My Review of BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker #BoneMan’sDaughters, #TedDekker, #amreading

The BoneMan’s Daughters, by Ted Dekker, is everything you look for in a Dekker novel; complex characters, life journeys in juxtaposition to one another, methods of torture so horrific that you wonder how the author sleeps at night. This story was no different.

It starts out with Ryan Evans, a navy commander temporarily on loan to an army joint-operational counterintelligence unit. Ryan is an analyst who uses advanced game theory, tactics, information on terrain, and percentages to view the world. At the beginning of the story, his unit is ambushed and Ryan is captured and tortured for several days by a crazed Arab before being rescued.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the man who was arrested as BoneMan, Phil Switzer, is released from prison because the district attorney’s office could not counter the filing by the defense team who stated that the evidence in the trial had been tampered and the blood evidence was questionable. The prosecution team could not find new, compelling evidence to keep him there, so Switzer walks free.

The BoneMan got his name by killing his victims by breaking most of the bones in his victim’s bodies without causing trauma to the skin, therefore, little or no external bleeding, only internal.

After Ryan Evans is rescued and brought back to the United States, he believes that reconciling with his wife and daughter will save him, make him whole again. Evans is fighting a losing battle getting back together with his wife and building a relationship with his daughter. The shock from his war experience keeps him from bridging the gap.

Sometime after Phil Switzer is released from prison and Evans begins to climb out of the mental state he found himself in, he discovers he is the target of the BoneMan and that the BoneMan has kidnapped his daughter and wants to play a game of cat and mouse in order for Ryan to win her back.

The psychological twists that Ted Dekker puts his characters through are a pure joy to read. When reading a Dekker-penned story, death is inevitable; this story is no exception.

Ryan must put his trust in his logical reasoning and hunt down the man who has his daughter. His reasoning is a characteristic that his daughter seems to have acquired and must use to stay alive.

Well written, with a wealth of details and emotions. I loved when Dekker got into the mind of the killer who had a peculiar way of listing things, for example:

“There were two things that [BoneMan] loved; three that he cherished. He loved unblemished skin because it made all things perfect on the outside. He loved butterflies because they had perfect skin. He loved soap, lots and lots of soap.”

Or,

“There were two things [BoneMan] hated. Nay, three that were an abomination to him. He hated humans. He especially hated ugly skanks with perfect beautiful faces and skin. He hated mothers and fathers.”

Or,

“There were two things that excited BoneMan more than he could possibly express with mere words; nay, three things that sent shivers up his spine. A young girl’s cries for mercy. Noxzema skin lotion. The sound of bones breaking beneath skin.

I would highly recommend reading this book if you like thriller novels involving a likeable hero with a strong sense of parental responsibility, and a smart killer with an unpredictable agenda. This is a quick read and will take you through the horrors of war, to the horrors of a father’s fight for his daughter. The BoneMan’s Daughters is a compelling story that assures Mr. Dekker a seat at the New York Times bestseller’s table.

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