Monday, February 9, 2009

ADAM - Ted Dekker

Daniel Clark is an FBI psychologist on the trail of Eve, a serial killer who has killed 15 woman by poisoning them with a disease very like meningitis. When Daniel catches Eve in the act of his sixteenth killing, Eve shoots Daniel and kills him; kills him for about 20 minutes anyway. Daniel is resuscitated by his new partner, pathologist Lori Ames. After being resuscitated, Daniel doesn't remember what Eve looked like, and when Daniel's ex-wife Heather becomes Eve's next potential victim, Daniel decides he must die again to unlock the memory of Eve's appearance and save Heather.

Alternating with Daniel and Eve's story is a 9-part magazine story of the life of Alex Price. It doesn't take long to figure out that Eve and Alex Price are one in the same, and as Alex's history unfolds many of Eve's secrets are revealed to the reader. But the climax of ADAM occurs when those secrets are revealed to Daniel

Without offering too much of a spoiler, I have to disclose up front that this novel is a paranormal thriller. And the reason I'm offering that tidbit is because I'm not a big fan of the paranormal subgenre. A friend recommend the book and I wasn't aware of that element of the novel, and my friend wasn't aware that I wasn't a fan. That being said (in as many words as I could possibly say it in)...

The book started out great for me. Daniel is your typical loner law-enforcement-type. His marriage ended because he consistently put his job first. And no one can do the job as well as Daniel can (rich sarcasm here). At the onset of the novel, Daniel's partner is dead from a questionable car accident and he is trying to get permission to "go dark" in an attempt to catch Eve. Meanwhile, the reader is learning about the abduction of Alex and Jessica Price through the magazine articles.

But the problems for me as the reader start when Daniel is shot and killed, then revived after 20 plus minutes. (I can handle that element; that's fine.) Daniel not only gets up and walks out of the hospital, but he talks his forensic pathologist partner, Lori, into killing him two more times - THAT WEEK! So, now I'm thinking that Daniel really needs to hook up with Jack Reacher because they would make an indestructible team.

O.k., so if you're a paranormal fan and you can swallow the three near-death experiences in one week, I think you will really enjoy this book. The writing style is strong; with the exception of Lori, I think the characterization is decent. The Adam and Eve parallel was quite creative and rather deep. It was just the over-the-top plot events that left me less than enthused with Dekker's novel. I also think it was the over-the-topness that lead me to figure out the "big shocker" twist at the end of the novel long before the end arrived.


12 comments:

Corey Wilde February 9, 2009 at 9:36 PM  

I'll pass, thanks. Like you, I'm not big on paranormal. Dead 20 minutes? I presume Daniel is kept on an artificial breathing apparatus or how else does the author explain the ensuing irreparable brain damage after four minutes sans oxygen?

le0pard13 February 9, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

Sounds like a piece from Dean Koontz. For that author, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't mind paranormal plots, but they do have to have some semblance in reality for me to continue reading them. Thanks, Jen.

Jen February 10, 2009 at 5:59 AM  

Corey, the first four minutes Daniel is first neglected because Eve is still there, then Lori begins CPR en route to the hospital. They are met by EMTs who are ready to call him. Lori keeps doing CPR and as they are ready to give up...*bam* miracle - revives completely undamaged except for not remembering what Eve looks like. So, yeah, you see why I took issue with it!

Becky February 12, 2009 at 2:42 AM  

Looks like it could be a good book. I actually don't mind paranormal books either. I have been looking for something new to read since finishing another great thriller novel titled, "Threshold," by Bonnie Kozek- which was like a breath of fresh air. It's dense, dark, urban, and scary. I wouldn't recommend it to my mother, but I couldn't put it down! Call me morbid or crazy, but I think that I would like reading Ted Dekker's book- thanks for the great tip!

Jen February 12, 2009 at 6:17 AM  

Hi Becky. Yes, there are a lot of readers who enjoy the paranormal, which is why I try to mention if I have a bias when I review something. I don't want folks who do like the paranormal to be discouraged because I'm unfair. So hopefully people can discern, like you did, and see that it would be a book they'd enjoy. Thanks for stoppin' by!

Jen December 21, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

i read this book...and loved it...i thought it was extremely thought-provoking in the spiritual sense...i am also a Christian and was grateful for the reminder of how elusive evil can be...which i believe was the ultimate purpose of the book.

jen...i think its important to remember that book wasn't written to be a realistic FBI or paranormal thriller. it was meant to be a spiritual thriller which is Dekker's theme pretty much 95% of the time....and by the way...in the 20 minute time period he had died at the beginning of the book...he'd "made a deal with the devil"...so to speak. that if Daniel would give up and let him continue killing...that he'd let him live. he made the deal...then broke it...thus started the stalking of eve. but he wasn't brought back to life by a "miracle" as you say...but it was marked as Eve's deal and the beginning of a spiral for Daniel. i think the other 2 NDE's that Daniel and Lori initiated...unrealistic? yeah maybe...but i think Dekker was trying to highlight hell...which is where Daniel was going each time...just as people say they "see the light at the end of the tunnel" he was thrust into a void...it was a NDE that was causing Daniel to get in touch with his "hell"...i think Dekker was kind of using that as an exaggeration of getting "in touch" with what's going on in your spirit...don't wait til death to get there... i don't think this book is meant to be "realistic" in any way at all...its meant to highlight spiritual warefare that is going on admist us daily. As a Christian author...I believe that was his motive (in most of his books)...not necessarily going for realism in the human realm...but realism in the spiritual realm.

Jen Forbus December 21, 2009 at 11:27 AM  

Thanks for your comment, Jen. I'm sure it will be helpful for people who enjoy this type of book. This was recommended to me by a friend as simply a "mystery," but it is not the type of book I enjoy. As those who read my blog often know, I'm a realist. I look for reality in my books. I'm not a fan of paranormal, science fiction, or any other book of that nature. I usually am not provoked into thought when I'm wrinkling my nose in disbelief.

Again, it has to do with the kind of reader I am and as I mention, I believe those that have no problems with paranormal will enjoy this book. This type of book, however, is completely lost on me.

Anonymous January 19, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

It was interesting, at the end of the book I almost wanted to believe that the story was true.

Kathleen July 8, 2010 at 3:59 PM  

The thing is, it isn't paranormal. Especially for Ted Dekker's books. He does have some paranormal endings, but in this case it is something that has happened before and is very real.

Kathleen (again) July 8, 2010 at 4:02 PM  

If you want Ted Dekker's amazing writing without the paranormal aspect, you may want to try his book Three. You get his strong writing skills and great plot, and I'll reveal that the ending is not paranormal. Maybe you'll like that one more! :)

Savannah December 28, 2010 at 9:22 PM  

I just finished the book and couldn't put down. I am also a Christian and agree with Jen. The book is suppose to be a spirtual thriller and shows how evil can trick the mind. I also agree with Anonymus and feel that the story is real.

Anonymous June 8, 2012 at 2:18 PM  

I read the book and liked it. I got into Dekker with his 'Red' series and like his strong style. As far as the paranormal aspect, it is not necessary for the plot so I don't think it is that big of a deal. I am not a religious person, but I don't mind reading a strong story, regardless of overtones (reference- Red). To me, the suspension of that disbelief is equal to the Reacher series' events like (don't worry NO spoilers) what happens in the Hook Hoby one or the FBI-team up one. Those explanations are just as implausable to me. Still, I love Reacher, but I am a former MP as well (Or should I say "I was a cop. Military cop.")

FYI- 'Carlos, The Man from Cyprus' has to be one of the coolest foils ever!!!!

  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP