Will he break his vows to save the woman he loves?
In 2011, Ted Dekker upped the ante in his writing with The Priest’s Graveyard, a thriller about a vigilante priest, Danny Hansen, who kills the people who are the worst of the worst when they escape punishment. The book is also about Renee Gilmore, a drug addict woman bent on finding and killing the man she believes ordered the death of the man who saved her from her ex-boyfriend. When they cross paths, they end up in a situation where neither one of them may survive.
In his new thriller, The Sanctuary, Dekker ups the ante even further. This book continues the story of Danny and Renee in a way that readers will be riveted to every single page.
We find Danny in prison, serving a fifty-year sentence for the murder of two abusive men. We also see him being transferred into a facility called Basal which is where we find ourselves for a good portion of the novel. We find Renee alone, trying to live a normal life as she waits for the man she loves to be released from prison.
However, things aren’t that simple.
Basal isn’t what it seems to be. Something is very wrong. And while Danny realizes this, Renee receives a box containing a bloody finger.
And so begins a ride that only Ted Dekker could have conjured up.
The Sanctuary is a book that will get your heart racing and your fingers fumbling to flip the pages over as quickly as you are able to.
Renee’s story is full of twist and turns, and readers will enjoy her character. As with The Priest’s Graveyard, her point of view is in the first person, which Dekker has proven he is able to master.
The highlight of the story, however, were the scenes with Danny. Part of this is because, as the first line of the novel states, The Sanctuary is really Danny’s story. Basal is a place that you dread to read about, but then you want to keep reading more about it and what Danny faces trapped in the concrete walls. Dekker takes Danny through hell, and progresses his character with ease. You feel his pain and rage as he sees the injustices in the ruthless prison system, and the conflictions he has when his code of nonviolence is challenged.
This book presents something for all of us to think about: Will we do anything to save the ones we love, even if it goes against our morality? Readers will also be presented with the unfairness of the prison system in our country and rehabilitation.
For you all who are wondering the reading The Priest’s Graveyard before this book is required: No, you don’t have to read it first. However, doing so will further deepen your understanding of the journeys of Danny and Renee and the moral challenges that they face.
Dekker wrote this book with pure creativity and, I am sure, many tears. Readers will surely make The Sanctuary one of their favorite, if not their favorite, Dekker reads of all-time.

Note: I received a cpy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

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