Thursday, April 23, 2009

Book Review: Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker

Book Review
With Ted Dekker's latest release, Boneman's Daughters, we find the best-selling fiction author entering the mainstream. His first book released by a major publishing house that is not Thomas Nelson Boneman's Daughters promises to appeal to Dekker's current fan base as well as those who are typically attracted to the horror, suspense, and mystery genres.

Boneman's Daughters was one of Dekker's best written books outside of The Circle trilogy.

SPOLIER ALERT: Really, if you don't want to know critical details about the story, skip over all of the following RED text.

Ryan Evans, a Naval Intelligence Officer on assignment in Fallujah, Iraq, is one of the best in the business. Devoted to his country, dedicated to his duty, he has been away from home for two years, leaving his wife and sixteen year old daughter behind, as he answers his country's call to duty. When Evans and his convoy are attacked, killing most of the U.S. Army unit Evans is attached to, Evans finds himself fallen into enemy hands. But worse than just the enemy, this enemy is one who wants to teach America a lesson about "collateral" damage, and does so by torturing Evans in a most horrible way.

Boneman, a serial killer in Texas, is thought to have been rotting in a Texas prison for two years. Until it is discovered that the DNA evidence that clinched the conviction might have been planted -- likely duplicated from a sample taken from the suspect himself and planted onto one of the victims. When a judge releases the convicted man from prison, Boneman suddenly strikes again.

Evans, having been forced to sit and watch as his captors killed innocent children in the method made famous by the renowned Boneman -- the breaking of bones throughout the body without breaking the skin, allowing the victim to suffer to death from the pain -- has been sent back to Austin, Texas, for a time of recovery and observation. When he returns and expects to be reunited with his estranged wife and daughter, he instead finds his wife in the arms of a new man -- the District Attorney who convicted the man recently released for the Boneman murders -- the very man believed to have planted the false DNA evidence. More shocking to Evans is when his daughter rejects him as well.

But when Evans' daughter disappers from her bedroom in the middle of the night, and his wife wakes up with a broken finger, it quickly becomes evident that Boneman is back in Austin, and back in business. The timing of Evans' return to Austin coinciding with the return of Boneman, his experience when held captive in the desert of Iraq, and Boneman's latest victim, makes Evan the prime suspect as the case quickly unfolds.

Dekker does an incredible job with Boneman's Daughters, weaving a tale of intrigue, suspense, and terror that will tickle that little nerve inside you that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. I don't know if I'm just a very intentive and intuitive reader, or if Dekker is a little too obvious about the antagonist he calls Boneman, but on page 230 of this 401 page book, I made a note to myself of whom I suspected to be the real Boneman, and later discovered that my suspicion was correct. I won't spoil the whole book for you by revealing the culprit here. Let's just say, it probably isn't who you might think it would be.

I did find one cause for concern with Dekker's first entry into the mainstream fiction market: the use (on four different occasions) of language that would be wholly inappropriate if this book -- like Dekker's other books -- had been published by Thomas Nelson (see a screen capture example below). Dekker, widely recognized as one of the best (if not the best) Christian fiction authors of the day, disappoints with the use of words that could easily have been replaced with less offensive, more appropriate language for the genre that he typically caters to. While some will likely say that the language to which I refer (on pages 212, 318, 341, and 378, if you must know) was not so out of line as to be considered offensive, it can not in any way be called appropriate to the niche that this author fills.

That being said, I still enjoyed Boneman's Daughters considerably, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good fiction suspense drama.

A Look Inside

Your comments?


No comments:

Average Joe's Review Store