I have a feeling that this review will be fairly short. If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll know that I really enjoy thrillers and mysteries. I was desperately looking for something to read a couple of weeks ago that I could get on my Kindle quickly. I use our library subscriptions to borrow books for free, but the difficulty with that is that a lot of the popular, newer books have a waitlist to download. So, as I was searching quickly before I left for work, I found a Ted Dekker book that was available. I have read a couple of Ted Dekker books before, but not many. I have kind of mixed feelings about his writing.
Anyway, so I started Adam and at the beginning, I was excited. It was very reminiscent of Steven James, who you all know I am a huge fan of! However, I would say that about half way through, my opinion started really changing. I started not really liking it so much, and by 75% or so, I didn’t even want to finish the book. But, I pushed through.
Adam is the story of a serial killer and the FBI’s pursuit of the killer. The story is constructed in an interesting way that combines installments of a news reporter’s take on the story and background story with the present time pursuance of the killer. I did like that aspect of the story, the way that the reporting planted seeds of curiosity or little insights to what was happening in the present time story.
The serial killer, generally referred to as Eve, has up to this point captured and killed 15 girls. All the girls are found having died from a rare strain of meningitis, but no one can figure out how the girls have been infected. As for the serial killer, they have little to go on, and little to connect him to the actual deaths. Until now, everything has remained a grand mystery.
Daniel Clark has been the leading agent on the Eve cases. However, his involvement in the cases is about to radically change. Daniel and his FBI team find one girl after she has been infected but before she has died, and in their effort to close off the area and finally track down Eve, Daniel and a partner are killed. More than half an hour after his heart stopped, Daniel is revived by his new partner on the case, Lori Ames.
Enter drama between Daniel’s estranged wife and Lori Ames, a lot of medical jargon regarding the stopping and starting of a heart and near death experiences produced by chemical releases to the brain, secret phone calls, kidnapping, and a lot of suspense.
I don’t deny that the book was exciting. It was. But, I hadn’t realized when I started it that it was going to involve so much demon possession and exorcism. I found myself in a way both uncomfortable and bored with the twist of demon possession and exorcism that came out in the book. I honestly haven’t spent much time evaluating my own thoughts on demons and exorcism, but I don’t think it is a topic to take lightly. I realize that this might be labeled a spoiler, but I wished I’d known this before I started reading the book.
Another issue I had with the book was that some of the themes or topics were a little over-worked, and there were some details that didn’t line up with each other. Near the end, one of the characters seems to rip the shirt off of his back, or have it ripped off, three times, which in my mind would be quite an impressive, if not impossible feat.
So, to sum up, as an exciting story, this book was successful. But, as a work of literature, I felt there was something lacking, and from a Christian perspective, I would caution readers to pick up this book with an open mind. Ted Dekker does not have all of the answers about demons. He also writes from a very Catholic point of view. The Bible does talk about demons, and demon possession was a very real thing in Jesus’ day. Is it still? I am not the one to ask about that, but I think that it is important to guard one’s mind while reading this book to not allow a piece of fiction to dislodge or alter your Biblical beliefs in issues such as demon possession. If you read the book, let it drive you to the Word and to those who can help answer the hard questions of the reality of demons in our world today.
I definitely do not recommend this book for a younger audience. Funny as it is (as I have been exploring this myself recently) I would sooner a young reader pick up Harry Potter than this book. In my mind, wizardry as it appears in Harry Potter is clearly fictional and that can be taught to and understood by young readers. However, demon possession is another game altogether, and not one that I think young readers should be left to ponder on their own.
So, maybe I should delete that sentence about this being short . . .