What I like about Ted Dekker is his ability to take ordinary situations and twist them around into a work of real suspense and sometimes horror. He takes a Rod Serling approach, where things are all going great, and then all of a sudden it's like you tripped over some line and entered an alternate reality.
In The Priest's Graveyard, we are introduced to a young boy in Bosnia. His family is Catholic, and the war being fought is over religious as well as political lines. At the time Daniel Hansen is only 8. His mother and sisters have been raped and murdered. Now you'd expect someone like that to find the biggest gun they can and kill those involved. It doesn't matter what religion they were. They would have to die. Yet Danny becomes a priest. Somehow he finds those responsible, one at a time, and gives them a chance at redemption. Few, if any, take it. Under the priestly robes roams a most unusual assassin. His quest leads him to America, particularly California.
Unknown to him is Renee Gilmore, once a young woman with a lot of promise, but now a heroin addict. One night outside a bar, she is nearly beaten to death until a man comes to her rescue. She wakes up in his house. She's given new clothes, a wonderful bedroom, and medication to "get her off the heroin" and slowly begins to fall for this man. Then, one day, he doesn't return. This is where the lives of Danny Hansen and Renee Gilmore collide. The priest who has been what one reviewer rightly calls "an avenging angel" falls for Renee, and she begins to bond with him.
What this unlikely union unleashes is frightening, not so much because it is a story of horror as much as it could be similar to the lives of any of us, especially if we acted on our emotions alone. While some of the story seems a bit fuzzy we are faced with this one question, "How would I react if I would come face to face with my real, inner, evil, self? It's a question that we need to ask, because to really be free we need to see ourselves for who we really are, and then realize that when we give our lives to Jesus He removes all that evil. This is a truth we also must realize and grasp or we can be Christians in jails of our own making, while Jesus has already come along and opened the door that we could walk out. How many of us are sitting in those jail cells we made for ourselves, and yet asked Jesus to be our Savior, the door is now open, but we refuse to walk out?
This, roughly speaking, is the story of The Priest's Graveyard.