Category Archives: Center Street

Review: The Priest’s Graveyard by Ted Dekker

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street (April 19, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 159995334X
  • Source: Publisher

  • Renee Gilmore, a heroin addict, was running from her pimp, Cyrus, a dangerous drug runner with plans to torture and kill her, when she was rescued by Lamont, a seemingly kind man. 

    Two weeks after her “rescue,” Renee awakens in Lamont’s excessively clean & sterile home. Frightened for her safety, she accepts Lamont’s invitation to stay with him, protected from her evil & deadly past. She’s welcomed in his home as long as she follows his simple, yet obsessive rules.  She’s not allowed to walk barefoot in his home; she must wear slippers to prevent her feet from making marks on his pristine floor.  She’s not allowed to touch the glass walls that make up the entire house; if she decides she must touch the glass she has to wear white cotton gloves to prevent fingerprints.

    It is here that Renee remains, eventually becoming Lamont’s lover.  While he works, she remains locked in his home.  This fact doesn’t seem to bother Renee at all.  Lamont’s home is her salvation, full of serenity. Her mind is foggy from the drugs Lamont has given to aid in her “rehabilitation.” Again, this doesn’t phase Renee at all.

    Lamont leaves Renee and heads out of town for a business trip.  When he doesn’t return when scheduled, Renee becomes concerned.  It is then she realizes she’s unable to leave the house as the doors are locked from the outside.  It isn’t until two men come into the house that Renee is able to escape by hiding in the trunk of their car.

    Meanwhile, Danny Hansen is an immigrant from Bosnia who has come to America to escape the memories of a horrid war that took the life of his mother and sisters. He is now a priest, bound by God’s law.  However, Danny sees himself as an avenging angel; it is his duty to punish powerful business men for their wrongs.  He does so using any means necessary.

    Danny & Renee cross paths, both seeking a man who has supposedly committed horrible wrongs. When the truth is revealed, however, it could tear them both apart.

    Both characters experience a great deal of self-discovery.  Danny is forced to come to terms with the man he’s become.  Renee is forced to deal with a reality that is so horrid and tragic that it forever changes her.  The question is whether they are strong enough to take accountabilty for their actions, or will they forever be tortured by the things they’ve done?

    I’m a long time fan of Dekker’s thrillers, particularly Boneman’s Daughters (how can we forget the Noxema scene?). The Priest’s Graveyard is a bit of a depature from the norm, while still considered a thriller I didn’t feel it was as dark as his previous books.  That said, I think it’s the perfect leap into the world of Dekker’s thriller fiction writing for readers who want something chilling, but not excessivly dark. As always, Dekker presents a high adrenaline, fast-paced storyline guaranteed to suck you in.  I’ve never been able to put a Dekker book down once I’ve started it and this rang true with The Priest’s Graveyard as well. Highly recommended!

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