Lion Among the Lambs, book two of Cecilia Pulliam’s Christian Supernatural series called Lions and Lambs, is a good one. Through supernatural means, Susannah Daniels, the main character, is able to discover when bad things are going to happen to women and children. She and her husband Val are able to save many of them.
But one cult in particular, headed by a scary dude named Ba’al, is the source of many of Susannah’s terrifying visions. Everyone is afraid of him—Abigail, his Tarot card reader, Brian, the man running from him. Ba’al goes “through followers like a sickle through wheat, sometimes without any apparent reason.” Watching Brian run from the cult, observing his extreme paranoia, helps us as the reader understand how bad the bad guy is.
That’s where Cecilia excelled in her writing. Her bad guys are terrifying, yet she never shows them in action. She illustrates how horrible they are by how others react to them.
Brian and Abigail are also scary critters. Abigail has plans for Brian that aren’t in his best interest. But Brian is a psychotic killer, and while he’s afraid of Ba’al, he figures he has Abigail in the palm of his hand. So when he realizes Abigail is conspiring against him, he responds with a “bring it on” attitude. Yes, come ahead, Ms. Abigail. We’ll see who will play the cat and who will play the mouse.
This is the mark of excellent writing. We readers don’t have to have things spelled out for us to get the idea: all the bad guys have done and plan to do terrifying things, but Cecilia doesn’t have to show them for us to feel that sense of fear.
Good job, Ceci!