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The Sanctuary

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,534 ratings  ·  263 reviews
THE SANCTUARY is the gripping story of vigilante priest, Danny Hansen, who is now serving a fifty year prison term in California for the murder of two abusive men. Filled with remorse, Danny is determined to live out his days by a code of non-violence and maneuvers deftly within a ruthless prison system.

But when Renee Gilmore, the woman he loves, receives a box containing...more
Hardcover, 403 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Center Street (first published 2012)
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Patrick


Very disappointing. Likely my least favorite book of Dekker's. For the longest time I've felt like much of his writing was watered down, like he'd signed a book deal and was writing simply to satisfy a contract. Perhaps the problem is that I could list at least twenty books of his that I've absolutely love, so when he writes something new I have such high expectations. This lacked the passion and wonder that peppers so much of his work. Whether a salvo on the American penal system, or a shadow...more
Mark Carver
I applaud Ted Dekker's mission to create gritty entertainment for the Christian market. However, The Sanctuary is a consummate disappointment. Eye-rolling sappiness, ludicrous characters that have been engineered for maximum mainstream appeal, over-obvious dialogue, and a childish plot stuffed to the gills with exhausted cliches. This book is simply toothless, vanilla-flavored commercial fiction. Don't waste your time.
Albert

I have not read The Priest's Graveyard yet, which as I understand, starts the story of Danny Hanson. But you can bet that I will after reading The Sanctuary. And I can tell you that it's not necessary to read the former to enjoy the latter.

The Sanctuary is about Danny Hanson, a ex-vigilante priest who has taken a vow of non-violence. The story is told from the point of view of his "wife", Renee, who he had saved from a life of drugs, abusive men, and (mild?)OCD. And Danny is serving a 50 year se

...more
Michael
Honestly this wasn't a terrible novel, it just didn't feel as fluid and imaginative as we have come to expect from Dekker.

It did not help that one of the main characters, Emma? whatever the girls name is, is probably one of the most desperate, whiny and needy female leads of our generation. I'm shocked by her dependency and weakness and truly expected more growth from her as the story progressed.

This did not happen. In fact there was little growth and development from either character--what yo...more
Bill Garrison
This book is a sequel to The Priest's Graveyard, and it is really boring, and I can't recommend it. Danny Hansen is a man haunted by the rape and murder of his sister and mother. He fights in the Bosnian war, and then, as a man, became a priest who killed the worst of the worst criminals. Renee Gilmore is a woman trapped by her own pain and addiction. They meet, fight their own battles, and fall in love.

Then, THE SANCTUARY begins. Danny has just been transferred to Basal, a new type of prison wh...more
Britain
There are just a few things I think everyone must know. This book is more than just a story. It's a message. If you've read and didn't understand what so many were talking about, you've missed out on one of the most important parts of this book. You may have read every word and looked at every inch of the cover and you still might be blind and confused, because it's much like looking at a human body. Touching and feeling with your hands and taking every inch of the person in with your eyes, yet...more
Sarah
Told in alternately the first-person singular and third-person limited point of view, Ted Dekker's episodic new novel is disturbingly chilling as it investigates the inside of America's prison system. Basal, a fictitious experimental prison, is not all that it appears to be, as former priest and vigilante Danny Hansen discovers upon being transferred there. Furthermore, his girlfriend Renee Gilmore soon finds herself drawn into a nefarious scheme that jeopardizes not only her own life but Danny'...more
Banana
Nov 06, 2012 Banana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Ted Dekker fans
This book was incredible.
It was typical Ted Dekker with some scenes that made me cringe a little, but it was the fact that I felt like I was a character in the book that made me love it. I felt Danny's pain. I experienced Renee's longing. Everything felt so real, especially page 309. I read this at night, and I (view spoiler)
The writing was just truly excellent.
The only problem I had with this book...more
Tyler Valentine
This book is fantastic! My favorite book by Ted Dekker! I literally read this in a day. If you have the time to sit down and read it it is well worth it.
Rick Fisher
2.5 stars.

Typically, I am a big fan of Dekker. I have enjoyed his foray into a more crime/mystery style genre. Unfortunately, this work was lacking in so many ways. The plot was weak. The characters predictable and trite. The dialogue was generic.
"The Sanctuary" features returning characters, vigilante priest Danny Hanson and the woman he loves, Renee Gilmore, who first appeared in "The Priest's Graveyard". The story spends almost the entirety of its length, split into two separate pieces. Al...more
Starr Reina
Admittedly, I’ve not read Ted Dekker before this book. If his other books are even half as good as “The Sanctuary,” I fear I’ve missed some wonderful yarns.

Once a priest in cloth and always a priest in heart, Danny Hansen is now behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. He ‘confessed,’ not to save his soul but to protect Renee Gilmore, his one true love. I say ‘not to save his soul’ because although he may not have committed the murders he was convicted for, he did kill to protect the innocent....more
Julie Graves
Danny Hansen is a former priest serving a 50 year sentence for murder. Determined to serve his time and live his life in non-violence Danny is transferred to Basal Institute of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Basal is run by Warden Marshall Pape who’s philosophy is An Eye for an Eye. Pape sees his job as Warden of his Sanctuary to rehabilitate the members of Basal by using a rewards and punishment system. Danny has his first taste of punishment the first day he arrives-he is thrown naked into a...more
J.S. Bailey
I guessed what the plot twist was. This has made Jennifer very, very sad because she has never guessed a "Dekkian" plot twist before, and it took away a bit of the fun.

The Priest's Graveyard remains one of my favorite novels to date, and I did enjoy revisiting the story of Danny and Renee. However, The Sanctuary wasn't nearly as intense or disturbing as its predecessor. Ted does provide the reader with some food for thought regarding the state of the United States prison system as well as the me...more
Mark
Not my typical genre but actually a very, very good read. There are some things which a good author or cinamatographer can make real without being graphic: Bravehearts hanging, drawing and quartering; the sea in The Old Man and The Sea; the teeth drilling scenes in Marathon Man. The author employs language in a similar manner to describe scenes to truly draw in the reader into the story. The novel at its core is classic good versus evil, redemption of mankind using the US prison system as its ve...more
Kristy
Probably the best by Ted Dekker that I've read for quite some time. Which is saying a lot since the man is seriously my writing hero. :)

This is a sequel to The Priest's Graveyard, but I think it's very much a stand-alone book. It was nice knowing the background from there, but I don't think it's necessary for someone who just picks this one up. There's never any "wait, what? Oh yeah, that was in book 1" moments.

I enjoyed Priest's Graveyard, but this one is better in my opinion. I've always lik...more
Ned
From almost the start of this book, a little voice inside my head was telling me to give up trying to read this book, that the story was not going to get any better. I ignored that voice because I like this author, who has written some great stories, and I knew he would not let me down. I continued to ignore the little voice in my head and finally came to the ending of the book. An ending that I had figured out near the start of the book. Sometimes even good writers toss out turkeys. I need to p...more
Michelle
The Sanctuary was a dark story. No doubt about that. In fact, I needed an occasional break from it; it was that dark. However, in typical Dekker style, redemptive themes made the payoff worth it. I really enjoyed The Priest's Graveyard, so this was a great sequel. There are twists in it that I didn't see coming. When it comes to the depravity of man, Dekker is a master at showing it. But he also shows how love is greater than all of the darkness. I love that about his stories. Anyway, I enjoyed...more
Michelle (tinyturtle88)
3.5

This was my first Ted Dekker book, and it was NOT what I expected. It was twisted, and gritty while also being spiritual and deep.

I found his two main characters to be strange and complicated. I could feel their love for each other, but it didn't pull at my heartstrings the way it should have.

This book showed evil in gory detail, but was also filled with passages of right and wrong in the eyes of God. Which, in a book set in a prison seemed appropriate but overly saturated.

I didn't expect the...more
Jim Sinclair
Another good book by the author who is arguably my favourite. I will admit though, that I am not as much of a fan of Dekker's psycho-thrillers like this one, as I am his fantasy books, like The Circle Trilogy: The Complete Trilogy in One Epic Edition, or the fast-moving, continual action of Blink.
What appeals to me in this story is love and commitment. Now, some who have read the book might read that and say, 'Are you out of your tree?" Let me explain:
Yes, I am left to consider that Renee does h...more
Alex
I have read a ton of Ted Dekker books, and while this book has the usual good versus evil plot line, Sanctuary brings a fresh spin on judgement, and as he says himself, it turns the mirror on the reader, and really forces you to evaluate for yourself the spiral society is stuck in by defining and labeling Christians as good, non Christians as bad. Human nature is much deeper than that, and This book points to the fact that only through faith in a savior can we be saved.
Ashley.H
I loved this novel. I am a huge Ted Dekker fan and I am currently making my way through reading all of his novels. As you can tell he is one of my favorite authors and this novel just gives me one "Priest Grave Yard" and it does not disappoint. It takes place where the last book ended and we find our priest in a place called "Sanctuary" facing a test of not only his faith but his will while dealing with some rather fanatical people. This book is so fun because Ted Dekker knows how to develop gre...more
Denise
This book was fantastic! fast paced with an incredible plot twist at the end (spoilers...) My only complaint was the 7 typos I found. Yes, I know that's incredibly picky but hey the main character is OCD so some of that must have rubbed off on me.
Tlartrip
I was a little conflicted on how to review this book. It was, at its best, at least four stars, but it was wildly uneven.

When in thriller/mystery mode it was very enjoyable. It moved at a good pace, the switching between two viewpoints was effective, and the misdirections were effective.

When, however it attempted to touch on the philosophical underpinnings of the main character, it didn't seem like the author knew how to get out of his own way. The language was convoluted, repetitive, and ultima...more
J. Lawrence
Another Dekker adventure! I really liked this one. Very entertaining. Way to shock me at the end Ted! Well played and very well written.
Todd
As much as I hate to say it, this was the first time I was somewhat disappointed by a Ted Dekker novel. It started out as a strong follow-up to The Priest's Graveyard, but I predicted the major "twist" quite early on, and the climax seemed rather convoluted in that the author did too much "telling" and not enough "showing." All of the ironies and mysteries were explained and cleared up quite quickly, and it didn't leave much hunger for how the story would end. Not a bad novel, but definitely wea...more
Boredom Books
I’m no stranger to Ted Dekker’s work. I’ve read so many of his books, beginning with House, his collaboration with Frank Paretti. I also know the man is a pseudo-Christian writer. What I mean by that is, Christian, but more metaphorical and tasteful than in-your-face. I’ve read at least 15 of his books, but it’s probably closer to 17. He has a way with words and can create a world that any form of audience can love and get engrossed in. His books are also considered inspirational fiction, and I...more
Sarah
Overall, this was really good. The characters were likable and it was very suspenseful. However, I was not thrilled with the ending. It seemed like the female main character fell apart too easily, and there were other things about it that seemed unlikely. this is another case of the blurbs on the back or the summary giving something away about the book- I would have enjoyed it more had I not read them. It turned out to be less enjoyable knowing that something was coming that eventually happened...more
Becca Campbell
This is probably my least favorite Dekker book. It's dark, crude, and gritty, but that wasn't what turned me away. I blamed first person point of view as the reason I wasn't keen on Priest's Graveyard, but after reading The Sanctuary, I think I have a better answer.

These two books (Priest's Graveyard and The Sanctuary) fall flat specifically in one area: likable characters. I'm a very character-oriented reader, so if I don't like the characters, it quickly ruins a story for me. Same thing goes f...more
Linda
Danny Hanson’s childhood and adolescent years were lived out in the midst of war, rape and murder, some of which was deeply personal. When he finished his war tour, he became a Catholic priest. He’s wasn’t just an ordinary priest–but a vigilante-priest who allegedly murdered two abusive men. Filled with remorse, he leaves the priesthood and lives out his life under a self-imposed code of non-violence. Is remorse enough? What about repentance? To Whom does vengeance belong to?

Renee Gilmore had he...more
Laura
Title: THE SANTUARY
Author: Ted Dekker
Publisher: Center Street
Publication date: October 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59995-335-9
Genre: Fiction

THE SANTUARY continues where The Priest’s Graveyard left off. The ex-vigilante priest, Danny Hanson, is serving a 50-year prison term in California for the two men he was convicted of murdering. But by being a priest and determined to live a life of non-violence for the rest of his days, he is forced to endure many of the prisons hardships more so then others.

In the mea...more
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Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. Ted lives in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and their four children.
More about Ted Dekker...
Thr3e Black: The Birth of Evil (The Circle, #1) White: The Great Pursuit (The Circle, #3) Red: The Heroic Rescue (The Circle, #2) Green: The Beginning and the End (The Circle, #0)

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“It is. And yet so few really are free. Nearly all people live in prisons of their own making, regardless of their faith, creed, sex or race.” 2 likes
“Pape called Basil his sanctuary. In truth we all exist in our own sanctuaries-but I don't mean cathedrals or prisons. I'm talking about our hearts and minds, which imprison us in anxiety, dear, insecurity, anger and other forms of misery. The walls & bars that keep most in a constant state of suffering are thoughts and emotions, not concrete & steel. It's a disease. Insanity. Most are afflicted by it, regardless of which side of the law they find themselves on or where they lay their heads at night. To be free of this, Renee, is to be free indeed.” 2 likes
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