Written by Ted Dekker
Reviewed by Nike Chillemi
Where have I been? I can’t believe this is the first Ted Dekker book I’ve read. It certainly won’t be the last.
This supernatural horror story doesn’t read like a Christian novel. Sure, it explores themes of good and evil by following the life story of a demon-possessed serial killer. However, with protagonist, FBI profiler Daniel Clark, an avowed atheist it doesn’t get preachy. This book could sit on the shelves in the Christian section or in the mystery/thriller section of any major bookstore.
Daniel’s obsession with catching the serial killer known as “Eve” has cost him his marriage. The murderer killed 15 young women at the new moon by subjecting them to a meningitis-like infection that melts their brains. Dekker skillfully sandwiches into the story “a month-by-month crime magazine series” on the life of the young man who became “Eve.” This gives the reader a glimpse into the formation of a serial killer. Daniel briefly sees Eve. When Daniel dies at the scene and is resuscitated, he represses the memory. Shortly thereafter, he begins experiencing horrifying panic attacks.
The reader has to suspend their disbelief when Daniel badgers and finally gets FBI special agent Lori Ames, a doctor, to send him into cardiac arrest two more times in an attempt to free his memories of Eve. This risky act is certainly verboten to the FBI, even criminal. That Lori would consider killing Daniel and then try to bring him back to life can only be explained when the reader realizes Lori has a secret personal motive.
The killer kidnaps Heather, Daniel’s ex-wife, who he still loves. Daniel discovers she has been conducting her own private shadow investigation of Eve. Daniel agrees to trade places with Heather, knowing Eve is going to kill him.
Heather enlists the assistance of an elderly priest who knew Eve as a young man. They go to the cave where Daniel is being held and discover it is not a biological strain of meningitis killing Daniel. Using Daniel’s lack of belief in the spiritual realm, “Eve” has tricked Daniel to turn his life over to the murderous spirit that rules the killer. It is only after Daniel is in the clutches of the destroying spirit that he realizes there is a supernatural realm, but it’s too late. He’s unwittingly chosen the dark side. The priest begins an exorcism, but is losing the battle. Daniel is dying.
There is a surprise twist at the end. Not everyone is who you think they are.
This book can be read and enjoyed by any thriller aficionado, be they Christian or non-Christian, spiritual or non-spiritual. It’s just a plain good read.