BOOK REVIEW | Up Pops the Devil

Up Pops the Devil
by Angela Benson

Even though former drug dealer, Wilfred "Preacher" Winters, led an extravagant lifestyle, prison was the last place he expected to be.  His acceptance of Jesus in his life turned out to be no ordinary jail conversion. Now fresh out of prison after a two-year sentence,  more than anything Preacher wants to live for God and take care of his family through honest means.

The problem. The women in his life are not happy with the changes in Preacher even though they are for the good. 

Preacher wants to fulfill a broken promise and marry the mother of his children, Tanya. Tanya, a sexy gold digger, believes in having a man who can buy her the finer things in life and Preacher has lost his appeal  being a broke ex-convict.

While Preacher served his sentence, his younger sister, Loretta, held the fort down.  She’s grown the family drug business in  leaps and bounds, even dealing with dangerous people that even Preacher wouldn’t have dealt with in the past.  Loretta wants her brother back in the game and sides with Tanya, who she despises, to pry Preacher away from his new found “religion”.

Oblivious to the spiritual warfare around him, Preacher becomes more involved with his new church home and the job program sponsored by his friend, Barnard.  There is another slight problem that eats away at Preacher. He’s not comfortable withholding information from his staunchness supporter. Preacher had a past relationship with Barnard’s wife, Serena, that ended badly. He wants to tell Barnard, but Serena simply wants Preacher to disappear from her life.

Then there’s Natalie, Barnard’s sister.  She’s probably the one woman in Preacher’s corner. He is confiding more and more with this beautiful, God-fearing woman. When he finds out a secret that could both destroy Natalie and his sister, Loretta, Preacher is backed into a corner of deceit that soon spirals out of control.

I’ve been waiting a long time for this book. It’s been four years since Angela’s last release, The Amen Sisters.  Angela has a keen imagination and isn’t afraid to write a hard-hitting novel with very relatable characters and situations.  The characters in Up Pops the Devil are similar to people you may know in real life. The reader may not know any former drug dealers, but you can feel Preacher’s pain especially as a new Christian trying to do right with evil lurking around the corner.

There were so many times when I sat on “pins and needles” flipping the pages to find out the results of the Preacher’s choices.  Angela took a unique route with her storyline unlike her previous books. She really emphasized the spiritual warfare that seems hidden behind a curtain at times, but is very real. This novel was well worth the wait and by far one of Angela’s best Christian fiction novels.

I like to hang out on Angela’s blog, so I’ve already expressed my thoughts about a sequel to Up Pops the Devil. After reading the ending, seemed like there’s more to the story. We will see what Angela comes up with for her next novel.

Reviewed by Tyora Moody