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.
©2011 Ted Dekker (P)2011 Hachette Audio
In an attempt to explore some wonderful themes (justice, vengeance, love and grace in regard to religious belief and societal laws), the Priest's Graveyard started off wonderfully, but went south pretty fast. Unique characters quickly morph into the cardboard cutout variety when their actions start to bend to the ridiculous plot.
A vigilante priest who takes justice into his own hands is terribly intriguing. Then, as we watch him interrogate his first offender and are made privy to his inner turmoil via a painfully indecisive interior monologue, we see that it???s not really a moral struggle, but more the fact that this character doesn???t know what he???s doing or what he???s really about, even though he thinks he does.
The same can be said of the recovering heroin addict and the ridiculous sequence of events that bring her to where she is. She???s another ditsy character that is at one moment full of conviction and self righteousness, and then the next second she's second guessing herself, and then she's full of conviction, and then second guessing herself, and then??? It???s tiring. We???re treated to monologue after monologue of the same thing from both main characters, especially in the last third of the book.
Cardboard characters and ridiculous plot aside, the theme at the core of the book is one worth exploring. It???s just a shame that by the time the main characters begin to really reflect on it, I no longer cared about them, not even a little bit.
Though initially interesting, I found the plot a bit corny and the voice of the female narrator, flat and annoying. The ending is hokey and unrealistic. Also, I've noticed in this book as well as others by this author, that he seems to be obsessed with his protagonist having blond hair and/or blue eyes... not to mention perpetuating the myth that beautiful women must be thin, petite waifs. Give me a break!
I really enjoyed this story and it wasn't at all what I expected. The dilemma of the characters and the choices that they ended up making were choices that I would have struggled with, but which in the end I think were all that they could do.
The world is rough and this story helped me to see some of the edges that I have ignored.
I attempted repeatedly to want this story to make sense, to reach even a modicum of credibility. But it is just not there, The marketing hype would have you believe this story is a gut wrenching tale of two widely different, driven individuals uniting in a glorious crusade to rid the world of evil.
What it actually is is a factious, implausible tale about two mentally ill mercenaries that take the law into their own hands and murder people that it is not entirely clear ever did anything to deserve it. A mishmash of nonsensical characters afflicted with popular personality disorders, behaving, not mysteriously, but badly. Weak rationalizations are passed off as coarse, incredulous dialogue throughout. This is a poorly conceived and written psycho-soap opera.
The Priest's Graveyard was a good Ted Dekker book. His writing style is (mostly) one that I like and this was no different. The narrators, Rebecca Soler and Henry Leyva, were good although I sometimes got bored listening to Rebecca's seemingly monotone narration.
The story line was interesting showing us that unless we have all the facts, we may not be able to get to the truth.
The concept sounded interesting, and this book got some good reviews, so I bought it. I'm not sure I'll finish it though. If I do finish, it will be because I am still hoping that the plot or the characters will be redeemed. I know this is never gong to happen, and I am leaning on the side of deletion. The heroine is not at all believable, unless you are looking for a bad read about an emotionally immature, more than superficial young woman. She has the stupidest thought processes, and does the stupidest things! I don't get the first "savior" at all. The second guy is the only part of the book I like. The narrator sounds as dumb as her character. Does this make her a good reader, or a bad one? It doesn't matter in the end. Don't waste your time on this one.
I'll admit it. I'm a Ted Dekker fan. However, I haven't particularly enjoyed his last two books. I enjoyed The Priest's Graveyard a great deal. It was highly accessible and (in my view) well-told. In my view, Ted writes best when writing in the slightest fantastical or somewhat improbable (so I'm not as let down as previous reviewers seem to have been), as he has done here. I found both the lead characters very appealing (which of us doesn't lurch back-and-forth between self-confidence and second-guessing ourselves) and I thought both the narrators did an excellent job (although the accents reminded me more of Spanish than of Bosnian...a minor point). I think many who feel outraged at injustice and victimization...as well as struggling with the need for forgiveness and second chances...will find something to relate to here.
This was a difficult read because it was so dark, but in the end, I really liked it. It had a strong message.
The priest, Danny.
The end when they understood the essence of God's love.
This book reminded me of the TV series Dexter. It was very dark. In the end I loved it. The journey profoundly drove home the essence that we are not to judge others or in the process we become sinful ourselves. We are to LOVE.
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