Monday, April 11, 2011

"The Priest's Graveyard" Review

“The Priest’s Graveyard” is the latest from suspense author Ted Dekker. It was sent to me as a review copy by Hachette Book Group/Center Street Publishers.

This novel, which is filled with issues of morality, focuses on two main characters, Danny and Renee, who are brought together through unusual circumstances.

Danny is a priest with a troubled past and an even more troubling present. Having lost his mother and sisters in the wars in Bosnia, he has decided to be God’s “Avenging Angel” here on earth. Danny hunts people who are evil in God’s eyes (according to his reasoning) and gives them the choice to fix their ways or die, hence the title.

Renee is a former drug addict who was rescued by a guy named Lamont. After caring for her and bringing her back literally from the brink of death, Lamont informs her that he has discovered that his boss is a bad man and that he is concerned for his life. Soon, Lamont goes missing, and Renee knows that the boss is responsible.

Fortunately for Renee, the same man is on Danny's list.

After a providential meeting, the two go through a journey of vengeance on the man who has caused so much pain.  During the journey, the two grow closer together and deal with questions of morality and guilt.

Although this book was well written and fast-paced, I often found it predictable. I read on Amazon that this book has a huge surprise twist in it, and it does, but I figured it out three quarters of the way through. (Now, that might just be my cynical nature coming through…I never trust anyone or anything in a book or a movie!)

I almost never think this about a book, but I thought this one would probably make a better movie.  I felt that the development of the characters could have been much deeper.  Perhaps seeing it on screen would have made it clearer.

I did really like the questions of morality that are brought up in this book.  Danny, the priest, struggles with his decisions of vengeance and judgment.  Is everything absolute?  Are there any gray areas of morality?  Is lying always wrong or, is it okay to lie if it saves someone else?  Is it okay to murder someone if it saves the lives of all of his future victims?  These were fascinating questions that really made the characters interesting.

I would also like to offer a word of caution about this book – It would be at least a PG-13 rating.  The descriptions of drug use and its affects were somewhat graphic.  In addition, there are several scenes of violence against Danny’s victims. I would not let this stop you from reading this book, but know that it is gritty and true-to-life.

Although this was a good book and Ted Dekker had a good idea for a story, I felt he lacked the follow through to make it great. If you enjoy Ted Dekker, you will probably like this one.

I will give “The Priest’s Graveyard”…  3 BookWorms.

To see my review on The Christian Manifesto site, please click here.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book free from the publisher -- Hachette Book Group/Center Street Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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