Thr3e (Ted Dekker)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

Thr3e by Ted Dekker

Kevin Parson is driving his car late one summer day, when, suddenly, his cellphone rings. A man who identifies himself as Slater speaks in a breathy voice: We’re gonna play a little game, Kevin. You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you’re driving will blow sky high. End call.

Kevin panics. Who would make such a call? What sin? Kevin ditches the car. Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets the world on a collision course with madness.

Let the games begin.

I saw Ted Dekker‘s books October last year during one of our school’s book fair, but I never picked up any of his books because I was (and still am) a solid Frank Peretti fan. I have to admit, I was looking for the standard Peretti formula in other Christian fiction, and as far as I was concerned, only Peretti was worthy of being labeled that.

I got motivated to read Ted Dekker because of, yes, Frank Peretti. My friend told me about Peretti’s collaboration with Dekker on House (to be reviewed next!), and since then, I was curious about his writing. But because he has written so many books already, I didn’t know where to start (plus his books are expensive :p). When I got to the OMF bookstore, I got Thr3e because it was the cheapest Dekker in the store. :P

Thr3e is the story of Kevin Parson, a twenty-something seminary student whose blue eyes express a strange kind of innocence and naivete at such an age. The novel opens with Kevin talking to one of his closest professors, Dr. John Francis, about evil and the nature of man. As he leaves the school and drives home, he gets a call from a man named Richard Slater, who Kevin is supposed to know but has no memory of, and tells Kevin to call the newspaper and confess his sin in three minutes or else he [Slater] will blow the car up.

After managing to escape without being blown up, he realizes that Slater is serious about his threat and it was just the start of the game. He gets home, finds a clue and gets called by Slater once again and tells him to call his childhood best friend/sweetheart Samantha, who works in the California Bureau of Investigation. He calls her, fills her in with what is happening and she promises to drive right on over.

Over at the FBI, Jennifer Peters storms in and asks to be put in the case of Kevin because of its relevance to the person who murdered her brother three months ago. With much hesitation, her boss puts her on the case, and it was then her world changes.

Thr3e is a novel full of serious twists and turns that when I feel like I was about to figure it out, it suddenly veers into a new direction, totally catching me by surprise. It gripped me from the very start, almost believing that Kevin, Samantha, Slater, Jennifer and Dr. Francis were real people instead of characters in a book. And when I thought I knew how it would end already, Dekker suddenly swerves again, leaving me openmouthed in disbelief at how the novel ended.

The novel deals with the nature of man: one part evil, another part good and the man struggling in between the two. Thr3e certainly presented that in a totally interesting and solid way, and I promise that you won’t stop reading this until you get to the end. :)

I had a great experience reading my first Dekker novel but I can’t give it five stars because it made me lose a bit of sleep because of the images it painted in my head. Nothing gory, of course, purely psychological. :P It was a great first-time Dekker experience and I am looking forward to more. :)

[tags] books, Christian fiction, Ted Dekker, Three, Thr3e, reviews[/tags]