by Ted Dekker

Paperback, 2003



Call number



Gardners Books (2003)


Imagine answering your cell phone one day to a male voice that gives you three minutes to confess your sin. If you don't, the madman, Slater, will blow your car to smithereens. You barely manage to exit heavy traffic and ditch the car when, precisely three minutes later, your car blows sky high. The media and police descend on the scene; your world has just changed forever. So begins the nightmare that grows with progressively higher stakes. There's another phone call, another riddle. The cycle will not stop until the world discovers the secret of your sin, but you don't have a clue what that sin is. If not for Jennifer, the brilliant FBI agent working to corner Slater, you would indeed go mad.


Christian Book Award (Winner — Fiction — 2004)
Christy Awards (Nominee — 2004)


Original language



084994449X / 9780849944499

User reviews

LibraryThing member benfulton
Very suspenseful. For some reason I've been picking up a bunch of "freaky childhood" books lately and this one is certainly in that category. One complaint is that the author doesn't quite play fair moving between fantasy and reality.
LibraryThing member BlondeBibliophile
An amazing book. I am a avid reader and I can usually predict the ending of a book halfway through. Not the case with this one. Ted Dekker always delivers a surprising and exciting read.
LibraryThing member rybeewoods
My first Dekker experience. Even though I heard it was a bad movie, the book was quite thrilling.
LibraryThing member LinkBDD123
This book is one of my favorite books. It such a good book. It is nothing like the movie. Man, all I can say is that its just one of the best books ever!!!!!!!!
LibraryThing member steelerxbabe101
this is a very very good book it is about a guy who is in college and he gets a call and the person says you have three minutes to confess your sin to the world or your car is going to blow up this guy must have been freaked out comment me about this book
LibraryThing member bluenichols
My favorite Ted Dekker book. Have read this one a few times. Also check out the movie.
LibraryThing member idiotgirl
Listened as an audiotbook. Pleasant. But very didactic from a religious viewpoint. That eventually tried my patience.

Patience on my part because of the Sacramento connecton (I have a house there).
LibraryThing member brightspark
A fast paced novel with a Christian theme. The suspense kept me hooked throughout, and I thought it had a satisfying ending.
LibraryThing member blatantbibliophiles
"Kevin Parson is driving his car late one summer day when, suddenly, his cell phone rings. A man who identifies himself as Slater speaks in a breathy voice: You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you're driving will blow sky high.

Kevin panics. Who would
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make such a call? What sin? Kevin ditches the car. Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets his world on a collision course with madness."

THR3E is a really great thriller/romance with Christian themes. It is hard to put down and even harder to forget...wonderful characters and fantastic twists that will leave you guessing right up until its shocking ending. :D
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LibraryThing member emr43
Thr3e is a page-turner laced with many clever plot twists and turns. Dekker has successfully created a metaphorical novel that manifests the duality of good and evil. The philosophical underpinnings of this novel do not soften its continuous action and suspense. This genre could serve to be an
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appealing way to initiate discussions about religion, spirituality, and the dualities of human nature. Abuse and psychiatric disorders could also be subjects for discussion. Language arts discussions and activities could encompass elements of plot, making predictions and inferences, character development, and theme. Thr3e is a recommended addition to a high school library collection and could also be recommended to a more sophisticated upper middle school reader.
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LibraryThing member jolerie
Great story. Great action that keeps you wanting to turn the last page. The mark of a good book is one that keeps you guessing to the very end and in the end you find out that you never had it right in the first place.
LibraryThing member debs4jc
Plot Summary: What happens, When & Where, Central Characters, Major Conflicts
Kevin Parson receives a threatening call on his cell phone--telling him that he has 3 minutes to confess his sin, or a bomb will go off in his car. Kevin manages to avoid the explosion, but the calls continue, as does the
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violence. What sin could the caller be referring to? Is there a serial killer on the loose, or is there another explanation? As Kevin and a childhood friend named Jennifer probe these mysteries, they uncover many hidden secrets from Kevin's past, but nothing seems to explain why the killer is targeting Kevin--unless the answer lies within Kevin himself.

Style Characterisics: Pacing, clarity, structure, narrative devices, etc.
The suspense never lets up, and the reader is kept guessing from the initial phone call to the twist at the end. The clues and riddles that the killer leaves add to the puzzle and fun of trying to figure things out. . He also creates some bizarre characters--like Kevin's extremely unbalanced family--that contribute to the creepy factor. But Dekker also builds the motivation of the crime on a spiritual/theological underpinning that allows him to exlore deeper issues.

How Good is it?
The perfect blend of suspense and something deeper.
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LibraryThing member nm.spring08.e.culton
I first hear of Three when a good friend of mine had me watch the movie. this book was actually made into a very thrilling, heart-pounding, action-packed movie. Dekker's words instantly captivate any audience. The first few pages automatically draw it's reader in. The way Dekker puts so much detail
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into just the slightest things is amazing. I instantly fell in love with the characters. The way the main character, Kevin, runs his fingers through his curly brown hair when he is nervous. The way Slater, the evil, psycopathic killer, plays his awful mind games. The way the helpul FBI agent, Jennifer, truly cares for Kevin. These examples are just a few that really captured me. I have yet to read the entire book, but just judging by the movie, I know that this book will truly be a sucess. Three is just one of those books that, after a busy day at school, work, or running around, you can't wait to come home and sit down with. Curl up with your coffee, grab a comfy seat, and dive in feet first to a whirl wind ride.
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LibraryThing member HollyinNNV
Need a brain break? Read to many classics lately? Enjoy a fast-paced thriller? If you answered yes to these questions, read Thr3e by Ted Dekker. As I never read a Dekker book before, I was not really sure what to expect. I was not disappointed by this suspense-filled, plot-driven story.
Unlike many
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thriller authors, Dekker does not rely on sewer language, sewer sensuality or situations. He instead builds suspense with clever plot manipulations and strong characterization. Dekker is a Christian author. However, he does not beat the reader over the head with his religious views.
While this entertaining book does not rate with sophisticated company like Agatha Christie or even Robert Ludlum, it does deserve a place on your reading pile. I do not think that I am unusual in that I cannot read too many heavy books in a row. Thr3e offers a great change of pace and is a sure-fire page turner.
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LibraryThing member leo26
This book was excellent!!! I cant believe the twist, TED DEKKER is deffinetly my new fav author ! Looking forward to reading more. This was my fouth book reading of his, and I really think hes awesome!
LibraryThing member jedziedz
This is a top notch thriller that had me absorbed in the story from page one. Dekker is great at heightening the suspense and really keeps the reader guessing. During the time I was reading this, I felt some of the scenes were a little long, especially at the end when two of the characters are
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debating the evil nature of man. Afterward, I read somewhere that this novel is considered Christian fiction (shocker) and then the debate made sense. Though it was still a tad too long, especially that late in the book, when you just want to know who the killer is.
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LibraryThing member sputnik16
Does anyone have page 129-130? I'm reading this book and someone lost those pages and now I can't find it! So I would appreciate it if someone could post it up for me to read! Thank You
LibraryThing member aziemer
Thr3e was the first Dekker book I read. Afterward, I was completely hooked on his books to the point of obsession. The book had me feverishly turning pages as the pace was fast and intense. It is a race against time as Kevin's horrific past is unleashed by a psychotic killer. Kevin must race to
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stop numerous bombs all the while trying to hunt down this killer from his past. The book had me hooked and guessing until the very last page! Excellent read!
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LibraryThing member jenniferbogart
THR3E is an unusual book, to say the least. While it begins like many movie-style plot lines – man gets a phone call, do something or something will blow up – nothing is quite as it seems in this mysterious story that explores the connections between good and evil in the life of each fallen
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human being. I see that the book actually has been made into a film (no wonder I kept imagining it as a movie!), but I haven’t seen it myself.

Originally released in 2003, the mass-market paperback is now hitting shelves in bookstores. This is a ‘clean’ mystery/suspense read; there isn’t any cursing or explicit sensuality, though there is violence, darkness, and a disturbing history of a warped childhood. Still, it isn’t explicit or TOO scary in my opinion.

There are some faith-based themes here obviously, with the struggle between good and evil being the obvious one. There are also explorations of adoption with God as a father, personal vs. abstract faith, and others. However, this isn’t mainly an exploration of personal faith, and when Dekker does attempt to pull that into focus momentarily it quickly slips into the background and doesn’t weave through the rest of the novel.

Due to the surprising plot twists it’s difficult to go deeply into the plot of THR3E without revealing spoilers, but it certainly is a mind-bending read that will have you wanting to go back and read it through again once you’re finished. I will say though, that the focus on action and suspense does leave a little something to be desired in the realm of character development. I never truly saw Kevin’s genius (our threatened hero) though it was repeatedly referred to, nor did I find Jennifer’s (the lead FBI agent) closing responses believable.

THR3E will definitely have you looking at the world through a different set of lenses for days to come after you finish reading it.

Reviewed at
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LibraryThing member Cajunbooklady
I adore Ted Dekker's writing and I saw this one at the store the other day. I saw the author's name and the cover and knew it was going into my basket.
I was not disappointed! As usual, the writing was thrilling, creepy, and fast paced. I read through the book in no time as I just could not put it
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The story itself is about the timeless battle between good and evil and Dekker put his twist on it. If you like a creepy and suspenseful psychological thriller then this is one to read.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
A good crime novel, it was weakened by revealing a far fetched surprise ending too early. The difficult to swallow ending served to deliver Dekker's Christian message... and not one that right wing conservatives are likely to find very comfortable;-)
LibraryThing member jewelknits
A young man named Kevin Parson is a seminary student at the Divinity School of the Pacific, South in Long Beach, California. Keenly intelligent, with a mysterious past, it has been said that he views the world through the eyes of an adult with the innocence of a child. His parents died in a car
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accident when he was one years old, and he was raised by his Aunt Balinda and her husband Eugene with his cousin Bob, 8 years older and mentally handicapped.

One afternoon, while driving home from school, he receives a telephone call from someone who calls himself Slater. If he doesn't confess his sin to the world, the car he is driving will explode in exactly three minutes ... and it does.

Enter Jennifer Peters, FBI special agent, whose brother Roger was killed by someone known as The Riddle Killer three months ago. This killer leaves a riddle to solve in a specified period of time (as did Slater); when it's not solved, someone dies. Jennifer had been working on the case, and when she got too close, The Riddle Killer took someone in her family. She takes a personal interest in Kevin's case because of this.

We also meet Samantha (Sam), Kevin's only childhood friend. Her father was a cop, and now she works for the CBI. She is on leave from her job because she just moved, and when Kevin calls her, she responds and starts working the investigation as well.

As more riddles come in, Sam and Jennifer race against the clock to find Slater and to stop him before it's too late.

This was my first foray into Dekker's writing, and because so many people love his writing, I expected to be pulled in right away. We have a possible serial killer, a family with dark secrets, and a handsome protagonist whose naivete' draws Jennifer into caring a little too much for him.

As I read, the story felt implausible at best. The attraction that a seasoned FBI agent felt for a victim that she didn't know; Kevin's character, the dialogue, even the action .. I just rode the surface and never felt involved with the story or it's characters. It felt a bit forced to me, and I was always conscious that I was reading a story (Hardcore readers will know what I mean by that). There is a twist near the end that I almost didn't see coming, but even there, the pacing seemed off. I know that this one was made into a movie, and I can't help thinking that in this case, the movie was probably better.

Although this book was not for me, I seem to be in the minority on this, so I invite you to visit the Amazon and/or Goodreads pages for other reviews.


Thank you, Aunt Balinda, for sharing this with me. I am nothing. Thank you, you lousy, sick, twisted auntie for slamming this nugget of truth down my throat. I am nothing, nothing, nothing. Thank you, you demon from hell for gouging out my eyes and pounding me into the ground and ....

Turn the other cheek shouldn't apply to sick sewer rats with knives in their hands who licked neighborhood girls' windows.
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LibraryThing member photonegative
This book was pretty okay. It read like an extended episode of Criminal Minds, but I really felt it could have been about half as long and still had the same impact. Overall, not awful, but not great either.
LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
WOWSERS!!! Now THIS is how a psychological thriller should be written. Dekker places the mind games bar high on this one. So engrossed was I in the plot, that I did not see the twist coming!
LibraryThing member jlcarroll
Flawed but intriguing, Dekker's Three examines the duality of man and our battle against the evil within. Add a plus for an ending many will consider a surprise.

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