By Ted Dekker
In Stores Now
If there’s one thing Ted Dekker knows, it’s evil. Not just over-the-top, stereotypical, cartoonish, made-for-movies evil like a lot of writers create. Dekker knows how to get inside the minds of real people and explore that dark place that most of us are afraid to admit even exists. Almost makes you wonder what is going on in Dekker’s brain. Should we be afraid of him? Just kidding, Mr. Dekker. But seriously, he certainly has a gift for mining the depths of despair and depravity that lurk deep in the human soul. In “The Priest’s Graveyard,” Dekker again shows us how seemingly normal people can behave in unimaginable ways when put in the wrong situation.
This time around, the two “normal” people are Renee Gilmore and Danny Hansen. Renee is a recovering heroin addict from a broken home rescued by a knight in shining armor. After nursing her back to health, Renee and her knight fall in love. When he fails to return home from work one day, Renee knows something awful has happened and she becomes intent on gaining vengeance on the man responsible for her husband’s death. Danny is a Bosnian immigrant who saw the brutal murder of his mother and sister during the country’s tragic civil war. Years later, Danny emigrated to America hoping to escape the demons of his past. Now a priest, Danny doles out vengeance on evil men who have so far escaped justice at the hands of our system of justice.
When their paths cross, Danny is pulled into Renee’s quest for justice. At first, Danny attempts to dissuade Renee from continuing on this path, attempting to keep her from becoming like him. Eventually, Danny begins training Renee in his ways of vigilante justice and she proves to be a more than able student. Together, the pair travel down a dangerous, twisting path that leads them both to the edge, and takes them across lines they never thought they’d cross.
Dekker takes the reader on a journey with Renee and Danny, a journey where the characters and the reader alike come to see that love is the answer – not laws or rules or vengeance. Again, as he has become expert at doing, Dekker weaves a brilliant allegory about the true Christian life, a life built on accepting the sacrificial love of Jesus, not following a system of rules and regulations. But he does it in such a way that, for a casual reader, they can simply enjoy the story as a heart-stopping, riveting thriller.
“The Priest’s Graveyard” is an engaging thriller that will keep you turning the pages late into the night. It’s the perfect story for any Dekker fan and any fans of high-adrenaline thrillers.
On a scale of 1 to 5, I give “The Priest’s Graveyard” a 4.5.