Thursday, September 17, 2009

Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker

Seven young girls in Texas have lost their lives to a diabolic serial killer. Dubbed The Boneman by the media, he kidnaps girls and kills them by breaking their bones without breaking their skin. He seems to be able to steal girls and evade the police at will. The Boneman has taken a two-year break, but he's ready to start again.

Ryan Evans is a Navy intelligence officer. He is back in Texas from a tour in Iraq, where he is captured by the enemy and psychologically tortured. He is made to watch as a Muslim fanatic kills Iraqi children one by one by breaking their bones. Kalid tells Ryan that he can stop the torture anytime. All Ryan has to do is give his own wife and daughter's address so that they can be killed in place of the children. Ryan manages to withstand the torture and escape, only to have a subsequent breakdown.

The Navy sends him home to heal. Ryan wants to use the time to reestablish ties with his wife and even more, with his daughter Brittany. He has been absent for much of her life on overseas assignments. He is shocked when he returns to find that his wife is now in love with another man, and that Brittany has turned against him, believing that he has never put her needs first. They want no part of him in their lives.

Bad as this is, there is worse to come. Ryan wakes one day to find that the Boneman has taken a new victim, and that victim is Brittany. Desparate to find her before she is killed, he finds that the police have misinterpreted the evidence and believe that Ryan himself is the murderer. He is now fighting the clock to try and save Brittany on his own, while evading both Boneman and the police. Boneman seems to be ahead of Ryan at every turn, and holds the key by holding Brittany's life in his hands. Ryan is at his mercy, and must do whatever the Boneman wants to try to save his daughter.

The suspense in this book is mind-altering. The thought of a child being taken is a parent's worst nightmare, and if that kidnapping was done by a serial killer, it is beyond belief. Dekker has created a nightmare character in Boneman that will remain in the minds of readers for a very, very long time. This book is recommended for thriller and horror readers.

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