Anytime I pick up a book by New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker, I experience the same sense of anticipation I get when I hear the click of a roller-coaster lap bar lock into place. I know to prepare for a fast-paced, white-knuckled ride. His 2005 psychological thriller Three propels seminary student Kevin Parsons into the dark morass of buried secrets and public shame. Sadistic villain Richard Slater demands that Kevin publicly confess his sin or die. Clueless about who Slater is or to what sin he’s referring, Kevin barely manages to escape the car he’s driving before it blows up. Realizing that Slater’s threat is real, Kevin must unlock his past and face secrets he thought were hidden forever. All the while, he races against the clock to stop the bombs Slater sets to accompany each new demand.
As I read this book, I puzzled over the questions with Kevin. Who is Slater? What does he really want? What made him the monster he is? Dekker weaves clues into Slater’s riddles and around Kevin’s past, convincing me of a reality that is turned on its end when I finally learn the truth. The revelation of who Slater is and what Kevin must do to stop him challenges all my preconceptions. With this single plot twist, Kevin’s world is turned inside-out, and I’m left with a mind-bending conclusion that compels me to rethink the impact of my own secrets.
Unveiling all of Kevin’s secrets here would not only fail to do the story justice, it would keep you from the thrill of discovering them for yourself. This is definitely a story you don’t want to miss.
–Vickie Price Taylor