Review

The Bride Collector

by Ted Dekker

Ted Dekker has had an amazing career thus far, covering such
genres as thriller, horror, mystery, fantasy and Christian fiction.
He demonstrates with great aplomb an ability to do anything to
which he sets his mind. I mean, when you are born to parents who
spread the word of God to headhunters in Indonesia, it stands to
reason that you are going to bring some self-assurance to whatever
task you undertake, along with the chops to back it up. Dekker
doesn’t just write in all of the categories mentioned above;
he produces books that are popular enough to book his own
conventions, called gatherings, for four years running. If
publishers are concerned about the current state of the industry,
maybe this is the savvy guy to whom they should be speaking.

Still, in some of his novels, Dekker gives the impression that
he is a scary guy. In addition to crossing and blurring a bunch of
different genres, his latest effort, THE BRIDE COLLECTOR, is a
frightening book. Dekker gets right into the heart of things,
taking the reader to the scene of the fourth in a series of nasty
murders of beautiful women whose bodies are presented in chilling
tableaus. I’m not going to describe them because 1) it would
spoil the suspense of the scenes that Dekker has labored to create,
and 2) Dekker’s descriptions are much better than mine could
ever hope to be. Suffice to say that you will remember these for a
long time.

So, too, will you remember Quinton Gauld, the Bride Collector.
We meet Gauld fairly early on, and his background and worldview are
slowly pieced out during the course of the book. Gauld is using
these murders as a means to an end as he is pursued by FBI Special
Agent Brad Raines and forensic psychologist Nikki Holden. Actually,
that’s not entirely accurate, as Gauld is pursuing the pair
for different reasons, even as they frantically attempt to identify
Gauld and stop him before he acquires another victim.

However, the most fascinating element of the book is the Center
for Wellness and Intelligence, a private facility for gifted but
mentally ill residents. Raines, who himself is somewhat quirky (to
say the least), is drawn to a young woman named Paradise who
struggles with a number of conflicting demons, not the least of
which is her ability to sense through her “ghosts” the
final moments of a deceased individual. But as talented as Raines,
Holden, Paradise and the other residents of the Center are, they
are up against a dangerous, frightening adversary in Gauld, who is
a master of the game they are playing because he is the one who has
written the rules. Before the end of the novel, readers will
encounter plot twists, character turns, and, most significantly,
terrifying and chilling scenarios that will keep them reading as
fast as they can.

Dekker combines horror, mystery, suspense, and even romance ---
twisted and otherwise --- in this latest novel. Well on his way to
becoming a genre unto himself, Dekker’s legions of fans will
no doubt increase thanks to the publication of THE BRIDE
COLLECTOR.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 23, 2010

The Bride Collector
by Ted Dekker

  • Publication Date: April 13, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street
  • ISBN-10: 1599951967
  • ISBN-13: 9781599951966