Leave it to Ted Dekker to come up with a novel way to totally creep us out. In Boneman’s Daughter, Dekker gives us the story of a sicko (of course) serial killer who is searching for the “perfect daughter”. (Because after all, even serial killers deserve adoring devotion and unswerving loyalty… Ick) The Bone Man kidnaps girls and when they just can’t live up to his expectations, (thinking their kidnapper is the best thing ever and being so happy to live with him) he smashes their bones until they die. (Over-react much?)
Ryan Evans is a military intelligence (I know—that’s considered an oxymoron by some) officer, recently returned from the Middle East. He was captured there, and oddly enough, forced to watch the deaths of innocents by the same methods the Boneman uses. Weird coincidence, huh. Get past it..it sets up the whole story! He is filled with regrets, his family is gone because of the dedication he had to his work and the job he gave his life to has pretty much messed him up. He’s got an angry ex, a kid named Bethany that won’t speak to him, and major mental issues from his captivity.
Until the Boneman take his daughter. (Note to bad guys..don’t piss off military types…) Now the FBI is on Ryan’s tail, because his past makes him the perfect patsy for the Boneman’s crimes, Ryan is on the Boneman’s tail, and Boneman is trying to make sure Bethany is the perfect daughter. And we know what happens if she isn’t.
I love Ted Dekker. Not only can he write terrific, freaky-deaky Christian Sci-Fi, like the Circle Trilogy,(and really…who the heck else can even think of the genre) he also writes great mysteries. I’ll grant you, the premise here was a bit contrived. I mean, what are the odds that a Middle Eastern wack-job has the same penchant for breaking bones as an All American Serial Killer. (Dekker does explain where both of the characters predilections come from, but I still thought it was a stretch.) I will say I appreciated the ending, I expected the whole “justice will prevail, law and order…blah blah blah bit. I forgot this is Ted Dekker and he’s not one for conventional, easy endings. But I did just re-read the last page, and I’m sort of wondering if….hmm….can Boneman return??? I think that might, (mind you, I said, MIGHT) just be possible!