Reviewed by Kevin Lucia
"An astounding, cracking good read."
Carl Strople is many things. He’s a highly trained assassin schooled in dozens of the most deadly martial arts. He has endured unbelievable feats of physical endurance and has mastered complete emotional control. He is rated in just about every weapon imaginable, and is the proud product of the most advanced chemical and emotional conditioning known to man.
As a sniper, he can hit a target from an impossible 2,000 feat away; as a strategist his execution is flawless. As training progresses for his greatest mission ever – the assassination of the president of the United States – he shows just the barest hints of latent telekinetic abilities, as well.
His memories broken down and built back up many times over, Carl Strople doesn’t know much about himself, but what he does know, he feels is truth, unreservedly:
He is a survivor. He is utterly dependent on his handler, Kelly – a mysterious, beautiful woman he feels he loves but doesn’t understand why. He is destined for greatness.
He is a killer.
However, when he fails to kill Robert Stenton, the president of the United States, Carl’s rock-sure certainty falters. The fabric of his reality tears apart as strange, alien feelings well up past his emotional control. When he encounters a man claiming to be the president’s spiritual advisor, he hears two things forever changing who he thinks he was, is, and was meant to be.
Remember Project Showdown.
As a nefarious voice from the past would say, “game on, time to trip on some grace juice, baby.”
Ted Dekker’s narrative style and prose continues to become seasoned and deft, placing him among the premier suspense novelists today. Not to discount his other fine works, but Saint feels heavier, more substantial, making Dekker worthy of being mentioned in the same name as Grisham, King, and Koontz. There is a maturity in the narrative voice speaking of a writer in his prime.
The first half of the novel is jumbled and confused on purpose, giving us a front row seat to Carl’s mental maze. This is a nifty genre twist for Dekker; Saint reads like The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum), meets The Matrix, meets Mr. Murder (Dean Koontz).
Dekker also continues to build a new Christian mythology reaching past just one novel, combining many of his works into a far-reaching story arc that is yet to be revealed. Marsuvees Black is obviously not done stirring up evil, even if it is from beyond the grave.
And of course, Dekker continually perfects the genre of “faith fiction”: an astounding, cracking good read founded on the Biblical truths of love, grace, and redemption.
Lucia Kevin Lucia writes for The Press & Sun
Bulletin and The
Journal. His short fiction has appeared in Coach’s
Midnight Diner, The Relief Journal, All Hallows, Darkened
Horizons Vol. 3 & 4,
NexGen Pulp Magazine Issues 1 & 4, From the Shadows, Morpheus
Bohemian-Alien, Shroud Publishing’s horror anthology, Abominations,
Tyndale House’s inspirational anthology Life Savors. He’s
writing a novella for Shroud Publishing’s upcoming novella series, The
Hiram Grange Chronicles. He resides in Castle Creek, New York, with his
wife Abby, daughter Madison and son Zackary. He teaches high school English at
Catholic Central High School
in Binghamton, New York; and is finishing his Masters of Arts in Creative Writing
at Binghamton University. Visit him at his website and