The Priest's Graveyard

The Priest's GraveyardThe Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker
borrowed from library
Description from Goodreads:
The last thing Renee Gilmore remembers is being rescued by a pair of unknown arms after her drug-dealer boyfriend attempts to murder her. She wakes up in a beautiful glass house surrounded by doctors and the man that saved her life, Lamont Myers. Lamont offers her protection, if she abides by his rules. Among these; she must not leave the house, making her the bird in his gilded cage.

Danny Hansen is a Bosnian immigrant who came to America to escape the bloodshed of his country and the memories of his own involvement. Danny is a priest who lives by a strict moral code, one which values the loving of others above all else. It is those that pretend to abide by religious and legal law but intentionally harm others that insence Danny. And he believes it is duty to show them the error of their ways. Those few that admit and renounce their behavior are forgiven and set free, but never without a severe reminder of their wrongdoings. Those that refuse to admit to their behavior are killed.

A year after Renee is rescued by Lamont he is murdered and she vows to seek revenge. At the same time, Danny has continued to carve a swath of judgement and punishment.

In their individual pursuits, Danny and Renee's paths become entangled and before long it is clear that neither of them may make it out of this hunt alive.

My take:
This is the first Ted Dekker book that I have read.  I really didn't know what to expect from it, but I had read enough reviews on Goodreads to be intrigued.  The Priest's Graveyard is most definitely a thriller that is almost impossible to put down.  The story is disturbing, complicated, heartbreaking and unforgettable.

Danny Hansen, a priest who has a mostly unknown and horrifying past in Bosnia.  After the horrors of war he witnessed as a young boy and then participated in as retribution for the brutal killing of his family, he is now a seemingly normal parish priest serving the neighborhood.  But Danny secretly continues his work trying to bring what he sees as justice to those who commit crimes against the helpless.  His story is so heartbreaking that it hard to judge him too harshly. But the story is very disturbing and calls into question right and wrong, good and evil and whether any of us have the right to judge anyone else.

When Renee comes into his life, things get even more complicated.  Renee is possibly even more broken than Danny.  His emerging feelings for her make things confusing for him.  Renee's situation is just heartbreaking. She is incredibly broken by her life up the point where she meets Danny.  Unfortunately for both of them, she isn't even aware of most of the horrors that have happened to her.  Their story is so fascinating and sad that I just had to finish reading it.  The book is very disturbing, but interesting in the way that morals are discussed and questioned.  I was challenged and entertained by the book.  This isn't for everyone, but it thrillers, murder stories, etc. are your thing, this is a good one.


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