Finished: Nov. 7, 2010
First Published: 2008 (Jul. 2010 reprint)
Publisher: Center Street
Genre: thriller, serial killer, horror, christian fiction
A hot, sticky evening in Los Angeles.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Hachette Book Group.
Reason for Reading: I'm reading all of Ted Dekker's books.
This book can be read two ways, depending on whether you are a believer or not. For believer's this is a thriller, typical serial killer plot, that involves spiritual warfare, evil vs. good and Catholic Christians. For the non-Christian reader, this is read as a horror story involving the supernatural/paranormal. Either way, this is one fast-paced, scary, read and now one of my favourite Dekker books up there beside "The Bride Collector".
The story of a serial killer who has murdered sixteen women when we meet him. He has been dubbed "Eve" as he leaves the word scrawled on a wall or object wherever his victims are found. The authorities think he kills his victims by injecting them with a deadly strain of meningitis virus which the doctors think they have an antidote, but will only know for sure if a victim were found alive. Chasing him for the past five years is FBI Special Agent Daniel Clark, who normally becomes obsessed with his cases but this time Eve has become such an obsession that his wife has divorced him. One night, as they race to track down the killer's latest victim before she dies, Daniel is shot point blank by Eve and is clinically dead for 20 mins. before resuscitation. This means they now have an eyewitness on what Eve looks like, Daniel himself, but everything from the moment before he is shot until he wakes up in the hospital is erased from his memory. Daniel becomes obsessed with regaining his memory and the lengths he's willing to go when the next victim hits closer to home take Daniel to a place where the lines between life and death are almost lost.
A riveting story that kept me up late at night as I had to read just one more chapter. Daniel is a fascinating character, stubborn and strong-willed to a point that made me not particularly like him as a person but still able to enjoy his character. A unique device Dekker has used this time, which I found utterly thrilling, was scattered throughout the book a nine-part magazine article on the killer's life from childhood up to before he becomes the Eve killer, saving that for the ninth installment. It all starts off when he and his sister are kidnapped in the middle of the night from their beds when they are 4 and 3 respectfully. As I read the main story I eagerly anticipated the next installment of the magazine article! Fascinating, disturbing, compelling and riveting. A very scary story of the darkest, deepest evil vs the love of Christ.
As a Catholic I only had one problem with a line that (I can't find it now so will paraphrase fairly accurately) said the crucifix and holy water have no power in and of themselves, and are merely symbolic ... I don't agree with this. Of course a crucifix has no power but it is not symbolic. It is pretty easy for anyone to see that a crucifix represents (by actually showing us) Christ's death on the cross for our sins. A plain cross, however, is certainly symbolic, while a crucifix shows. Holy water does not have powers as in magical powers, but it too is neither merely symbolic. Rather than writing a dissertation on holy water. The first two paragraphs on this page describe the purification and sanctification powers of holy water should you care for a quick, light read .