Vigilante priest, Danny Hansen is now serving a fifty year prison term in California for the murder of two abusive men. Filled with remorse, Danny is determined to live out his days by a code of non-violence and maneuvers deftly within a ruthless prison system. But when Renee Gilmore, the woman he loves, receives a box containing a bloody finger and draconian demands from a mysterious enemy on the outside, Danny must find a way to escape.
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(11 Reviews) 11
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9 out of 1182%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Sanctuary, Largeprint, Hardcover
The Sanctuary was a dark story. No doubt about that. In fact, I needed an occasional break from it; it was that dark. However, in typical Dekker style, redemptive themes made the payoff worth it. I really enjoyed The Priest's Graveyard, so this was a great sequel. There are twists in it that I didn't see coming. When it comes to the depravity of man, Dekker is a master at showing it. But he also shows how love is greater than all of the darkness. I love that about his stories. Anyway, I enjoyed this one. I don't want to tell too much and spoil it for readers, but let me say if you enjoyed the first book, you'll find this one worth your time as well.
A slam dunk for Dekker! The Sanctuary is not only hard-hitting and clever, there is a curve ball ending that you just don't see coming. I loved that there is also a message through the medium! If you liked The Priest's Graveyard, this trumps it!
The Sanctuary is a follow-up to Dekker's The Priest's Graveyard. The Sanctuary is in true Dekker style - taking a deeper look at the human heart and the necessity of truly knowing one's own self.
Warden Marshall Pape is in-charge of The Sanctuary an experiment of the California Correctional System, properly known as The Basal Institute of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It is into this environment that Danny Hansen has been transferred into. Just 3 years into his 50 year sentence for the murder of two abusive men, Danny is determined to refrain from any and all forms of violence no matter the personal cost.
But Warden Pape is determined to break Danny so that he can be fixed. And in Pape's mind the only way to fix Danny is to get him to admit his true nature and then to confess all his crimes. But the methods used in Basal are disturbing and nothing happens there without the approval of Pape. But no one on the outside knows what goes on within the walls of the Sanctuary!
Renee Gilmore is the reason Danny is in prison and someone knows who she is and they are threatening to kill Danny. Renee is determined to warn Danny but she can't get word to him and no one believes her warning. In her quest to save the man she loves Renee falls into the very trap from which she is trying to save Danny.
Someone is manipulating everyone and everything around them. Can Danny and Renee determine the truth before they are destroyed? Who hates them enough to go to such extremes?
The Sanctuary is a disturbing look at what happens when corrupted power and revenge come together and determine to break a man. It is well written, but more graphic than my normal reading fare.
I was provided an ARC of the title by the publisher for the purpose of this review, all opinions expressed are my own.
Ex-priest Danny Hansen is serving time in prison after being sentenced to fifty years for the murder of two men. His love for Renee Gilmore and finding peace with God led him to confess and take a vow of non-violence. That new vow is tested when Renee receives threats against Danny’s life. The new, experimental prison Danny has been transferred to has her cut off from him, so she has to play this game on her own. If Renee fails, Danny dies. If Danny fails, Renee dies. Both are pushed to the limits of what they believe is right and wrong, forced to make choices to save the ones they love.
“The Sanctuary” is the follow-up to Dekker’s “The Priest’s Graveyard,” and I liked this one better than the first. The story moved along more quickly, and I had more compassion for the characters. Once again, the major theme is love. Judgement is also prevalent as we see Danny go back and forth between empathy and anger. The story will force you to put yourself in Danny’s and Renee’s situations. What would you do? How far would you go to stop injustice? To protect the ones you love? Is it an eye for an eye, or do you turn the other cheek no matter what the circumstance?
Danny Hanson’s childhood and adolescent years were lived out in the midst of war, rape and murder, some of which was deeply personal. When he finished his war tour, he became a Catholic priest. He’s wasn’t just an ordinary priest–but a vigilante-priest who allegedly murdered two abusive men. Filled with remorse, he leaves the priesthood and lives out his life under a self-imposed code of non-violence. Is remorse enough? What about repentance? To Whom does vengeance belong to?
Renee Gilmore had her own criminal background, which included two murders. Prior to these murders, Danny had left the priesthood and ‘technically’ married her. Though there was no forensic evidence of her involvement in those murders, Danny gave a statement of his culpability and was sentenced to fifty years in prison, as he knew she’d never survive prison life should they find her guilty. Transferred from Ironwood State Prison to the Basal Institute of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Danny begins his life of torture.
Dekker’s book is written in his organized, analytical, well-planned-out format, with characters fleshed out as in true life, most of whom you would probably not want to meet. If one has watched ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ you will have a basic idea of the despicable level of defilement man can reach in Dekker’s book, The Sanctuary. With a distinct set of flawed human techniques of punishment and rehabilitation, you will find yourself horrified at the scenarios that take place in this ‘Rehab’ Institute. Knowing prisons are hard and degrading, you will find Basal to be the worst of the worst. Yet Danny kept his self-imposed code of non-violence in this prison, though he is tested to break his own ideal. Will he keep his own code of non-violence?
The author will shock you with a twisted plot conclusion of why the circumstances are what they are. I was mostly hooked on one character based on his past circumstances, but I also had a hunch on another, but wasn’t even close to the actual reason. Typical Dekker surprise ending!
I can’t say I’d recommend the book, as I didn’t find much, if any, form of redemptive value to the story. That to me is the crux of a Christian novel. You will find that man, without God, becomes more of an animal than true animals–depraved, without the influence of the Holy Spirit. And the torture and mutilation proved that aspect. I also found the ending to be less than ideal. Though Dekker does enumerate the numbers of people in prisons of their own making, the solution of breaking down those walls wasn’t clear.
This book was provided by Susan Sleeman of The Suspense Zone in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
Ted Dekker is at the top of his game with "The Sanctuary", delivering a masterfully written read that unfolds at a breakneck pace. I was immediately drawn back into the world of Danny and Renee, the characters first introduced in "The Priest's Graveyard", and Dekker cleverly interchanges between the points of view of Danny and Renee, while hurtling the reader towards the exciting conclusion. As with the prior book involving these characters, I am again blown away by Dekker's ability to take two characters who I should feel only disgust for due to their horrific deeds, and yet instead I find myself sympathetic to their plight and absolutely rooting for them. Danny utterly intrigues me as a character, a former priest who killed those whose crimes were escaping notice of the justice system, and someone who has now taken a vow of non-violence. The way that he is tested in this book is simply fascinating, and I should note that some of the scenes involving him are totally gruesome (especially regarding how he's tested) and will turn off some readers. But for those readers who don't have as sensitive of stomachs, this book should be at the top of their "must read list". It is completely entertaining, while leaving you thinking about human nature, about whether our justice system actually rehabilitates criminals, about our flaws as human beings and how we all have the capacity to be driven to act in ways we hope we never will. This book makes me thankful for God's grace, as we try to navigate an evil world and how to respond to it.
This is truly one of my favourite books from Ted Dekker thus far, and I give it my highest recommendation and 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Hachette Book Group/Center Street, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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Review 10 for The Sanctuary, Largeprint, Hardcover
MY THOUGHTS: Don't read this book if you want to go on believing that justice always prevails. Don't read this book if you prefer your heroes perfect and sinless. Don't read this book if you want to guess the ending before you are halfway through. But if you are looking for suspense, thrills, and a story that draws you so far in that you're afraid to even jaywalk, this won't disappoint.
I did not read The Priest's Graveyard, the story of a vigilante priest who exacts justice on criminals who've slipped through the system, but I didn't have any trouble picking where this second book begins. As Danny does his time in an experimental prison with a new set of rules, he finds himself in the middle of a game of vengeance, power, and insanity. Renee is pulled in, and with the help of a former cop, must find a way to determine who the mastermind is behind the twisted game they are forced to play. All the while, Danny is struggling with his vow of non-violence, unsure of how he'll keep his promise when he is surrounded by threats, torture, and now the involvement of the woman he lives for.
The reality of life in prison is fascinating, albeit difficult to think about. Dekker paints an all-too-real picture of the culture that exists within the walls of this alternative society, drawing us into a world where normal rules don't apply, where only the strong survive, where prisoners enter as men and leave as monsters. And where sometimes, innocent people can't escape from the living hell they've been thrown into.
Although I prefer Dekker's fantasy novels, I can't deny that I was unable to put this book down, except for those times when I was very disturbed and needed to step away from the pages. It was that real. And it has renewed my zeal to pray for those in the criminal justice system, whether guilty or innocent of the crimes they are being punished for.
PARENTAL RATING: This one earns an R in our house, due to the realistic depiction of violence. Considering the style and setting of this story, it was totally appropriate. However, my girls are a bit too sensitive for this level of gruesome, and, to be honest, I had to skim through some parts myself, to be sure I could sleep at night.
**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 11 for The Sanctuary, Largeprint, Hardcover
The Sanctuary is the second book in a series by Ted Dekker and continues with the characters of Danny Hansen and Renee Gilmore who were also the central characters for The Priest's Graveyard. I don't know if I could have gotten more out of this book if I had read the previous one, but The Sanctuary never did fully engage my attention. It may have been the horrific action that took place that caused me to put an emotional wall up, but Mr. Dekker is very descriptive. It made it easy to visualize some of the actions taking place, and much of it was unpleasant. To be fair, though, a prison is not a happy place. I also guessed the antagonist's identity very early in the story, so there weren't really any surprises. However, I have read other of Dekker's books that held my attention, and I have no doubt that many of his fans will enjoy reading this one also.
I received an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this book from the publishers through Net Gallery. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.