Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bride Collector

Imagine the beauty that would overwhelm our souls if we could see each other in the same light in which God views us ...

I have just finished the thriller The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker. This novel was written on several different levels. On the surface it is the story of a psychotic killer who is systematically abducting women and brutally killing them, all the while he is being pursued by a relentless FBI agent. On another level it follows a touching love story between the FBI agent and a young lady who provides assistance. If the story remained confined to these two threads, it would be a fairly generic story told time and again by countless authors. However, this tale, at its core, latches onto something more beautiful and profound.

The bride collector is the label given by the FBI to the mass murderer. This man, Quinton Gauld, is not killing women for sport or with evil intent in his mind. He believes that he has been charged by God to deliver the most beautiful women alive to be His brides. In order to purify them to be in God's presence, he must drain them of their blood and their humanity. He believes that he is operating solely out of love and devotion. However, in his mind, he somehow knows that something in his thinking and logic is amiss, that he is a sinner. In his conflict, he leaves a note with one of the brides. This note leads the FBI to an establishment housing a number of patients with mental disorders but who are exceptionally bright. One of the patients is a young woman named Paradise. Paradise is gifted with visions of the past and an acute ability to understand people, but she is psychotic and highly agoraphobic. Tentatively, she begins to work through her personal limitations and issues with the lead FBI agent on the case, Brad Raines. Slowly, however, feelings of trust and a bond of love begin to develop.

Yet how can there be true love between a handsome, talented, and outgoing agent and a homely, introverted, disconnected woman? Some might think that this notion is unrealistic or far-fetched. However, when both can see past the veneer of humanity, see past the labels, see past the baggage of the years that cloud vision, they ultimately can see into the heart and mind.