1-26 - Book Review: The PRIEST'S GRAVEYARDTed Dekker
CenterStreet
2011

Two abandoned souls are on the hunt for one powerful man. Soon, their paths will cross and lead to one twisted fate bound by a perilous love. Danny Hansen came to America with hopes of escaping haunted memories of a tragic war that took his mother’s life. Now he’s a priest, incest by the powerful among us who manipulate the law for their own gain, uncaring of the shattered lives they leave behind. It is his duty to show them the error of their ways, even if he must put them in the grave. Renee Gilmore is the frail and helpless victim of one such powerful man. Having escaped his clutches, she now lives only to satisfy justice by destroying him, regardless of whom she must become in that pursuit. But when Danny and Renee’s paths become inexorably entangled, things go very, very badly and neither of them may make it out of this hunt alive.

Ted Dekker is another in a woefully short list of fiction writers that is something of an anomaly in the Christian fiction market. Matter of fact, when it comes to so-called “Christian fiction”, there’s really only two authors I read: Frank Peretti and the author if this novel I’m reviewing, Ted Dekker. Like Peretti, Dekker’s fiction doesn’t feel the need to patronize, actually crafting a good story, rather than utilizing this as a means to an end.

That said, let’s talk about The Priest’s Graveyard, shall we? This is a story about a priest who, because of a rather traumatic childhood, to call him “unorthodox” in his methods would be grossly understating things. He’s a vigilante, really; he’s on the trail of someone who is in need of judgment when he happens upon one of his prisoners: a young lady who is suffering from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome. What follows is a sticky web of a psychological thriller, with enough twists and turns to make your head swim.

The Priest’s Graveyard was a very good story. With this, we not only got a taunt, spine-tingling psychological thriller with a very engaging mystery that manages to suck you into everything completely, but it also explores the nature of mental illnesses and moral quandaries of black-and-white in a very gray world without taking away from the momentum of the story. The solutions aren’t cut and dried, as the concept of the easy way out of the story isn’t even considered. This is not a book that you can really read in bits and pieces in between your busy life; judging by the majority of write-ups on GoodReads, I’m not the only one who began reading this, then suddenly found myself annoyed that I had to put it down because “real life” was encroaching, and I had to labor in exchange for money for goods and services. Stupid reality. Anyway, great book, good to get lost in some overcast weekend with nothing else to do.

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