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Posted November 15, 2012
Danny Hanson¿s childhood and adolescent years were lived out in
Danny Hanson’s childhood and adolescent years were lived out in the midst of war, rape and murder, some of which was deeply personal. When he finished his war tour, he became a Catholic priest. He’s wasn’t just an ordinary priest–but a vigilante-priest who allegedly murdered two abusive men. Filled with remorse, he leaves the priesthood and lives out his life under a self-imposed code of non-violence. Is remorse enough? What about repentance? To Whom does vengeance belong to?
Renee Gilmore had her own criminal background, which included two murders. Prior to these murders, Danny had left the priesthood and ‘technically’ married her. Though there was no forensic evidence of her involvement in those murders, Danny gave a statement of his culpability and was sentenced to fifty years in prison, as he knew she’d never survive prison life should they find her guilty. Transferred from Ironwood State Prison to the Basal Institute of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Danny begins his life of torture.
Dekker’s book is written in his organized, analytical, well-planned-out format, with characters fleshed out as in true life, most of whom you would probably not want to meet. If one has watched ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ you will have a basic idea of the despicable level of defilement man can reach in Dekker’s book, The Sanctuary. With a distinct set of flawed human techniques of punishment and rehabilitation, you will find yourself horrified at the scenarios that take place in this ‘Rehab’ Institute. Knowing prisons are hard and degrading, you will find Basal to be the worst of the worst. Yet Danny kept his self-imposed code of non-violence in this prison, though he is tested to break his own ideal. Will he keep his own code of non-violence?
The author will shock you with a twisted plot conclusion of why the circumstances are what they are. I was mostly hooked on one character based on his past circumstances, but I also had a hunch on another, but wasn’t even close to the actual reason. Typical Dekker surprise ending!
I can’t say I’d recommend the book, as I didn’t find much, if any, form of redemptive value to the story. That to me is the crux of a Christian novel. You will find that man, without God, becomes more of an animal than true animals–depraved, without the influence of the Holy Spirit. And the torture and mutilation proved that aspect. I also found the ending to be less than ideal. Though Dekker does enumerate the numbers of people in prisons of their own making, the solution of breaking down those walls wasn’t clear.
This book was provided by Susan Sleeman of The Suspense Zone in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.
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Posted November 5, 2012