Linda's Reviews > The Priest's Graveyard

The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker
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's review
Jun 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: underlying-message, thriller
Read in June, 2011

This theme is rather exceptional.

Father Danny Hansen is a most unusual priest who does the most unusual things in his spare time, because of his horrible past. He rids the world of evil, but only those proven guilty. If the badguy turns down his offered choice of repentance he judges him and uses the kind of punishment he finds appropriate - most likely the worst. For every life he takes, he saves a wife, children or involuntary prostitutes. When punishing the guilty for their sins, Danny does in fact consider himself God's judge on earth and he tries to be objective, though it's difficult. He follows an ethic that's influenced by a kind of consequential moral utilitarianism when he judges people.

When his path is crossed by a young woman named Renee Gilmore, everything becomes complicated. It's fascinating to follow Danny's inner struggle between killing the guilty and remain a role model for Renee, who's just entered the deadly business.

As Renee becomes more engaged into the messy brutality of judging and killing, Danny begins to question his own nature, whether his objective consequential moral reasoning is just an illusion and whether he's much better than the guys he's judging. It's really fascinating and tragic.

Reminds me a little of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" when it comes to the reasoning of the possibility that evil people hide behind the law, which might be an obsticle for justice.
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