Book Review: The Bride Collector

The FBI is tracking a chilling serial killer loose in the Denver area who is capturing, drugging and killing beautiful young woman before artfully arranging and gluing them naked to the walls of abandoned buildings. Each woman was drained of blood by drilling through their heels and attired only in a white bridal veil thus earning him the moniker, the bride collector. Aside from a note, carefully inserted into the heel of one of his victims, the murderer leaves no trace behind so investigators have little to go on.

According to the note, a total of seven women will be killed and to stop him, Special Investigators Brad Raines and Nikki Holden must start crawling into the disturbed mind of a psychopath. A leap of logic brings Raines to the Center for Wellness and Intelligence where he solicits the assistance of Paradise, a bright, severely traumatized young woman with an unusual ability. The body count is increasing and time is running out for Raines and Paradise to close in on the killer before it’s too late for both of them both.

This edgy psychological suspense thriller allows readers to see events from the perspective of the investigators and perpetrator with unsettling clarity. The overused theme of childhood abuse is used as an excuse for the murderer’s activities yet Dekker manages to pull it off. The characters, both major and minor are well executed and readers familiar with Milton will notice the tie-in to “Paradise Lost.” The pacing slows towards the middle but gains momentum right up to the satisfying climax which demonstrates the power of love and self acceptance.

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