By Ted Dekker
Admittedly, I’ve not read Ted Dekker before this book. If his other books are even half as good as “The Sanctuary,” I fear I’ve missed some wonderful yarns.
Once a priest in cloth and always a priest in heart, Danny Hansen is now behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. He ‘confessed,’ not to save his soul but to protect Renee Gilmore, his one true love. I say ‘not to save his soul’ because although he may not have committed the murders he was convicted for, he did kill to protect the innocent. He did what he thought was right in the eyes of humanity but illegal in the eyes of the law.
After serving some of his sentence at Ironwood State Prison, a typical prison, Danny is transferred to Basal Institute of Corrections and Rehabilitation, a not-so-typical prison. What people believe to be an institution to mend the broken in order to keep criminals from repeating the same mistakes is anything but, and Danny finds this out in the most horrific way.
The warden, Pape, is out to break Danny and to convince all of his ‘members’ (prisoners) that he is God within the confines of Basal and they will do as he says or they will view the word ‘torture’ as nothing but a mere spanking. It is inhuman suffering Pape puts his members through, not simple torture. And Danny can handle the beatings and the extreme pain…until the warden brings Renee into the mess. Renee is thrown into dangerous situations and manipulated so that she unwittingly ends up making Danny break his vow of nonviolence to once again protect her.
Dekker’s story is incredible. The reader is catapulted headlong from one page to the next with his powerful ability to pen a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat, thrilling novel that will leave you wondering how you missed some of the red herrings that are amidst the well-written text. Amazing and most definitely recommended.