Book Review: "The Priest's Graveyard" by Ted Dekker

Summary from 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.

Warning: Do not read this book while you are eating lunch. I should have known better than to read a Ted Dekker book while being near any sort of food but I was so engrossed in the story that I forgot. Needless to say after a certain scene in the book involving a certain part of the mouth, I had no desire for my lunch anymore.

Will you get uncomfortable while reading this book? It's quite possible. There are characters and situations that show the worse in people. It's quite disgusting actually how characters are treated as little more than sex slaves. There's a lot of violence and murders. Though to be honest, the scenes dealing with Renee's captivity were more gruesome to me and made me feel more squeamish than all the blood and guts.

Both Danny and Renee have been through horrible things in their lives. Both of them have had to experience and see things that no one should have to ever deal with in a lifetime. I found it interesting the ways that each handled their life. One chooses to live a life of vengeance by absolving guilt and doing what they think is best to rid the world of evil. The other becomes blind to it and accepts everything willingly not realizing the truth of it all. Both are in essence trying to live the life they think they are meant to live when in reality there is so much more for them.

I didn't think this book was as dark as Dekker's previous thrillers however. Boneman's Daughters really upped my ante with that one. Instead this book shows how the very concepts of love, justice and trying to right the world can be twisted and used for the wrong purposes. Dekker gives a lot to think about in this book and it's a very wild ride while doing so. For the record, I would not consider this book to be Christian fiction at all. There is a message about faith in it but it's not pounding the reader on the head while reading the story. Dekker is skillful at blending the two together and I feel that both long time readers and new ones will be satisfied with the result. In my opinion, this book puts him on the same level as other general market suspense/thriller authors out there and I hope that others will think the same as well.

The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker is published by Center Street (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. I read Boneman's Daughter and wondered why it was considered Christian fiction. This one sounds even better.


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