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The Priests Graveyard, by Ted Dekker, Center Street Publishers, 2011, Hardcover, 360 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-1599953342, $24.99
“Whatever you’ve done, I’m sure God can forgive you,” Father Andro said to the young American across from him.
“Before I tell you the whole story…I have to know that you can appreciate Danny’s past,” Renee said.
Renee Gilmore, recovering addict, wife, widow and now judge pulled the old brown journal with the handwritten confession from her bag and handed it to the bespectacled Bosnian priest. Then said, “If a priest in Bosnia can’t forgive him (Danny), nobody can,”
And so begins a story of vengeance begun in Bosnia years ago when pillage, rape and murder were commonplace. “Orthodox Christians were killing Catholic Christians,” young Danny Hansen’s mother and siblings among them. Danny’s story is one of hard judgment, vengeance and justice until he meets Renee and loses his heart to her.
Renee’s story is one of abandonment, lost innocence and addiction that leads the young girl into a psychotic break when her drug-dealer boyfriend shoots her full of heroin and leaves her for dead in a dirty back alley. Only to be rescued by protective, wealthy, obsessive-compulsive Lamont Myers.
When their paths merge, Danny, a Bosnian immigrant who grew up amidst war’s atrocities and Renee, frail recovering addict, suffering and alone, two broken souls learn that love is the most powerful, yet terrifying emotion of all.
Dekker departs from the supernatural in The Priests Graveyard and instead writes on complex themes of justice, vengeance, judgment and redemption wrapped in murder. He engages readers with underlying questions of morality, the purpose of God’s Law and the power of His Grace.
Unforgettable scenes leap from the pages at a blistering pace with memorable and captivating characterizations and unique settings. The narrative is an unforgettable, edge-of-your-seat read that wrestles with the meaning of redemption in a story that leads to a shocking and unexpected conclusion. As good as the book is I do warn young readers because of the books dark dual nature and at times graphic content.
That said, Dekker’s new release is unpredictable, heartwarming and heartbreaking. I laughed and I cried and kept turning the pages for the next twist, the next unveiling of character strengths and weaknesses common to us all. This is a book that’s difficult to leave behind. The sequel is set for April 2012 release.
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