Reviewed by Deena Peterson
Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker
"Fear for the sake of fear, to me, is pointless. And I don't get that from this novel--there is a point to the fear. But the story is so gritty and realistic, at times I felt suffocated by the story and less impacted by the message."
This much anticipated new book by Ted Dekker lives up to the wait...but if you're easily disturbed, you may want to take a pass on this one. While Ted doesn't disappoint, this is by far his darkest and most intense story.
"Boneman's Daughters" deals with the most gruesome of serial killers. Boneman, as he's been called by the media, is searching for the perfect daughter. He's found six potential candidates...
...not one was what he was searching for.
So he systematically breaks their bones with great care not to break the skin. After a long hiatus, he's back, and he's looking for the perfect daughter once again--this time certain he's found her.
Only problem is his choice belongs to a military intelligence officer Commander Ryan Evans. Back from a deployment that put him not just in harm's way but in the hands of a terrorist, Commander Evans has learned what it takes to be a real father.
Is he too late for his daughter, Bethany? Will she too suffer at the hands of Boneman...or is Ryan the serial killer taking Austin by storm known as Boneman?
With twists and turns reminiscent of "Thr3e" and "Blink of an Eye", Ted keeps you guessing from page to page. Sympathy builds for Ryan Evans as he recounts his ordeal in the war zone, but that won't help you in this story.
Everyone is fair game in a Ted Dekker novel--especially the reader.
I was left feeling a bit melancholy after I finished. Not quite the ending I'd hoped for, but then again, it fit with the overall tone of the book. This is definitely one of Ted Dekker's darker novels.
When they tell you to keep the lights on, they mean it with "Boneman's Daughters"! The spiritual message was there, just under the surface of the darkness. What Ryan does throughout the story will have both fathers and mothers examining their depth of love for their own children.
Lots of references to the Old Testament true story of Abraham and Isaac cannot be missed, along with the Boneman's things he detests, not just one or two, but sometimes up to three at a time.
"Boneman's Daughters" does contain some mild language, so be aware. This is an expertly executed reach into the general marketplace with a book that will have wide appeal across the board without all of the "ick" one would expect to find in such a gritty and realistic novel.
I'm pleased with the result, yet unsettled by it as well. That's why, although I'm admitting this is one of Ted Dekker's best (it most definitely made an impact on me!), I'm rating it four out of five bookmarks, with a HUGE flashlight as a charm.
I don't advise reading this one alone...or late at night...or with the doors unlocked...but make sure you have a large block of time. The suspense will get to you...it did to me, and I'm not a member of the BHCC (See Brandilyn Collins' website for more on that!)
Fear for the sake of fear, to me, is pointless. And I don't get that from this novel--there is a point to the fear. But the story is so gritty and realistic, at times I felt suffocated by the story and less impacted by the message.
Just remember---that's just ME.
My hope is that general market readers will feel the message of hope amidst the carnage that is Boneman and see Jesus in these pages. I believe that is Ted Dekker's hope, as well as Center Street (an imprint of Hatchette Book Group). But I'll be happy when Ted writes another 'lighter' novel...
...wait! What am I saying:-)
Happy Reading! (wait...what am I saying! Bwahahahahahahahaha....sorry...was that out loud??
Deena Peterson is the mom of 8, with an active two-year-old grandson! She's also a pastor's wife, worship leader, Bible study leader, and homeschool mom. She stays so busy she meets herself coming and going! Visit her at her blog A Peek At My Bookshelf.