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Book Review: The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker

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“Who are you watching now? Whose peaceful world of hope will you soon crush?” These are the prophetic words of FBI agent, Brad Raines. In an extremely taut straightforward story, Brad and forensic psychologist, Nikki, attempt to find and capture the Bride Collector, a religious psychotic murderer, before he claims another victim.

This deranged man collects what he feels are the most beautiful women he can find, to offer to God as ultimate sacrifices. The Bride Collector tells how Quinton had undergone psychiatric treatments which, according to him, were mere mind controlling techniques to keep his advanced intellect in check. In fact, his psychotic mind believes he already has full control of his faculties; on the contrary he is convinced that it is those who prescribed meds for him who need mental help — insane creatures who parade the streets arrogantly looking down their noses envying brilliant minds like his.

Quinton’s mind broke with reality when he quit taking his meds. To add to his disillusionment, a very beautiful woman rejected him; “Thrown him off; cut off her own head when he’d actually offered to be her head.” Now, this rejection of his sublime intelligence and manly sexuality haunts him — taunts him. Such ignominy would never happen again.

Although Quinton repeats in his disturbed mental state, “Bless me Father for I have sinned,” nonetheless, he considers himself God’s earthly angel, a messiah who “would help those whom God loved the most to join Him in eternal bliss.” The corpses of beautiful dead women presented as a sacrificial gesture to The Almighty would surely be such a praiseworthy gesture that Quinton will gain heaven's favor and be richly rewarded.

This deranged man loves the thrill of gaming with his would-be captors. Agent Brad aided by beautiful forensic psychologist, Nikki, piece together two words from a note the killer deliberately left behind to bait them:

The Beauty Eden id Lost

Where intelligence does centered …

This tiny break in the case comes from the second line of the above note. By cross referencing a mental health facilities database in the Boulder Colorado area, FBI computers spit out: The Center for Wellness and Intelligence. The note also suggests the killer intends to murder seven beautiful women before he “will live again.”

I searched and find the seventh and beautiful

She will rest in my Serpent’s hole

And I will live again

The Bride Collector moves along at a frenetic pace; four women have been murdered in precisely the same way. Naked, except for skimpy panties, authorities find the bodies secured to a wall — arms draped over pegs — hands delicately positioned so fingers imitate the artful grace of a ballerina. Even more grotesque, police and FBI find a delicate bridal veil draped over the head of each corpse.

With more than a sense of urgency, Brad and Nikki feel it is their personal responsibility to stop the insane Quinton from claiming a fifth, sixth, and seventh victim. They visit The Center for Wellness and Intelligence to find a penitentiary-like facility for criminals with proven gifted abilities.

During their visit, they witness the bizarre behavior of several inmates who are free to roam about, but more importantly, they detect the extraordinary reasoning ability of one inmate nicknamed, Paradise. This beautiful woman seems to have genuine psychic abilities. The two sleuths enlist her bizarre mental powers to help force ill fitting puzzle pieces of their horrifying case together.

If you are seeking a psychological horror-mystery-thriller that will place you deep inside the minds of Brad, Nikki, and yes, the deranged mind of assassin Quinton, then The Bride Collector has got to be your very next read. So many mysteries are story oriented where one exciting event after another happens at a speedway pace. This tale is very different. The rapid-fire events are really the thoughts in the minds of Brad, Nikki, and the sick mind of Quinton.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted. Some of the descriptions inside will shock your imagination because they are so expressly sickening. But the tale is a great one. Not everything in this life is pleasant. The Bride Collector will give you a glimpse into the insane horrors that law enforcement officials must regularly look at and live with which we never have to see, thanks to their dedication to justice.

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