Bill Golden's Reviews > Thr3e

Thr3e by Ted Dekker
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Jun 22, 12

Read from June 18 to 22, 2012

It's not often that I read a book and find myself floored by a twist the story takes.

Thr3e has TWO of them.

The premise is simple: Kevin Parsons is a 28 year old seminary student who's life is threatened by a mysterious caller: if Kevin doesn't "confess his sin" in three minutes, he will blow up his car. After the car explodes, the caller escalates his game slowly but surely, until the final move blows your mind.

In the process, details about Kevin's upbringing are revealed that make you wonder how Kevin functions at all.

Thr3e has 2 minor problems:

1. Outside of the central characters (Kevin, FBI agent Jennifer Peters, CBI agent and Kevin's childhood friend Samantha Sheer, and the antagonist), no one else gets any development whatsoever. Even Jennifer is little more than a paper doll placed in the story to hold Kevin's hand and make him feel better about being torn apart by his circumstances.

2. You can only ever read and enjoy this book once. After you know the twist, you spend any subsequent trips though the novel looking for the clues that hint towards the ending.

It's a wild ending, though.

The story is just strong enough to carry you to that ending. It sucks you in and will not let you put the book down until you've read just one more page... okay, one MORE page... no, ONE MORE CHAPTER, I don't care that it's 2 AM!!! You want to learn about Kevin's aunt, and how he met Sam, and about the boy at the window.

The absolute best part is its lack of preachiness. For a supposed Christian writer, Ted Dekker surprisingly refrains from proselytizing in place of letting the story tell itself, a huge flaw in most evangelical-themed fiction (see Left Behind, a fascinating series whose momentum was almost gutted by its need to stop mid-story and preach every 15 or 20 pages).

If you like thrillers, and enjoy a spiritual slant in your fiction, Thr3e definitely delivers. Oh... and brace yourself for the twist.
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