Thrills and Chills

Humming with intensity and blindsided twists, Eyes Wide Open is raw adrenaline from the first page to the last—pure escapism packed with inescapable truth. Not all is as it seems. Or is it? Strap yourself in for the ride of your life. Literally.

eyes wide openSound like something you’d like to read? I took the above blurb from best-selling author Ted Dekker’s website, as it perfectly describes his latest book. I know. I read the first installment (Identity) on the long drive across Texas, on our way home last week. Now I am slowly tearing my hair out, anticipating what will come next. Identity is available as a free e-book, so I foolishly downloaded it, assuming our library would have the rest of the story. Our library failed me.

I should know better than to start reading a book when I don’t yet have the sequels. I really should have known better, considering this comes from Ted Dekker. I’ve read plenty of his books and there is absolutely no way you’re going to put one down until you’ve consumed every last word. Saying Dekker writes exciting books is like saying the Broncos are an adequate football team.

Happily, I can pay my $7.99 and instantly download the electronic version, although I’m still trying to convince our library to buy it. Until then, I’m gnawing my fingernails. At least there are plenty of other Dekker books to read in the meantime.

All of his books have something a bit, say, off balance about them. It’s hard to describe. You could call them odd, or dark, or maybe supernatural. Things happen that you can’t explain. Dekker is often compared to Frank Peretti, and for good reason. Their writings have a lot in common. Both write pretty scary stories. Both assume an unseen world that impacts our lives. Both are followers of Jesus who happen to see things differently from the rest of us.

The official Ted Dekker website divides his fiction into three catagories: Thriller, Fantasy and Speculative, and “older fiction.” Yes, some of the books are older, but I highly recommend all of them. I’m happy to see that they’re all still available.

blink of an eyeFor example, take one of Dekker’s early novels, Blink of an Eye. That one is about a beautiful Saudi princess on the run from her unwanted arranged marriage, and the young man who is helping her hide. The entire book is one huge chase scene.

What makes this book different from a normal suspense novel is that the man starts having visions—he sees for just an instant a possible near future event, and soon realizes that he has the power to change things so that these visions do or do not come to pass. This extra edge gives the couple the ability to continually evade their pursuers, when otherwise they wouldn’t have stood a chance. How long can they run? Will the visions continue?

blessed-childDekker also wrote two books with the late Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade. Blessed Child and its sequel, A Man Called Blessed, are about a boy reared in seclusion and purity, and what happens when he encounters “real life” in southern California. While not of the same intensity as his more recent novels, it’s still an exciting story, well written and fascinating to read.

Besides his abundant fiction, Dekker has also written two nonfiction books. Tea with Hezbollah: Sitting at the Enemies Table—Our Journey Through the Middle East was co-authored by Carl Medearis, a well-known international expert on Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations. The title says it all—two men set out to sit down, drink tea, and trade ideas with terrorists. Their conclusions may surprise and challenge you.

slumber of christianityThe Slumber of Christianity addresses our tendency to focus on the pleasure we’ll experience in heaven, but lose hope that we can experience joy here and now on planet Earth. The publisher’s blurb explains, “The pursuit of pleasure is a gift to all humans—a function of the Creator himself, who is bent upon our happiness.” It’s a subject we don’t hear about very often, and his treatise made me think.

In case you can’t tell from this post, Ted Dekker is one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t discovered his books yet, please give one a try. Possible nightmares aside, I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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