Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Thr3e: Ted Dekker, November 9—12, 2015
My rating: ♦♦♦♦♦
Ten years on, the book that introduced me to Ted Dekker in 2005 is every bit as incredible as I remember.
Seminary student Kevin finds his world turned upside down when a caller identifying himself as Slater threatens to blow up his car in three minutes unless he confesses his sin to the world. The threats get bigger the longer it takes for Kevin to solve the onslaught of riddles and it’s up to him, childhood friend Samantha and FBI agent Jennifer Peters to track Slater down.
The tightly plotted thriller oozes out details of Kevin’s upbringing with his abusive Aunt Balinda. Dekker’s teasing is just right. It never seems contrived that Kevin keeps his cards close to his chest, and the slow unravelling of his backstory is just as fascinating as his current dilemma.
Although the supporting cast is a bit vaguely drawn out, it’s a small key cast that take up almost all of the page time and the dynamic between all four is brilliant. Kevin and Samantha; Kevin and Jennifer; Jennifer and Samantha; Kevin and Slater. In a very effective way, Thr3e is as much a character drama as a plot one; based on Kevin and based on all four main players’ connections, and these stories foster the investment that makes the physical threat so chilling.
After several twists, Dekker unveils a master stroke that will blow your mind. One of the most ingenious endings ever committed to paper, Thr3e delivers a knockout punch that lays bare Dekker’s skilful, carefully plotted storytelling.
Underneath it all, Dekker asks some truly complex questions about human nature and the shades of grey between good and evil. The themes are sure to linger in your mind for days.
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.