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The Sanctuary

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,220 Ratings  ·  325 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
Hardcover, 403 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Center Street (first published 2012)
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Aug 04, 2012 Patrick rated it it was ok

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
Mark Carver
Dec 03, 2012 Mark Carver rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 22, 2012 Albert rated it it was amazing

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

Bill Garrison
Feb 06, 2013 Bill Garrison rated it it was ok
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
Jul 13, 2013 Mike rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
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
May 01, 2013 Britain rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 22, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
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
Nov 06, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Tyler Valentine
Jun 25, 2013 Tyler Valentine rated it it was amazing
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
Starr Gardinier
Jan 11, 2013 Starr Gardinier rated it it was amazing
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.
Christian Fiction Addiction
Oct 28, 2012 Christian Fiction Addiction rated it it was amazing
Ted Dekker is at the top of his game with "The Sanctuary", delivering a masterfully written read that unfolds at a breakneck pace. I was immediately drawn back into the world of Danny and Renee, the characters first introduced in "The Priest's Graveyard", and Dekker cleverly interchanges between the points of view of Danny and Renee, while hurtling the reader towards the exciting conclusion. As with the prior book involving these characters, I am again blown away by Dekker's ability to take two ...more
Julie Graves
Oct 29, 2012 Julie Graves rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
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
Oct 31, 2014 J.S. Bailey rated it liked it
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
Jul 06, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 25, 2013 Ned rated it did not like it
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 (tinyturtle88)

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
May 07, 2013 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book and it was a great follow up to The Priest's Graveyard. I think a lot of readers who read this book but hadn't read The Priest's Graveyard really didn't get a sense of who Renee is. I wondered why Ted didn't include a little more about the torment she endured at the hands of Lamont which explains why she is so OCD and has such a wild imagination. She is a product of what she has endured, not just a harebrained female. She never knew love until Danny, had been abused ever ...more
Jamie Elias
Apr 12, 2016 Jamie Elias rated it liked it
For those of you who don't know, Ted Dekker is actually pretty prolific. I own or have read a lot of his stuff. Imagine my surprise when my last bookstore visit went something like: "Got it, got it, got it, read it, got it. Wait do I have that one? (Picks up like-new, hardcover copy of The Sanctuary and skims the flap description.) I don't think I've ever read this one."

Which leads to my current problem: I don't know how I feel about this book! Most books I read have some message behind
Lafourche Library
Dec 09, 2015 Lafourche Library rated it really liked it
This novel marks the return of Danny Hansen and Renee Gilmore, two characters introduced in The Priest’s Graveyard. Dekker uses these two broken characters to plumb out answers to some practical and deeply philosophical questions. How should we confront evil? Where is the balance between loving one’s enemies and stopping injustice? How can sinful men rightly judge and condemn other sinful men? Does the prison system actually work? How does a person truly change at their core?

Danny is a vigilant
Oct 07, 2015 Lilly rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
We Said It: Literary Reviews  w/ Ts Blogging
Title: Thought Provoking
“The Sanctuary” by Ted Dekker

Reviewed by T’s Blogging
11:18 a.m.

Ted Dekker’s readers are never disappointed by his artistic and imaginative way of storytelling. The depths of Dekker’s ability in which he leaves thought provoking as well as ever lasting impressions is mind blowing. As readers journey through his novel, “The Sanctuary” they will not be disappoint, or will they?

“The Sanctuary” doesn’t start out in true Dekker fashion; instead readers are introduced
Jim Sinclair
Feb 26, 2014 Jim Sinclair rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
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
Apr 02, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 05, 2014 Ashley.H rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 23, 2015 W A F F L E S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It took me a while to finally finish this book, took me way longer than I expected. As for the story, it was okay for me. Not really gripping for me but not bad either, just okay. The writing style is good. (I've seen a few typographical errors on the book though, which is perfectly fine with me.) I liked the phasing of the story and the alternating point of views of the main characters, it kind of gives you some suspense for the coming events. The plot twist did not really surprise m
Jim Corbiere
Jun 09, 2016 Jim Corbiere rated it really liked it
Finished reading " The Sanctuary " by Ted Dekker. I liked it a lot. Very intense with a lot of impossible choices put in front of the characters. Narrative shifts between the two main characters split the story very nicely and had it come together seamlessly. The plot twist towards the end I saw coming from the beginning of the book but it still held my attention.
The sequel to " The Priest's Graveyard " starts off with former priest Danny Hansen in prison. He confessed to the murders committed b
Apr 26, 2016 Kelly rated it it was ok
The Sanctuary by Ted Dekker is the gripping story of vigilante priest, Danny, 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. When Renee, the woman he loves, receives a box containing a a bloody finger and draconian demands from a mysterious enemy on the outside, Danny must find a way to escape. They are both dr ...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.
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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.” 3 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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