John Aubrey Anderson File:
of Abiding Darkness
Reviewed by Kevin Lucia
And If I Die by
John Aubrey Anderson
"...exudes an aura of warmth, community, and Southern hospitality."
In the third installment of The Black or White Chronicles, John Aubrey Anderson continues his touching tale of faith’s enduring power and God’s unfailing protection in And If I Die. Though it backs off somewhat from the more energetic pace of Wedgewood Grey, Anderson continues to write thoughtfully and well, spicing a solid story with charming Southern wit, carving out a place in Christian fiction for the Southern Literary tradition.
The war started in 1945 at Cat Lake by a direct, demonic attack upon a child marked for special things still continues, stretching across time, space, and land. The war that began with Missy Parker has now spread out to touch others; some ruined by the dark caress of evil, others rescued and redeemed by invisible, holy hands. Supernatural confrontations mingle with the affairs of everyday life, and if only one thing is certain, it’s this: the folks of Cat Lake know that even as the war is certain to rage on, their loving God in heaven will always care after those faithful to him.
Mose Washington and the boy under his charge, Bill, are still on the run from the law, and though they’re well hidden, the wrath of the demon-possessed widow of Senator Bainbridge refuses to be denied vengeance. The most ruthless of all assassins is put on the pair’s tale, as evil once again moves around willing pawns to accomplish its aims. Meanwhile, as Bill’s growing cynicism of the world around him and God’s will makes him an open target, Missy, her husband Pat, and Mose once again sense the hand of God moving through danger to make His Will be done.
In most parts, And If I Die is a satisfactory continuation of the series. These characters are carefully crafted, and there’s a real sense of history and depth in them, especially with Moses’ reflections of his past as a boy. The novel exudes an aura of warmth, community, and Southern hospitality; so much so that the icy mint juleps are almost on the tip of the tongue.
At times, this third tome in the series lags a little, reflecting Abiding Darkness more than Wedgwood Grey in its pace. However, things pick up near the end, and in this story, Anderson makes real the musing question in …and if I die before I wake…
Lucia Kevin Lucia writes for The Press & Sun
Bulletin and The
Journal. His short fiction has appeared in Coach’s
Midnight Diner, The Relief Journal, All Hallows, Darkened
Horizons Vol. 3 & 4,
NexGen Pulp Magazine Issues 1 & 4, From the Shadows, Morpheus
Bohemian-Alien, Shroud Publishing’s horror anthology, Abominations,
Tyndale House’s inspirational anthology Life Savors. He’s
writing a novella for Shroud Publishing’s upcoming novella series, The
Hiram Grange Chronicles. He resides in Castle Creek, New York, with his
wife Abby, daughter Madison and son Zackary. He teaches high school English at
Catholic Central High School
in Binghamton, New York; and is finishing his Masters of Arts in Creative Writing
at Binghamton University. Visit him at his website and