Two abandoned souls are on the hunt for one powerful man. Soon, their paths will cross and lead to one twisted fate.
Danny Hansen is a Bosnian immigrant who came to America with hopes of escaping haunted memories of a tragic war that took his mother’s life. Now he’s a priest who lives by a law of love and compassion. It is powerful men and hypocrites who abide by legal law but eschew the law of love that most incense Danny. As an avenging angel, he believes it is his duty to show them the error of their ways, at any cost.
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.
Judge not, or you too will be judged.
My Thoughts: This was my very first Ted Dekker novel. No, seriously. I know, I know, I’m the Midnight Book Girl, how is it that I haven’t read a Dekker novel before? I’ve come close, I can’t tell you all the times I was thisclose to buying The Bride Collector. Because I have this thing about serial killers, as my book club buddies know. Not that I like them, well, except literary ones like Hannibal Lector, Dexter Morgan and John Wayne Cleaver…
So I was excited when My Friend Amy announced this book tour for The Priest’s Graveyard. And then I got picked to participate. And you want to know the truly awesome thing about being a part of this tour? When the book arrived it was addressed to Freelance Book Reviewer. This is now my new job title, and it is how I prefer to be addressed. Kate, Freelance Book Reviewer, at your service. Thank you to the person at Hachette in charge of making and printing out address labels, now I will never have to face true unemployment!
Okay, on to the story.
At the heart of the book is vengeance. Both Danny and Renee are searching to get even for the death’s of those they love. I connected instantly to Danny because I love revenge books and movies and Danny is the perfect good guy forced to kill bad guys kind of hero. I had a much harder time with Renee, although I felt that the parts of the book about her were often fascinating. I thought Dekker did a fantastic job of getting into the mind of Renee- she’s been through a lot and she’s got some mental issues because of this. Sometimes she does crazy things, but at least she had an excuse for doing them. At times it was like watching a horror movie and yelling at the babysitter to not check the attic for that strange thumping sound (if it sounds like the dull thud of an axe entering the head of your boyfriend who sneaked over to see you at work and then strangely disappeared, than chances are that’s what it is, and you need to get the heck out of the house- live another day, or for another sequel).
So basically this book was my type of book. Revenge? Check. Some interesting deaths? Check. Weird Moral Code Used By Good Guy Killer? Check. But here’s another thing I loved about the book- it really makes you think. While I appreciate violence in movies and books, I abhor the real thing. I seriously can’t even watch boxing. And while it may seem like it’d be easy to kill people that are truly evil, people that hurt children or murder prostitutes, in real life even taking the life of a bad person would be difficult for a good person to do. Could I kill someone trying to kill me? Maybe, in self-defense, but I gaurantee you it would ruin my life and haunt me forever. It’s like that line from Woman in White, that good men can’t be good all the time, just as bad men can’t be bad all the time (totally misquoting that, but you get the drift). I liked the doubt Danny had.
And while I thought I knew how this was going to end, Danny and Renee surprised me. And there was one twist that I never saw coming because Dekker is all cool and Got You! about it. And you’re all like *headsmack*, since it totally makes sense. I like those moments in books. It makes for a sore forehead, but an interesting read.
So the verdict? I really liked this book. The ending, while complete, left me wanting more. I like when you care enough about characters to want to know their final, final ending (you know, how long they live, how many kids they have, how many grandchildren, how they pass away peacefully at the age of 104, and how all their family ends up living long, happy lives). While I had a hard time connecting with Renee, it was hard not to care about her future. It wasn’t a love affair, but I want to read more Dekker. Next time The Bride Collector and I meet, it’s coming home with me.
The Priest’s Graveyard gets a Midnight Book Rating of 11pm. It’s a fast paced read, and it brings up really great moral questions (which I can see debated in book clubs). And there is some crazy shiz that happens, so if you like that kind of thing, as I do, then this book’s for you! And yes, I did get a copy of this book free, and while I was a bit starry eyed over being addressed as Freelance Book Reviewer it did not taint my review of this book. 🙂