Published by Center Street on April 2010
Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Buy on Amazon
FBI Special agent Brad Raines is facing his toughest case yet. A Denver serial killer has killed four beautiful young women, leaving a bridal veil at each crime scene, and he's picking up his pace. Unable to crack the case, Raines appeals for help from a most unusual source: residents of the Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a private psychiatric institution for mentally ill individuals whose 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 extrasensory 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. In an effort to win her trust, he befriends this strange young woman and begins to see in her qualities that most 'sane people' sorely lack. Gradually, he starts to question whether sanity resides outside the hospital walls...or inside.
The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it's too late?
He kills them because he loves them. He loves them because God loves them and he has been chosen by God. And they have been chosen by God. And God is the groom; they are the bride; he is The Bride Collector.
In one of Ted Dekker’s most intense novels to date, FBI specialist Brad Raines and a serial killer known as the Bride Collector engage in a battle of wits and time as the killer closes in on his final victims. Seven is the number of perfection. Seven is the number he shall collect. The seventh will be the most beautiful.
But Raines won’t be able to catch this criminal on his own. The Bride Collector—Quinton Gauld—has proven himself to be quite intelligent, almost to the point of psychosis, and perhaps beyond it. When all traditional methods fall short, Raines, in a desperate attempt to come closer to catching Quinton, visits a private psychiatric institution that houses savants: the extraordinarily gifted but mentally ill.
Raines first thinks he can gain some perspective by visiting the place. Gauld’s mental makeup seems remarkably similar to the residents of the center. But then he meets Paradise, a young girl diagnosed with schizophrenia after watching her father murder her family—a young girl who can allegedly experience the final moments of a person’s life when she touches the body—a young girl he finds utterly fascinating. He also meets Andrea, Cass, and Roudy, three other residents who work with him to help him understand the killer. It’s a fun and sometimes bizarre look into the lives of these fragile people with such powerful minds.
It’s a high-stakes chess game and Raines can’t even see his opponent’s pieces. When the killer targets a forensic psychologist and good friend, the case becomes even more intimate and personal. As the moves are played and the story comes together, the thread that binds it winds tighter and tighter, connecting and drawing in the storylines. Captivating plot twists leave the reader guessing, but then upset that he didn’t see it coming. The intensity heightens as the Bride Collector closes in on his goal. And the more Raines learns about this killer, the more he realizes he must be stopped.
With intelligence and insight, Dekker delivers a terrifying foray into the twisted mind of a serial killer who believes God has called him to kill. But beyond that, The Bride Collector is the story of Paradise, a broken girl who realizes just how special she is. You could read hundreds of reviews that say what a great serial killer novel this is—and they’d be right—but at its very core, this is a love story. This is a story of a girl who thought she was unlovable who finds out that she is God’s favorite. This is the story of what it means to show love, of what it means to be the apple of God’s eye.
Very few novels have ever captivated me in theme, in story, or in character development the way The Bride Collector did in all three of those positions. For those seeking a thrill, it’s a twisty turny ride into the abyss; for those seeking an intelligent read, it couples outstanding writing and character development with a theme worth thinking about long after the book is finished. Despite not being the first serial killer novel Dekker has written, The Bride Collector is unlike anything he’s ever written.
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