. A student string ensemble in the corner provided chamber music. They played well, Dani thought, but mechanically and without much feeling. There was, she noted, a kind of flattened affect to many of the boys in attendance, a palpable stiffness. They were all polite but unsmiling, slightly robotic. Her evaluation of the St. Adrian's student they'd suspected, Amos Kasden, had been that he'd suffered from a dissociative identity disorder. His mind had become disconnected from his body and nothing seemed real to him, emotions reduced to ideas, and confusing ones at that. Zero empathy. Somewhere in the computer belonging to Dr. Adolf Ghieri, the school psychologist, there had to be a file on Amos. What it would tell them, they could only guess, but that was the computer they were targeting.

"You're rocking the room, by the way," Tommy said. "You're what women who have plastic surgery wish they looked like."

Dani was wearing a sleeveless black Carmen Marc Valvo cocktail dress she'd picked up at a sample sale, with black and tan ribbing at the bodice above a taffeta skirt, accessorized with silver earrings, a silver evening bag, and a pair of Prada knockoff shoes she'd picked up at T.J. Maxx for $25. Tommy wore the black Armani tuxedo he'd purchased the first time he'd accepted the ESPY award as NFL Defensive Player of the Year, tailored to allow extra room for his broad shoulders and less for his tapered waist.

"Thanks," Dani said. "I assume you mean that as a compliment."

He touched her arm and gestured toward a group of men standing near a statue of a figure Tommy guessed was St. Adrian, the school's namesake.

"There's Wharton," he said.

Dr. John Adams Wharton, the headmaster, was shaking hands and greeting guests. He wore a black tux, his position of authority marked only by the boutonniere in the school colors of purple and red pinned to his lapel. His long, thinning white hair was brushed straight back.

"Where's Ghieri?" Dani said. The school psychologist had seemed menacing and defensive when they'd questioned Amos Kasden. Something about him exuded evil. Dani couldn't put her finger on it, but Tommy had told her to trust her feelings, comparing it to the way people instinctively fear snakes.

Then they saw him, balding and stout, standing between two men they didn't recognize. One was in his seventies, with unkempt frizzy white hair, a white moustache, and round wire-rimmed eyeglasses. The other man was tall, fair-haired, and too tan for November; in his forties, with a long neck and a narrow head that reminded Tommy of a ferret. His expression was pinched and annoyed, as if he'd just caught a whiff of something foul.

"I bet the tall one is Bauer," Dani said. "He looks very German. And very rich."

Tommy surveyed the room and noticed that all the exits were guarded by young men in black shirts with walkie-talkies and earpieces.

"I know these paintings are valuable, but am I the only one who thinks there's more security than they need?"

"Should we wait for a better time?" Dani asked.

"No," Tommy said. "As long as they're concentrating on the paintings and not on Ghieri's office, this could work in our favor. Plus, when are we going to get another invitation? Let's chat 'em up and see if they recognize us. I'll take Ghieri. See if you can get a rise out of Wharton."

"By doing what?"

"I don't know. Flirt with him."

"Not in my skill set," Dani said. "My sister says I must have skipped class the day they covered that in Girl School."

"Don't overthink it. Just pretend you care. Laugh at his jokes. If a guy thinks a pretty woman is interested in him, he'll change the litter in her cat's litter box," Tommy said. "Which reminds me—I changed the litter in Arlo's litter box."

"Thank you," Dani said.

"Don't underestimate yourself. Text me if you need me." Tommy patted the phone in his breast pocket.

Dani furrowed her brow. "Be careful," she said.

"You know me."

"That's why I said 'Be careful.'"

She straightened his bow tie and brushed a bit of lint from his shoulder, then moved left, accepting a glass of chardonnay from one of the waiters. Then she set it down, found her phone, and entered SOS in a text message for Tommy's mobile number, ready to send just in case.

She paused to chat with two women from her book club. They were reading War and Peace, having recently finished Moby Dick. "We really need to pick thinner books," one said. Dani nodded and kept moving.

She had no problem engaging strangers at dinner parties, looking judges or attorneys in the eye, teaching classes at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, or speaking at conferences, but idle chitchat was a challenge for her. Dani knew men found submissive women attractive because it made them feel powerful, but how did one fake "submissive"?

Dr. Wharton, the German, the man with the moustache, and a fourth man were standing by a framed Albrecht Dürer sketch of a rhinoceros. The older man, the one with the moustache, seemed to be explaining something to the others as Dani approached.

"Dr. Wharton," she said. "I'm Dani Harris. Irene Scotto asked me to give you her regrets. She had a conference in Washington, so she sent me here to represent the district attorney's office."

"Yes," Wharton said, giving no sign that he remembered meeting Dani or cared whom she might be representing. "I'm pleased you could attend."

Dani remembered Tommy's advice, but there was nothing funny in the words I'm pleased you could attend. She thought of how idiotic it would be to laugh, and she must have made a face, because Wharton looked at her as if she were utterly demented. So much for flirting.

"If you'll excuse me," he said with a polite bow and a puzzled expression, moving on to greet another guest.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from DARKNESS RISING by LIS WIEHL PETE NELSON Copyright © 2012 by Lis Wiehl. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Evil is coming

    I have always liked books and movies that depict the battle between good and evil. Especially books that feature demons, angels and secret societies. Darkness Rising is the second book in the East Salem trilogy and it had me on edge the entire time. Evil is coming and its starting in East Salem Massachusetts. This tale left me breathless and afraid. I cannot wait for the final installment. This tale picks up right after book one ended. Forensic psychiatrist Dana Harris and football legend, turned private eye Tommy Gunderson are investigating the mysterious death of a young girl and the boy who killed her. An angel named Charlie appears as a biker dude to guide them. Officially the case is closed. When a one hundred year old woman is killed in a closed room it quickly becomes clear that something supernatural is in Salem. Dana and Tommy are convinced that the St. Adrian’s Academy might be behind it. The closer they get the more danger they find themselves in. It will take bringing in others to uncover the evil plot and save themselves from demons. I really like the characters Wiehl has created in Tommy and Dana. Tommy is strong in his faith, confident and knows he has been blessed. He has an uncanny ability to see patterns in things, and a determination to see things through. He is solid, honest and someone I'd like to call a friend. Dana is a scientist at heart, and her faith sometimes takes a backseat to her need for answers. While she is confident in her abilities, she often feels like a teen when it comes to relationships and trust. Carl is suffering as the anniversary of daughter died approaches. Ruth, Tommy’s Aunt is delightful and a Librarian so of course I adored her. Other key players are introduced rounding out the members who will unite to fight evil. Of course the evil villains in this tale were mysterious, creepy and gave me goose bumps. Be on the lookout for a windgo. Darkness Rising oozes creepiness and kept me reading late into the evening. It is a tale of good versus evil and Wiehl gives us an awesome back history of this battle with secret societies that had me drooling. While the tale is laced in faith, and the message clear you cannot help but be caught up in the plot. I have always loved tales of possession, the television show Supernatural, the Omen and the Exorcist. Give me an evil society working for Satan, an unknowing oblivious world and a group destine to save them and I am completely enthralled. This had so many dangerous action scenes, dark twists and legends; I couldn't stop turning the pages. The authors weaved a tale that was suspenseful. They wove history, Indian and religious history into the tale blurring the lines of reality. I won’t tell you what, but at the end of the tale I was afraid of something and every time I do it..I think of this story and shiver..eeep! I cannot wait for the final book.I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2012

    Awesome Read.....

    I had read the first book Waking Hours and really liked it. Lis Wiehl has a knack for getting the little hairs to stand up on the back of your neck so I thought...until....I read Darkness Rising. WOW! The continuing story line takes where you don't expect. Plus she does an excellent job at telling about God's love and grace, and brings you into the spiritual warfare that is going on around us. I can't wait for the 3rd book to come out!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Boring, not what I expected. Didn't finish reading it because i

    Boring, not what I expected. Didn't finish reading it because it was to hard to follow.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Wonderful!

    Lis Wiehl is a new favorite of mine after reading Waking Hours, and now, after reading Darkness Rising, I am really hooked! This read had it all, amazing realistic people, riveting story, spirit, love, good, evil, romance, sacrifice........I am thrilled to add these books and this author to my library!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2013

    Darkness Rising sees forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and priva

    Darkness Rising sees forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and private investigator Tommy Gunderson try to uncover the truth behind what is going on in St. Adrian’s Academy. It is a continuation of the first book in the series, The Waking Hours. Their investigation reveals that it is not anything natural that is at work but the supernatural. And it has been going on for generations and they don’t know who they can trust. They end up entering the showdown between good and evil.



    The relationship developing between the two characters has the right hint of love but doesn’t go overboard. It should appeal to those that enjoy romance in their novels and those that are just interested in the investigation and revelation of the events.

    Darkness rising is a wonderful written book that will bring you into the narrative of what is occurring in East Salem. There are more mysteries and suspense throughout the book that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The writing is fast paced and doesn’t drag on at all. It was impossible to put the book down as I read it. I love great dialogue that moves the story forward and this has it.

    Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson have written a wonderful book and I’m looking forward to what else is in store for us

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 21, 2012

    Not as scary as Peretti Dani Harris is a forensic psychiatrist w

    Not as scary as Peretti
    Dani Harris is a forensic psychiatrist who is supposed to be on a break to deal with any stress brought on by working on a murder case. Even though the case of declared closed, Dani can’t let it go and continued following clues.

    Tommy Gunderson is a former football player, a wannabe detective, and school friend of Dani’s. Together they are finding clues to something much bigger than one boy killing one girl.

    Having read Peretti in high school, Wiehl’s writing is not as dark or frightening—thankfully. I enjoyed it and would like to read the rest of the trilogy

    I received this book free from the publisher in order to give my honest review.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I recently recieved an ARC copy of Darkness Rising the second bo

    I recently recieved an ARC copy of Darkness Rising the second book in the East Salem Trilogy by author Lis Wiehl. Of course, before reading the second book I headed to my local library to check out the first book of the trilogy, Waking Hours. I enjoyed the first book so much that I was glad that I had the second book waiting to be read immediately. In this book we again find the main characters of Dani Harris and Tommy Gunderson, But we also get more of some of the other characters that I grew to love. In fact, several of the best ones play bigger roles in this book, such as Tommy's aunt, his spiritual advisor Carl, and a few of the other characters from the first book. As the book begins, we become aware that, although Tommy and Dani solved the murder in the first book, their job is not over. In fact, in solving the murder they uncovered a darker plot that needs their attention. This plot is the center piece of the second book. As the story unfolds, not only are Tommy and Dani faced with difficult decisions, but several of their friends and acquaintances are being drawn into the story more fully.

    In this second book of the trilogy, Lis Wiehl has another definite hit on her hands. I was excited to see that this book continued with the combination of the elements of a first rate mystery/thriller and the elements of the supernatural that where so successufully woven together in Waking Hours. In addition, I was fascinated with the historical elements that were included in this one as I love history in any form. To have an author combine local history so successfully with a riveting thriller story line was part of what made this book a big hit for me. Another of the enjoyable parts of the story was the ability to weave supernatural elements into the story without resorting to the "they live among us" storyline that is so common these days. Not that I don't like that story line (I am a big fan), but it is refreshing and delightful to see an author approach the supernatural from a different direction. In fact, I would class this book as more of a mystery/thriller with a definitely "evil" twist than a supernatural mystery/thriller. However you class it, though, it works!

    As for the character development in this installment of the trilogy. Dani and Tommy continue to grow as characters, but, thankfully, in the end Dani is still Dani and Tommy is still Tommy. I was excited, though, to see that some of my other favorite characters from the first book (Carl and Tommy's aunt, to mention two of them) got to play bigger roles as the story continued. In addition, I was able to find some new favorites among the characters that were introduced in this book. I was especially interested in Quinn. The inclusion of his character gave the author a chance to delve more fully into the workings of the human brain from the scientific viewpoint, which she did without talking over the reader.

    Once agian, the ending of this book left me both satisfied with where I was in the story, and wanting more. I am excitedly waiting for the third book. Unfortunately, it has a publishing date of September 2013, as I would love to read it now. After reading the first two books in the East Salem trilogy, I can proudly say that I am a definte fan of Lis Wiehl and look forward to reading some of her other mystery/thrillers while waiting for the third book in this series. I give both books in this series 5 out of 5 stars and have already recommmended them to several of the people in my reading circles. In fact, a few have already read them and loved them as much as I did

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  • Posted November 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson in their new book, ¿Darkness Rising¿

    Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson in their new book, “Darkness Rising” Book Two in the East Salem series published by Thomas Nelson introduces us to the town of East Salem.

    From the back cover: 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 those forces are intent 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.

    They just solved one mystery, now they have found there is an even bigger mystery. Just when they thought they could breathe Forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and private investigator Tommy Gunderson find a new threat that is even more dangerous than what they just solved. For this one they need help and increase the team by two, both of their ex-fiancés. However, as the fore-some uncover the necessary evidence they need they also draw the attention of dark, unwanted forces against them. “Darkness Rising” is a thriller, which simply means that everyone is in grave danger from, practically, the beginning. The authors give us a really complex mystery and sections of story that will chill you. ”Darkness Rising” is full of twists and turns, with a few red herrings thrown in just to cause confusion. Dani and Tommy are warm and likable and we get engaged in their lives. This is an exciting book, extremely well paced and suspenseful. I am enjoying this series and look forward to the conclusion.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    Disappointing

    Was very disappointed in this book. Have read some of her others and loved them. Sorry she felt she had to switch like everyone else to the supernatural.

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  • Posted November 11, 2012

    After thoroughly enjoying the first book, Waking Hours, in thi



    After thoroughly enjoying the first book, Waking Hours, in this trilogy, I looked forward to continuing the story of Dani, Tommy, and the evil that is lurking in East Salem.


    For a trilogy, Lis Wiehl had trouble writing a smooth transition from Waking Hours to Darkness Rising. The story of Dani and Tommy continues, but as details from book 1 are incorporated in, the reader gets lost. The transition "flashbacks" continue into the middle of the book which seems a bit much. If you plan on reading this book, please read book 1 FIRST!


    As for the story, I once again enjoyed being immersed in the world of good versus evil. Lis draws you into the eternal battle against evil. Darkness Rising was interesting and engaging. The new characters bring a new dimension to the ongoing saga and incorporates God's ongoing relationship with man.


    Due to the choppy and confusing transition from book 1,

    I am rating this a 3.5 out of 5.


    Again, the story of a supernatural battle waging unseen in our world is still amazing!



    To read the first chapter, click HERE, scroll down to "Meet the Author."

    Then, click on READ MORE and Chapter 1 will open up.


    I received a complimentary e-copy of Darkenss Rising from Thomas Nelson Publishers and the Booksneeze Blogging program for my honest review.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    The war between good and evil takes shape in the form of demoni


    The war between good and evil takes shape in the form of demonic and angelic beings as they battle the dark secrets of East Salem, especially, those rooted in St Adrian’s Academy.

    In Darkness Rising, the second of the trilogy, forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris and her assistant, Tommy Gunderson continue their deepening relationship as they are pulled into what Tommy believes is God’s call to do something about Satan’s work in East Salem.

    Like split-screen viewing, the activities of demons are seen as they interact with world of humans, an idea many of us believe in but pay little mind to. Nelson and Wiehl pull back the cover and draw us into that reality.

    Lovers, past and prospective, murder, and betrayal (although the betrayer is revealed a hundred pages into the story, his involvement adds to the suspense) are laced together with supernatural interventions to make this an intriguing tale.

    The one difficulty I had with the story was the voluminous scientific/historical/medical information dumps. Although they lent credibility to the authors, I found slowing for so many scientific terms, explanations, and backstory disconcerting, and tended to speed read over them at times.

    Nonetheless, fans, especially Christian ones, of the supernatural will not be disappointed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Like a great read? Check this out!

    Lis has another amazing book! If you enjoyed her first books, you will love this one as well. Get to know this fairly new author. She has been worth the wait! I hope she keeps on writing. Can't wait for her next book.

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