Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

Flap copy from ARC:
"FBI Special Agent Brad Raines is facing his most complex case yet. A Denver serial killer has murdered a string of young women, leaving a bridal veil at each scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help to a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Well-being and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill people who are extraordinarily gifted.

It's there that he meets Paradise, a young woman who witnessed her father murder her family and barely escaped his hand. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, Paradise may also have an extra-sensory gift: the ability to experience the final moments of a person's life when she touches the dead body.

In a desperate attempt to find the killer, Raines enlists Paradise's help. Gradually he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside."

This is the first Dekker book I've read, and I'm not sure I'll pick up another. Though the plot has lots of wonderful elements, they never really gel into a thriller in this book- I get more chills from an episode of Criminal Minds. Though Raines was an interesting and well-drawn character, I never really warmed to Paradise or bought into their interactions. The other patients at the hospital are interesting, more interesting than the spiritual questions they raise for Raines, but do seem to have been added almost as comic relief.

In the end, this book has too much religion and not enough suspense to truly hold my interest. The book was well-written, and there were certainly elements of each character that I enjoyed, but in the end it just didn't pull me in the way I need a thriller to- I was easily able to put down this book which is never a good sign.

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