Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker Review

The last thing Renee Gilmore remembers is being rescued by a pair of unknown arms after her drug-dealer boyfriend attempts to murder her. She wakes up in a beautiful glass house surrounded by doctors and the man that saved her life, Lamont Myers. Lamont offers her protection, if she abides by his rules. Among these; she must not leave the house, making her the bird in his gilded cage.

Danny Hansen is a Bosnian immigrant who came to America to escape the bloodshed of his country and the memories of his own involvement. Danny is a priest who lives by a strict moral code, one which values the loving of others above all else. It is those that pretend to abide by religious and legal law but intentionally harm others that insence Danny. And he believes it is duty to show them the error of their ways. Those few that admit and renounce their behavior are forgiven and set free, but never without a severe reminder of their wrongdoings. Those that refuse to admit to their behavior are killed.

A year after Renee is rescued by Lamont he is murdered and she vows to seek revenge. At the same time, Danny has continued to carve a swath of judgement and punishment.

In their individual pursuits, Danny and Renee's paths become entangled and before long it is clear that neither of them may make it out of this hunt alive.

My take:  Once again, Dekker has written a completely riveting thriller.  This time, the protagonist is a vigilante priest who begins his righting of wrongs in Bosnia after the brutal murders of his mother and sister.  The reader understands his need for making the world a better place by taking out the murderers in the name of God.  Except that it makes him a little more like the brutal soldiers in Bosnia who did what they did in the name of God, as well.  That's just an observation by the reader.

Next we find Danny (his new, American name) in the states as a priest.  Secretly, he is still playing vigilante.  This is where he and Renee cross paths as they are both stalking the same evil man. 

This is a disturbing read, as most of Ted Dekker's books are.  This is not to say that I didn't enjoy it immensely because I did.  The topics are intriguing but difficult.  If vengeance is used to play God, is it right or is it simply revenge?  Does a person have the right to play God?  These are very, very bad characters Danny has been killing but they are also husbands and fathers.  Most disturbing is the discovery of what Renee's year with Lamont entailed.  That is a spoiler.  I am sorry for not warning you.

Mostly psychological thriller but without the swearing and explicit bloody details, although there is some. 

4/5 Stars

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