Bernard L. Dillard
BerNerd Publishing (2019)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (1/19)
“Two ‘Til Midnight” by Bernard L. Dillard is a complex contemporary novel that focuses mainly on the lives of a history professor named Dr. Garnet Gibbs and the people around her. This includes her daughter, grandson and his father, friends and colleagues. Gibbs is the most stable of them all. Her faith is strong, and she lives according to her beliefs. Underlying everything is an unseen battle between good and evil that is taking place around their lives. The angels hear the prayers of the supplicants and act to help answer them. Gibbs’ prayers tend to be answered. The demons act as tricksters and try to direct those that are weak and vulnerable down the wrong path. Unfortunately, the demons have a great deal of success with their attempts. But of course, this makes for a much more interesting story!
Dillard skillfully weaves each character’s part into the plot. I enjoyed being able to step into each person’s life so that I could gain a better understanding of their motivations and temptations. To some degree, all the characters have flaws, with some being much more flawed than others. The majority are likeable, and I found their stories intriguing and easy to follow. The unlikeable characters have large roles to play as the drama unfolds, so their presence is necessary and greatly adds to the underlying war between good and evil. The author has done an exceptional job creating a novel that will be enjoyed by adult readers. I specify adult because he covers topics with adult themes and there is an incredibly well-written erotic scene in the story as well! He also includes a discussion guide which would help lead to some interesting discourse by reading groups.
“Two ‘Til Midnight” by Bernard L. Dillard takes place in our modern times and covers contemporary topics with issues such as racism, modern religion, politics in the United States and the middle east, gender identity, and academia. The events that take place in the main plot are very realistic and attention grabbing. The underlying subplot with the angels, demons and an occasional word by the Holy Spirit, might seem unbelievable, but with what I see happening in the news today, it is unsettling that I could see this other reality actually existing and influencing my reality. I found that this aspect made the story even more compelling and believable. This is highly recommended reading.