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BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker

BoneMan's Daughters (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Ted Dekker

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Title:BoneMan's Daughters
Authors:Ted Dekker
Info:Center Street (2009), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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BoneMan's Daughters by Ted Dekker (2009)

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BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker is a crime thriller that is hard to put down. Commander Ryan Evans, who was captured by the enemy in Afghanistan and psychologically tortured before he escaped, returns home to reconcile with his wife and daughter. Unfortunately he finds himself caught in a desperate struggle to protect his family from “The BoneMan,” a serial killer who murders women by breaking their bones without breaking their skin until they die. However, Ryan Evans may not be the heroic man that is suggested by his military accomplishments. This book captures the reader and propels her/him through shockingly brutal violence, which places the protagonist in hopeless situations. However, Dekker does not ignore character development. He also reveals much about the fascinating characters including their intelligence, tenderness, cruelty, and insanity. I have known that Ted Dekker is a very popular and prolific author, but I had never read any of his work until now. After being awestruck by BoneMan’s Daughter, I realize that I should have begun reading his novels a long time ago, and I plan to read more of them in the future. However, this is probably not for squeamish readers. ( )
  clark.hallman | Feb 15, 2014 |
Stunning Dekker thriller starting in Iraq with Ryan Evans being captured. Essentially about the battle between good and evil - and how much do we value relationships. Well good... As it says on the front cover: Could you break a man's bones ... to save your child? ( )
  cbinstead | Feb 12, 2014 |
When I finished reading this, I wasn't too sure how I felt about it. I got turned on to Ted Dekker after reading Thr3e, so snatched up a couple more of his books and settled down to read them. Overall, I wouldn't say this is a bad read, but I'd hesitate to call it a really good one, either. Just average, really.

Ryan Evans, a career sailor heavily involved in intelligence work, is kidnapped by extremists. His experiences during his captivity render him unfit for further duty, but also reawaken his love for his estranged wife and daughter. Returning home proves less than joyful, however, as his wife has taken a lover, his daughter hates him, and a serial killer is on the loose with his sights set on Bethany Evans.

Alright. Interesting enough premise. The problem is that a lot of it feels forced. Evans doesn't prove to be particularly sympathetic, primarily because it's difficult to believe in him. I'm supposed to accept that after a near death experience, he suddenly does an about face and decides his adopted daughter is the most important thing in the world? So important that he may even be willing to lie, steal and murder to help her? If he was a more "normal" father, I might accept this, but it clearly states over and over again that Evans has had ridiculously little contact with his daughter during her sixteen years on the earth. Accept he loves her? Sure. Accept he loves her to the exclusion of all else? Sorry, not buying it. Especially when Dekker rather heavy-handedly keeps interjecting Ryan's thoughts, which almost solely consist of "But I love my daughter! I would do anything for her!" Those two lines are repeated more than anything else during the 400-ish pages of this romp.

The big reveal as to the BoneMan's identity didn't feel particularly interesting, either. Generally in a thriller of this nature, you would have been exposed to your killer at some point during the tale, and guessing their identity forms part of the fun. *BIG SPOILER UP IN THE NEXT SENTENCE. SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW* Given my previous experience with Thr3e, and having eliminated all other suspects, I was half ready to believe that Evans himself was the BoneMan and just suffering from MPD. Nope. The BoneMan is just some guy. Who we learn entirely too little about and never hear a peep from outside of his murderous persona. He isn't anyone you meet over the course of the story, and seems totally random in his selection of victims and murder style.

Add in that everything just seems to get wrapped up a little TOO tidily at the end, with all the "bad" people removed and all the "good" people rewarded, and nary a peep regarding the psychological damage that both Evans and Bethany seem to have (I don't know about you, but I kinda worry about folks who can turn their emotions off pretty much at will, then do terrible things and not feel bad when they flip the "feelings" switch back on.) It starts looking just a little too fairy-tale for my tastes.

There IS some good; on the very rare occasions when we get a peek into BoneMan's background and childhood, they are suitably chilling and you can see how it might have cracked him. When you get to the big reveal - which, honestly, you should probably see coming from quite a few pages away - you can at least understand why he fixated on Bethany. He almost seems more interesting and sympathetic than Ryan himself. Also in the book's favor is that they don't force a romance on anyone, though the threads are certainly there and feel as though they're being set up for it. Thankfully, it never materializes, thus saving us that particular piece of awkwardness.

As with Thr3e, Dekker's prose is quick, well-written and easy to follow. Grammar and spelling rules are followed and from a technical standpoint, all is well. My only quibble in this department is BoneMan himself. The name looks, feels and sounds awkward, clunky. Boneman, I accept. Bone Man, I accept. BoneMan, I do not. Given the number of times you have to trip over the name in the text, it's like Dekker is almost deliberately throwing out caltrops, making you trip over the word as you stumble blindly into the next sentence.

Following the book itself, Dekker delves into his own family history, relating a parable of how the book came to be: His own daughter had skipped out on the clan-fam to shack up with a lowlife, and BoneMan's Daughters was apparently the result as Dekker tried to "write it out of his system." There's parts of me that agree with the idea - write what you know and all that - but at the same time, part of me says that this probably would have been better off for Dad Dekker to leave in his filing cabinet to gloat over when he was feeling down.

It's not absolutely terrible... but it does feel absolutely average once everything gets factored in. Probably worth a read if you're a huge Dekker fan or just bored, but there is better stuff out there. ( )
  KaineAndrews | Apr 15, 2013 |
I picked this up out of the blue at my school library because the description sounded interesting and I wanted a good mystery/thriller novel to read. I have never read any Ted Dekker books before but one of my roommates loves his novels (which explains her dark scary side). I really enjoyed this book for multiple reasons. While it wasn’t as thrilling/edge of my seat as I had expected it was still very creepy and there were times where I was taken off guard.

I really enjoyed the slow beginning. Dekker spent the time to flush out the change in Ryan Evans. I loved reading about his time in the desert and the reason behind his sudden change in perspective on his fatherhood. I also liked reading the background and getting to know the other characters; Bethanny, Celine, Welsh, etc.

Boneman doesn’t show up until the middle of the book but it was well worth the wait. I really loved that there were chapters in his perspective so you could really get into the nitty gritty details of how his brain worked. It was all more fascinating than creepy for me. I really loved the detail to the bone breaking as well (in a scientific sense) and even looked up a few bones to better visualize what was going on.

The last hundred pages were intense and I loved every bit of it. Without giving away any spoilers, I loved how the end reflected some of the actions/desires that were mentioned earlier. While there was a lot of talk about God and Satan, it fit well into the novel, and wasn’t overpowering but rather added to the entire feeling of the book. I really enjoyed it and if you’re looking for a fascinating and a creepily deep thriller to read I would suggest this one in a heartbeat. ( )
  TheBigNerd | Apr 12, 2013 |
Excellent book! It's been a while since I read a psychological thriller/crime book that was well written. It has a great plot and is suspenseful and creepy, but in a good way. It's the kind of book that I can see being made into a movie. However, unlike many other books, this book is not one of those made-for-TV novels and is worthy of reading. ( )
  admccrae | Apr 3, 2013 |
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The day that Ryan Evans' world forever changed began as any other day he'd spent in the hot desert might have begun.
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Book description
They Call him the BoneMan, a serial killer who's abducted six young women. He's the perfect father looking for the perfect daughter, and when his victims fail to meet his lofty expectations, he kills them by breaking their bones and leaving them to die.

Intelligence officer Ryan Evans, on the other hand, has lost all hope of ever being the perfect father. His daughter and wife have written him out of their lives.

Everything changes when BoneMan takes Ryan's estranged daughter, Bethany, as his seventh victim. Ryan goes after BoneMan on his own.

But the FBI sees it differently. New evidence points to the suspicion that Ryan is BoneMan. Now the hunter is the hunted, and in the end, only one father will stand.
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A serial killer is kidnapping young girls, breaking their bones, and leaving them to die. Ryan Evans is an intelligence officer who is alienated from his own family. When the BoneMan kidnaps Ryan's daughter, Ryan must take on this deranged killer himself to save her.… (more)

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