Women are found on display, left by a killer who is out seeking the most beautiful and wishing to collect them. Not for himself, but as an offering. Special Agent Brad Raines is the FBI investigator hunting this killer. His investigation takes him to places he would never have thought of going and forcing him to play the game of a killer that has proven to be highly intelligent and always one or two steps ahead. Following the clues left him, Raines turns to The Center for Wellness and Intelligence where he encounters people that forever change him and the way that he views the case. He is drawn to Paradise, a resident who has her own dark secrets to contend with. As Brad and Paradise close in on the killer, the stakes get higher and it is made even clearer that the killer intends on winning this game; no matter who gets in the way.
There are similarities between Special Agent Brad Raines and the killer dubbed the Bride Collector that caused my mind to intertwine the two in way that was eerie and unsettling. Two characters that sit on the opposite sides of justice and a crossover that challenges what we thought we knew. It is one thing to go in and examine what is already malignant and clouded by evil and twisted understanding. But what does it say about the mind that creates it? Dekker has once again amazed me with the sharp twists that pull us through the story. But it leaves me slightly disturbed by the truths that it reveals. The perspective of mental illness displayed throughout asks the silent question: is mental illness truly illness or a difference in the operation of minds?
The Bride Collector gives the taunting words shouted between kids “it takes one to know one” a whole new meaning. But Dekker, never known for simply writing a thrilling novel gives his readers more. He doesn’t just challenge the perception and stereotypes of mental illness, but he highlights the twisted idea of beauty and society’s value of it as well. Ted Dekker is an author I trust to not only provide a good and exciting thrill ride in his books, but to also have substance and meaning throughout.
Want to know more about Ted Dekker? You can visit his website at www.teddekker.com. I am certain that you can pick any of his books at random and find yourself enthralled by the story he tells. His next book The Priest’s Graveyard is due out on April 19, 2011.