Authors Showcase: Christian Suspense
June 14, 2012
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker and When the Devil Whistles by Rick Acker are both included in Caleb and Linda Pirtle’ list of Top 20 Christian Fiction novels.
The Book: The Bride Collector
The Author: Ted Dekker
The Story: 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.
As the Bride Collector picks up the pace-and volume-of his gruesome crucifixions, the case becomes even more personal to Raines when his friend and colleague, a beautiful young forensic psychologist, becomes the Bride Collector’s next target.
The FBI believes that the killer plans to murder seven women. Can Paradise help before it’s too late?
A Review by P. B. Sharp: “Taut and well written, this is a suspenseful psychological novel. A serial killer in Denver captures beautiful women and impales them by gluing them to a wall, one woman in each of seven different sordid locations, each woman dressed in a bridal veil. Of course they are all beautiful and they are all young. The killer leaves no DNA, no fingerprints, no tire tracks, nothing that investigators can use to discover his identity. But we the readers find out who he is early in the novel, a brilliant, supremely confident schizophrenic, gloating at his success and thumbing his nose at the authorities who can’t catch him.”
A Review by Brooks: “When Ted Dekker writes books, there isn’t a lot of filler in the beginning. The story line takes off right away, so there isn’t any boring intro stuff to read through. You are immediately introduced to the roller-coaster that is the story. The characters are well developed. It is a solid thriller that fits in well with the rest of Dekker’s thrillers. What makes Dekker’s books interesting is that he basically likes to explore the internal struggle of his characters, which is very evident if any of you have ever read any of his previous books. This leads the reader to take a look into their own lives and discover a little something about themselves … His books just keep getting better!”
The Book: When the Devil Whistles
The Author: Rick Acker
That’s what Allie Whitman tells herself every night as she lies awake. Sometimes she even believes it. But mostly she knows deep down that her inability to make a hard choice has put millions of lives at risk, including her own.
Now the only one who can help her is her lawyer, Connor Norman. Unfortunately, Allie’s actions have destroyed Connor’s trust in her—and may destroy much, much more.
Rick Acker, the author, is a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice. He prosecutes corporate fraud lawsuits like those described in When the Devil Whistles. He has led confidential investigations into a number of large and sensitive cases that made headlines in and out of California.
A Review by Debbie: “When the Devil Whistles is a legal thriller that also works in some military suspense. It’s fast-paced and keeps the reader guessing as to how everything will work out. The suspense was created by possible physical danger to the various characters as well as curiosity about the various decisions they will make and how it will all play out.
“The characters were complex and dealt with realistic problems (though – specifically – not ones most people face). The vivid details of the job and setting brought the story alive in my imagination.”
A Review by Jennifer A. Slattery: “Who better to write a conspiracy theory novel about the Department of Justice than a Californian Department of Justice employee? In Rick Acker’s When the Devil Whistles, a novel about high dollar fraud, an emotionally damaged whistle blower and her handsome lawyer unite to fight white-collar crime. In one scene after another, Mr. Acker provides the reader with a glimpse into this hidden world of fraud. Add in a scandalous secret and a few power-hungry militants and you’ve got the making of a high-drama, page-turning tale.”