Thursday, July 14, 2011
Book Review: The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker
In THE BRIDE COLLECTOR by Ted Dekker, FBI Agent Brad Raines is on the hunt for a demented serial killer known as The Bride Collector. The Bride Collector believes he's on a mission from God, finding a pure and perfect bride for God and sending her to him the only way he knows how--by killing her. To see God, his bride must die, and it's the Bride Collector's job to ensure it's done perfectly. The FBI finds each of his victims with her back glued to the wall and no signs of violence done to her except a small hole in her heel where he drains her of life. On her head is a wedding veil.
Agent Raines enlists the help of The Center for Wellness and Intelligence, a mental health facility for gifted individuals, and meets four unique characters, one of which is a girl named Paradise. Tragic events from her past cause Paradise to suffer from psychosis and a deep fear to leave the comfort of the Center. Agent Raines befriends Paradise and begins to see the world differently through her perspective. Though society would say she's deeply flawed and incapable of love, Raines finds himself drawn to her. But he's not the only one. The Bride Collector has his sights on her as well, and Brad Raines must uncover the truth about The Bride Collector to rescue Paradise before it's too late.
THE BRIDE COLLECTOR is really a beautiful story about God's love and pursuit of all people. Through the story of a very misguided and disturbed villain, Dekker somehow reveals to us the heart of God. God has a favorite, the one person he loves the most in the world, the one he gave his life for. Yet because God is infinite, he can have more than one favorite.
As Raines battles The Bride Collector and fights for Paradise's life, he gets a sense of God's pursuit of all people through his pursuit of Paradise.
The Bride Collector himself is truly disturbing. He really believes that he's searching for God's favorite and sending God's favorite to him by killing her. He reasons that he's doing the will of God, and his reasoning is that of a man not in touch with reality.
The highlight of the story is Paradise. She's an incredibly likable character, probably the most likable character Dekker has ever created. We see her flaws and insecurities and realize that, although she's mentally handicapped, she's really just like us. And when we see her through the eyes of someone who truly loves her, we see God's pursuit of us.