The Bride Collector

by Ted Dekker

Hardcover, 2010

Status

Available

Call number

813.6

Publication

Center Street (2010), Edition: 1, 448 pages

Description

Fiction. Mystery. Thriller. HTML: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?… (more)

Language

Original language

English

Physical description

448 p.; 9.25 inches

ISBN

1599951967 / 9781599951966

User reviews

LibraryThing member Joyce.Leung
*WARNING: CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS SO PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!*

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

Quinton Gauld believes himself to be a messenger from God to deliver seven women – seven favourites – to be His bride. Each was to be progressively more perfect, leading to the last one, who was
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to be the epitome of perfection itself. After that, he would receive his final and just reward.

And when someone you love dies, something inside of you dies. You die. She is you. You are her.

Brad Raines is in charge of the FBI squad searching for the man they’ve dubbed The Bride Collector. As every lead leads them to a dead end, he turns reluctantly to their only remaining lead: the Centre for Wellness and Intelligence – a psychotic ward catering exclusively to patients with high levels of intelligence.

It was a strange story in so many ways, strange because Paradise knew it was absolutely normal.

Paradise, Roudy, Andrea and Enrique have all agreed to help Special Agent Raines on his case. Roudy can connect seemingly random dots, Andrea can spot patterns, Paradise can see ghosts, and Enrique is a hopeless flirt. Together, they start unearthly more clues the Bride Collector left behind in his message to them.


I really, really wanted to like this book. And I succeeded, in the first three quarters of the book. The detective work was fairly well-written, and the author sounded like he knew what he was talking about. The attention to detail was really quite astonishing (and yes, I am being sexist here) – the meticulous attention given to trivial matters such as the stringy hair and the too-short jeans all helped set the atmosphere for the plot.

And then he went ahead and turned it to a love story.



He would head back to a precious woman named Paradise who deserved and now had his complete devotion.

Every cliché in the book had happened to her, all at once. In her dark world, the sun had come out as if for the very first time.

What happened? This book isn’t even listed under the romance genre, for God’s sake! Why oh why did this book have to be spoiled with the soppy declarations of love of two people who’d known each other for what, under a week? It’s not that I don’t believe in love at first sight, but rather that there were no previous indications that the romance was going to take the lead role in the story and then, suddenly, bam! they were exchanging their declarations of love – and get this, both are supposed to be emotionally scarred and unable to love anyone.

And then, as though that weren’t enough, you had the classic “I’ll go!” “No, I’ll go!” “No, let me go!” “It’s too dangerous! I’m the only one who’s fit to go! I have to rid the world of all your demons, baby!” “Aww! That’s so sweet! Okay, you go, and come back quickly – I’ll be waiting!” scenario from two wounded people a mere three hundred yards away from the Bride Collector’s house. Please, kill me.



What really devastates me is the fact that this is a good book. The plot – barring the last quarter – is brilliant! You had the motive, the ritualistic killing, the ideal, the panic – you had everything a thriller needed and then some. The characters were all so 3D – I could talk to any one of the characters and predict what they might say. The research was watertight – you had a whole array of psychotic diseases and the symptoms were all so well-blended, so essential to each character themself that you could not imagine them not being a psycho.

See, this is where a little regression back into say, the 19th century would have been good. Authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn’t have to add romance to his stories to get attention – Sherlock Holmes could discriminate women to his heart’s content without being called a sexist! But now, now authors have to induce a violent and/or romantic angle to the story to even get near the bestseller lists, and I cannot count the number of books this has tainted, corrupted, destroyed.
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LibraryThing member Cajunbooklady
WOW! This book was as insane as it was awesome. The plot of the book grabs you from the start and keeps you wanting more. Dekker's writing is just brilliant and sucked me in. I read the book within a day because I just couldn't put it down.
"The Bride Collector" is definitely a haunting thriller
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that will keep you glancing over your shoulder. The major lesson from this book? People are not always who they seem!
I give it a five star rating and recommend that you run (don't walk!) and snatch it up when it hits the shelves!
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LibraryThing member LoriHedgpeth
This was my first Ted Dekker book and after immersing myself in Mr. Dekker's prose for the last week, I feel like Augustus Gloop might have felt after drinking Willy Wonka's chocolate river - - satiated and happy to have done it, despite the messiness.

The Bride Collector is the type of genre book
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I have always been drawn to, a mystery/thriller. I don't mind if I solve the mysteries/thrillers before the end (provided that if the clues are obvious the hero or heroine figures it out as well). What I do mind is if the hero or heroine does something completely out of character or something that is so obviously to make him or her have a run-in with the killer or bad guy but is the type of move that defies common sense (such as taking a midnight stroll while a serial killer is on the loose, right smack in the middle of the killer's hunting ground).

Fortunately Mr. Dekker avoids illogical character actions and reveals the identity of the Bride Collector fairly early on. The mystery isn't so much the killer's identity but why he's doing what he's doing and whether or not hero Brad Raines can stop him.

I found Brad to be a hero you can root for. I liked his character and I particularly enjoyed that Mr. Dekker didn't say so much with words that Brad was a faithful and loyal man who was adept at his job, he let Brad's actions shape and mold his character. If you've read my past reviews you know that I like characters with flaws and Brad is no exception.

The Center for Wellness and Intelligence was an interesting and fascinating locale for a portion of the book. Supporting characters Allison, Andrea, Roudy and Cass added extra dimension and flavor to the story and I found the psychiatric and psychological themes to be appealing without being heavy handed or overly academic. These characters on their own formed unusual stories that could have demanded more.

As much as I liked Paradise, I also felt she was a bit weak and I wished her family storyline and connections could have been further developed and identified. I enjoyed her "ability" and I would have appreciated reading more about that.

The Bride Collector himself, however, was a powerful and satisfying character. As much as you root for Brad and hope for the Collector's failure, you also hope that these two strong men will come face to face, a good versus evil, if you will. Mr. Dekker did an outstanding job with fleshing out the Collector and making him more than just "the serial killer".

In short, I found The Bride Collector to be an intense, action-packed, and ultimately very satisfying, read. Mr. Dekker threw one or two unexpected curveballs in the book that kept this reader on her toes and anxiously flipping each page. I thought the story was absorbing, as well as Mr. Dekker's writing, which made me care about the characters and what happened to them. I plan on adding Mr. Dekker to my "must read" list and am pleased that I had this opportunity.
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LibraryThing member SarahLeighAnn
The Bride Collector is a serial killer novel that follows FBI Special Agent Brad Raines as he tracks the gruesome work of the Bride Collector and Paradise Founder, a peculiar young woman with an extraordinary gift who becomes Brad’s unlikely ally in his mission to stop the killer. The trouble is,
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Paradise has not left the Center for Wellness and Intelligence (an institution for the brilliant but mentally ill) in the seven years since her family’s murder, and their desperation mounts when the Bride Collector’s clues become personal threats.

Brad and Paradise are captivating characters that get deeper and more complex as Dekker takes breaks them down and builds them up over the course of the novel, and many of the residents of CWI are memorable and endearing with their own quirks and struggles as they give Brad and Paradise everything they can to help the case.

The story was paced well, never lagging in suspense or overly packed with action at the expense of character development, and the transitions between characters’ points of view was smooth. All around, this was a wonderfully written novel with plenty of surprises, originality, and engaging narration.

The jewels of this novel for me were the profound themes of beauty and love, juxtaposed with insanity and hate, woven throughout the story that absolutely arrest the reader without being obtrusive or distracting. This story is an easy, enjoyable read, an excellent page turner that will at the same time take the reader on a personal journey with Brad and Paradise, putting themselves in the characters’ shoes as they try to get inside the mind of the Bride Collector, anticipate his moves, and explore the question, “What is sanity?”, or better yet, “What is beauty?”.

I would recommend this book to anyone, no matter their preference for thrillers, because like much of Dekker’s work this novel seems to break genre barriers by masterfully reaching beyond the formula to tell a deeper story.

*On a personal note, this story spoke significantly to my own heart, and I would make a special recommendation to anyone who struggles with feelings of worthlessness, “ugliness,” the desperate desire to be loved, and who know what it feels like to be paralyzed or debilitated by these fears and desires at some point or another. More powerful than the dark, twisted heart of the Bride Collector, and more gripping than the suspense in this story is the beautiful message that we are all desperately loved and desired by God, and it is to Him that we should look to for our definitions of goodness, beauty, sanity, and love.
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LibraryThing member wbentrim
The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

Grisly, gruesome and frightening are descriptive terms that don’t do justice to this dive into the demented soul of Quinton Gauld. A serial killer runs amuck in this chilling tale of mental illness and those afflicted with it’s myriad symptoms.

Dekker does a
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masterful job forcing the reader to ponder what truly defines mental illness. Brad Raines is an FBI agent who displays borderline problems of his own. He is captivated by a surprising woman. His character grows in the story. The rambling rationalizations of the tormented psychopath are believably chilling. In addition it is a darn good mystery.

I highly recommend the book.
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LibraryThing member wbentrim
The Bride Collector by Ted DekkerGrisly, gruesome and frightening are descriptive terms that don’t do justice to this dive into the demented soul of Quinton Gauld. A serial killer runs amuck in this chilling tale of mental illness and those afflicted with it’s myriad symptoms. Dekker does a
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masterful job forcing the reader to ponder what truly defines mental illness. Brad Raines is an FBI agent who displays borderline problems of his own. He is captivated by a surprising woman. His character grows in the story. The rambling rationalizations of the tormented psychopath are believably chilling. In addition it is a darn good mystery. I highly recommend the book.
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LibraryThing member BooksCooksLooks
This was one good book. I think I watch too many crime shows on TV because the only thing that irked me while reading was all the explanation of terms and procedures that have become so familiar from all those episodes of Law and Order, CSI and Criminal Minds.

The book opens boldly and takes off
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from there. We are confronted with the results of the Bride Collector's work and we meet our hero, Brad Raines. He's smart and committed to his work at the FBI but he has his secrets. As he investigates the killer he doesn't know he's being watched by the killer....uh-oh!

The killer is highly intelligent and highly organized. He feels he has been chosen by God to fulfill his sick mission. He is driven by his delusions and any small diversion from his plan sets him off.

The book is suspenseful and full of rich characters. A real page turner. But like others I have read not one to be reading right before bed, ya know what I mean? If you love the suspense genre I am sure you will enjoy this book.
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LibraryThing member scoutlee
I haven’t had the opportunity to read a book written by Ted Dekker. The Bride Collector was definitely a great first-read for me. The reader is taken in by the story from page one and is swept away until the final page is turned.

What I enjoyed most about the book is the relationship and
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collaboration Raines had with the residents of the Center for Well-being and Intelligence. It not only added to the suspense, but allowed for more character depth and exploration. The author does a fantastic job of telling the story from different character’s perspectives, which allows the reader to get inside the killer’s mind and relate to the frustration and anger Raines feels after the women are found. The reader is also granted permission to know the secrets the have haunted both Paradise and Raines for years. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, then I recommend The Bride Collector. I will warn you though, the killing scenes are graphic, so read with ALL the lights on!!
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LibraryThing member OneMorePage
I've not read a serial killer book in a long time that is as well researched and presented as this one. It's not just a book where an FBI guy chases a serial killer until he gets him, although that does happen (as one would expect). It also examines the nature of mental illness and the
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contributions that gifted people with mental illness can make to society. Not only is The Bride Collector read-it-with-the-lights-on suspenseful, it also gave me reason to think. Well worth the time.
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LibraryThing member spvaughan
I have to thank Libby of Libby's Library News for putting this book up as a giveaway and Hachette Audio for offering it to her!

When the audio arrived, I thought "Why don't we (DH and I) just listen to the first disc and see what we think. We can listen to the rest of it later (12 disc set)."

Well,
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that was Friday and this is Sunday and disc 12 has finished. What does that tell you? Yes, we did like it...a lot!

This is how Hachette described the book:
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.

There is more to the description than this but I am choosing stop here because that last sentence is a salient part of the book. Where is the line between sanity and insanity? Is the line clear? Blurred?

I think the book does well in delving into those questions as it takes you through a hunt with the help some wonderful characters!

I could not see this book abridged without significant loss.

John Glover does a superb narrating job!

Audio or paper version, I think mystery/suspense lovers will enjoy this book!
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LibraryThing member jo-jo
This was an action packed audiobook that had my knuckles turning white as I was gripping the steering wheel every day. John Glover did an excellent job narrating and I will even admit as I was driving alone in my car listening to this book, I had to peek over the backseat just to verify that I was
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alone!

Brad Raines has dealed with a lot of heartache throughout his life, but finds that he must confront his demons as his search gets underway for the Bride Collector. Raines is somehow drawn to CWI (the Center for Wellness and Intelligence) early in the investigation and he is introduced to some unique individuals that will hold the key to breaking this case wide open. At first glance they seem like a bunch of nuts, but as he befriends them he learns that they all have something to offer to the investigation.

Paradise is one of the residents of CWI and Brad finds himself drawn to her for more reasons than one. As women are murdered at the hands of the Bride Collector, Brad becomes concerned that the murders are becoming more personal to him and finds himself worrying about the safety of Paradise. Is he putting Paradise at risk by becoming attracted to her?

As the story unfolds Paradise becomes a key component of the Bride Collector's plans. Brad must put his feelings aside and work with Paradise to try to find this killer before he strikes again. The murderer hasn't killed a man yet, but who's to say that he wouldn't hesitate to kill Brad in the same way that he kills the women just so he could complete his quest.

This was a great audiobook that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and maybe even evoke a scream or two as you are driving down the road (yes, I am a big baby.) I don't want to give any more of the book away, but if you enjoy books from the thriller/suspense genre then I definitely recommend this one to you.
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LibraryThing member amcreech
Brad Raines is an FBI agent who is trying to catch a serial killer who kills women, drains their blood, hangs them on a wall and dresses them as brides. To help provide insight into the killer, Brad turns to four residents of a mental health facility that houses gifted but mentally ill patients.

Of
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the four residents , Paradise, takes center stage in helping Brad to discover keys to catching the killer all the while dealing with significant phobias, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia as well as repressed memories of awful events in her past.

This book was a quick read and never lost my interest.
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LibraryThing member bookwormygirl
This is my first Dekker novel - don’t really know why I haven’t read anything by him before - but that is definitely soon to change. The Bride Collector was an edge of your seat suspenseful thriller that I really enjoyed. It started off a bit slow for me, but midway through the book I was
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completely hooked. I just had to know what would happen next. Raines and Paradise were both great. I enjoyed their interactions with one another. But I have to say that I was really taken by some of the residents of The Center for Wellness and Development. I loved the lightness they brought to the novel and I found them quite interesting in their own right.

There were many spiritual questions evident throughout the novel but the religion aspect is not so over powering as to take away from a readers enjoyment. It is not preachy or pretentious in any way, instead I found it to be thought provoking. Mr. Dekker's writing is fluid and I thought he did a fantastic job of blending a really freaky thriller (gruesome at times, but never gory), with Christianity.

All in all, this was a fabulous book that thriller fans should not miss out on.
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LibraryThing member ForeignCircus
This is the first Dekker book I've read, and I'm not sure I'll pick up another. Though the plot has lots of wonderful elements, they never really gel into a thriller in this book- I get more chills from an episode of Criminal Minds. Though Raines was an interesting and well-drawn character, I never
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really warmed to Paradise or bought into their interactions. The other patients at the hospital are interesting, more interesting than the spiritual questions they raise for Raines, but do seem to have been added almost as comic relief.

In the end, this book has too much religion and not enough suspense to truly hold my interest. The book was well-written, and there were certainly elements of each character that I enjoyed, but in the end it just didn't pull me in the way I need a thriller to- I was easily able to put down this book which is never a good sign.
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LibraryThing member mmmorgan1089
In Ted Dekker’s The Bride Collector, there is a serial killer on the loose in Denver and FBI agent Brad Rains is stumped and running out of time. The killer targets beautiful women, drains their blood, poses them as if crucified and leaves not one speck of evidence behind. Frustrated, Rains seeks
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help from an unlikely source: patients at a private psychiatric hospital for mentally ill yet extremely intelligent individuals. One, a woman named Paradise is apparently able to experience a victim’s f...moreIn Ted Dekker’s The Bride Collector, there is a serial killer on the loose in Denver and FBI agent Brad Rains is stumped and running out of time. The killer targets beautiful women, drains their blood, poses them as if crucified and leaves not one speck of evidence behind. Frustrated, Rains seeks help from an unlikely source: patients at a private psychiatric hospital for mentally ill yet extremely intelligent individuals. One, a woman named Paradise is apparently able to experience a victim’s final moments by touching the dead body.

The book is slow going at first but gives way to Dekker’s trademark ability to create suspense. The story is told from alternating points of view, Rains’s and the killer’s, and includes much internal dialogue on the essence of beauty and the nature of love and grief. While these themes may appeal to some readers, they slow the pace of the narrative. Unfortunately, the ending is not only neat and tidy, it is also predictable. Still, there is enough action to satisfy Dekker’s numerous fans and will undoubtedly garner him new ones. One word of caution: the description of the crime scenes can be quite graphic and may not be appropriate for all readers.
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LibraryThing member abcarroll
This one kept me on the edge of my seat!
LibraryThing member cmeilink
A series of bizarre murders finds agent, Brad Raines, seeking help in an exclusive mental health facility. Treating only extremely intelligent patients, Brad meets a young woman, Paradise, who might be able to supply the answers.

The killer finds beautiful young women, drills holes in the bottom of
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their feet, and drains the blood from their bodies. When he is finished, he glues their bodies to the wall, artfully arranging them.

Can a group of individuals outside of the norm find the killer when the police and FBI have been unable to do so?

A decent read but somewhat predictable.
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LibraryThing member gdill
I personally believe Dekker went way over the top on this one. The story was too macabre for my taste. Morbid details that made me cringe. Very violent and sexually perverse in many ways. I've enjoyed some of Dekker's novels in the past. But, now I genuinely question the man's sanity. The Bride
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Collector is perhaps the darkest novel I ever began to read, so dark I couldn't finish it. Is this what we are now calling Christian entertainment? God help us.
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LibraryThing member atdCross
Although not as usually faced-paced as his books have been, nevetheless, Dekker keeps you at the edge and forcing you to turn the next page.

A serial killer is out there brutally murdering women in search of the perfect bride to present to God. FBI agent Brad Raines, who unexpectantly lost the women
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he loved by suicide, assumes the killer is mentally deranged and in desperation, therefore, enlists the help of mentally ill patients at the Center for Welllness and Intelligence. He is drawn especially to a patient named Paradise who seems to have a gift of seeing "ghosts".

The thing that makes me wonder is how imaginative is the Christian mind in thinking up sadistic ways to kill. Is such writing consistent with Christian principles?

In any case, the writing was typical crazy-in-the-head Dekker and a read that one should not neglect.
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LibraryThing member JEB5
“The Bride Collector” by Ted Dekker is a whirlwind of a murder thriller. Special Agent Brad Raines is on the hunt for a serial killer who murders women after delicately doing their make-up, hair and nails by gluing them to walls and draining their bodies of their blood by drilling holes into
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their heels. When four women are found in abandoned barns with bridal veils on, the FBI knows that they have to find the killer before he murders more innocent women.

Dekker’s novel is well rounded and extremely well-written. His vivid descriptions add dimension to the print on the pages and his in-depth research on mental illness has added elements of reality that can make this novel a chilling read. The novel changes point-of-view several times so that readers are able to experience not only the FBI’s search for a killer but also to be inside the mind of the killer while he chooses his victims. The chapters are quick reads and each page urges you onto the next. This is a book that will not last on a nightstand for long and will remain in your mind for days afterwards.
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LibraryThing member Tracykrauss
Reading this book reminded me why Ted Dekker is one of my favourite contemporary authors. In typical fashion, he launches right into the action with a crime scene reminiscent of an episode of criminal minds. The characters are unexpected and interesting and the story just doesn’t stop with some
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very surprising twists which I can’t explain without spoiling the end. All you really need to know is, if you like crime fiction, then you should read this book.
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LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
This book really does get into your head. A serial killer on the loose and some gifted, albeit mentally challenged, individuals are called in to assist in solving the case(s). It raises the question of what drives one's neurosis and psychosis -- everyone single one of us -- and how it affects our
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interpretation of good and evil. Another mind-bender by Dekker.
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LibraryThing member ChristineEllei
Brad Raines is an FBI detective facing one of his most gruesome cases ever; a serial killer who dresses his victims as brides, glues them to a wall, cuts their ankles and allows them to bleed out. Through a twist of circumstance he enlists the help of patients from the “Center of Wellness and
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Intelligence”, a care center for mentally ill yet gifted individuals.

This book has some strong religious overtones, and part of what makes it an interesting read is the fact that there is a true character reversal. The antagonist almost seems to make sense in his beliefs and the protagonists are slightly off kilter in their thinking. It all comes together in an interesting ending. It was an alright read.
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LibraryThing member debs4jc
A FBI agent uses residents of a mental health institution to help him solve a crime involving a serial killer. It sounds so implausible, and at times I did find this story so, but it also led me on thrill ride with a lot of twists and turns --- and deaths. The serial killer is called the Bride
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Collector because he affixes his female victims to a wall, posed in nothing but a bridal veil, and then drains all the blood out of them at their heels--leaving them looking perfectly beautiful and "pure". His nemesis is Brad Raines--the lead FBI agent assigned to the case. As Raines investigates, a link between the killer and a nearby institution for mental health patients who are also highly intelligent is uncovered. As Raines checks out this link, he becomes aware of the special gifts of the residents at the institution, particularly of a woman named Paradise, and he hopes their talents can help him crack the case.
The race against time to stop the bride collector kept me wanting to keep listening to this story, but I did find some aspects of it unbelievable. I could not believe an FBI investigation would be allowed to be handled the way it is in this book. I did appreciate what the author was trying to do, in bringing awareness to an overlooked segment of our society and even making a person with a mental health disorder one of the heroes. However some of the interpersonal dynamics between Raines and the residents of the institution were hard to swallow as well. So I'd say this is a good thriller to enjoy for the shock value and some of the unique characters, just don't expect a high level of believably.
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LibraryThing member Carol420
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
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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.

Special Investigator Brad Raines of the FBI thinks the killer is in love with his victims, creating a supreme sacrifice, an offering to the gods, of sorts, a macabre expression of love. But the deaths fuel the killer to continue his rampage, like a vampire feasting off the blood of his hapless prey. But it takes a psychotic to know one and off the investigators go to an institution for the insane, but an institution limited only to insane persons of high intelligence,

The institution is filled with zany characters but the most notable is Paradise, a young woman who had suffered severe emotional trauma and who is reported to be able to touch a murdered person and name the killer by picking up some sort of vibes via osmosis. She hears voices and sees ghosts but nevertheless, you kind of get the feeling the real crazy people and killers are not in the institution, they are outside it and among us.

The way the story is structured, you know who the murderer is right off. The story bounces back and forth between the killer and Raines, so the payoff isn't the "who dun it" resolution at the end. Instead, it's more along the lines of seeing whether Raines will be able to stop him before he can claim his final victim.
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