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by Ted Dekker, Max Lucado

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New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker unleashes his most riveting novel yet . . . an elusive serial killer whose victims die of unknown causes and the psychologist obsessed with catching him.

FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has been made famous by his arguments that religion is one of society's greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn't…  See more details below


New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker unleashes his most riveting novel yet . . . an elusive serial killer whose victims die of unknown causes and the psychologist obsessed with catching him.

FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark has been made famous by his arguments that religion is one of society's greatest antagonists. What Daniel doesn't know is that his obsessive pursuit of a serial killer known only as "Eve" will end in his own death at Eve's hand. Twenty minutes later Daniel is resuscitated, only to be haunted by those twenty missing minutes of life.

It soon becomes painfully clear that the only way to stop Eve is to recover those missing minutes by dying . . . again. What isn't nearly as clear is just how many times he will have to die to discover the truth, not only about Eve, but about himself. Daniel will have to face haunting realities about demon possession in the modern world-and reevaluate his prejudice against religion-to stop Eve.

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Editorial Reviews

TitleTrakk Reviews
New York Times best-selling author Ted Dekker returns to his spiritual warfare roots with his newest spine-tingler, Adam. In a taut, hard-hitting story that boasts the best mix of noir crime fiction and spiritual storytelling, Dekker explores not only the tortured mind of a serial killer, but also looks into the heart of man who doesn't believe in God. With his usual suspenseful style, Dekker brings to life the horrible reality that only darkness reigns when a person chooses to believe in nothing. "FBI agent Daniel Clark is completely assured of man's ability to use reason, logic, and intelligence to solve almost any crime. To him religion is a crutch based on half-truths and well-constructed myths, responsible for more violence than anything else. God is only a fable used to give hope; the Devil a scary bed-time story designed to keep people in line. In fact, his dogged pursuit of a serial killer calling himself "Eve" has done nothing but prove to him that religion can only be misused for dark, sinister purposes. Then, in an encounter with Eve himself, Daniel Clark is killed. After his resuscitation, Daniel is haunted by a dark form lurking just beyond his senses. Sure that his mind carries an imprint of Eve's identity, locked within the final moments of his death, Daniel embarks on a series of dangerous experiments to get a glimpse of the elusive shadow lurking in his mind. What he finds is a horrible truth: despite his beliefs, the spiritual does exist, and when one empties himself of God, he doesn't open his mind to rationality; he opens his heart to darkness. This is perhaps Dekker's best work to date; a well-written and researched novel that also has a clear, passionate message:if we do not serve God, we only serve evil. The device setting Adam apart is Dekker's method of getting inside the serial killer's mind. We rarely encounter the killer's perspective in the present, but throughout the novel Dekker details the killer's descent into insanity as a young man, while he struggles with an abusive past and his refusal to believe in God's existence, presented in the form of a crime-magazine series of articles. These articles display a depth of research, showing a sophisticated narrative that continues to prove Dekker's story-telling abilities.
—Kevin Lucia
Library Journal

FBI psychologist Daniel Clark is obsessed with capturing an elusive serial killer known only as Eve. Daniel's compulsion has cost him his marriage and any semblance of a normal life. When Daniel is shot by Eve, his resuscitation 20 minutes later leaves him with no memory of his killer's face, and he attempts to recall the memory by reliving his near-death experience. At the same time, the terrible and haunting story of who Eve is and how he became a killer is told in disturbing snippets throughout the novel. Dekker's (The Circle Trilogy) latest supernatural thriller is both a character study and a highly charged suspense drama that shows Dekker at his best as he reminds us that evil is all around us. Themes of exorcism and child abuse may upset sensitive readers, but this title will appeal to both Dekker fans and general thriller enthusiasts. Highly recommended for suspense collections.

—Tamara Butler
From the Publisher

"In his hunt for the serial killer known as Eve, forensic psychologist Daniel Childs suffers a gunshot wound resulting in his death and resuscitation. While dead, he discovers within his mind the key to the mystery, if only he can find the lock. Tim Gregory narrates with impeccable timing, never giving away more than the restrained text offers. His clear, effortless-sounding narration is both involved with the story, and detached from it. A series of chapters inserted throughout the book details the killer's childhood and the events that lead to his current crimes. Gregory delivers these with a slightly different pace and tone—almost sounding like another reader. The surprise ending works, both in terms of content and performance, leaving the listener waiting for more from this pair." 
R.L.L.  2009 Audies Finalist - © AudioFile Portland, Maine

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Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

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Thomas Nelson
Copyright © 2008 Ted Dekker
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-007-2

Chapter One

A hot, sticky evening in Los Angeles. Outside, the city was clogged with traffic and a million souls fighting their way through another rush hour, preoccupied with bloated mortgage payments and impossible social pressures. Inside the FBI's Los Angeles field office, the air conditioner's hum had more significance to Daniel at the moment.

Special Agent Daniel Clark stared across the broad maple desk at Frank Montova's dark eyes, set deep behind puffy cheeks, like raisins. The man's neck bulged over a collar two sizes too small. Of the fifty-six domestic FBI field offices, only four were large enough to be helmed by an assistant director in charge, or an ADIC, as opposed to a special agent in charge. LA was one of those four. The running joke was that Montova fit his professional acronym at times.

"I'm not saying I wouldn't use other resources at our disposal," Daniel said.

"You don't catch a methodical pattern killer who's left a trail of fifteen victims across nine states without a lot of help. I don't care how good you are. You go rogue, you break the chain-of-evidence custody, and you'll blow our chances of getting a prosecution altogether, let alone a conviction."

"This isn't just about getting a conviction," Daniel said. "It's about stopping the killer in the Eve case before he kills another woman. It's about getting into the mind of a killer without him knowing it. I think I can do that better alone than with a team. We follow protocol, we may never find him. We have to anticipate him, not just chase him."

"You sure this isn't about Mark White's death?"

Mark was the forensic pathologist who'd worked with Daniel, uncovering what clues they could from the victims' bodies. Two weeks earlier he was killed in a car crash that hadn't yet been ruled accidental. Daniel had considered Mark a friend more than a partner.

"I can understand how you might come to that conclusion, but no. Mark and I had discussed going dark. This is about trying to get an investigation ahead of Eve, not just waiting to catch up with his crime scenes."

"I'd be more concerned with legality and judicial precedence." Montova's lips turned down. "The director doesn't like it. There are reasons why the bureau investigates the way it does."

Daniel took a slow breath, calmed himself. "You're denying my request?"

The chief eyed him carefully. "It's my call. And, yes, I'm leaning that way."

Daniel stood from the green upholstered guest chair and stepped over to the window. Like many of the bureau offices, the furniture was dated, held over from the last round of budget cuts. Two bookcases stuffed with black case logs and leather-bound legal briefs. A fake rubber tree plant in one corner. Round oak conference table with four metal chairs. Gray industrial carpet.

The city towered outside, gray piles of concrete jutting to the sky beyond Wilshire Boulevard like a dusty three-dimensional bar graph.

"Fifteen women are dead because of our bureaucratic inability to do what is necessary. He kills every lunar cycle, which means he already has his next victim. And if pathology's correct, he's already exposed her to the disease. Twenty-eight days is tomorrow. And we have no breaks, am I right?"

"Go on."

"If we get nothing this time, let me go dark. Give me access to whatever information I need-I work strictly through a channel of your choosing. Officially take me off the case. Put a legal layer of protection in play so that we don't endanger the evidence or the case, and then prosecute as you see fit. But let me do what I do best. Alone."

Montova regarded him with a long stare. Shifted his eyes to the bookcase on his left. Daniel followed his gaze. Two spines stood out from the long row of books, a red one and a black one, side by side.

Inside the Criminal Mind

Fixing the Broken Among Us

Both were authored by the same man. Daniel Clark, PhD.

He'd written them after receiving his doctorate at age thirty-five. The subsequent five years of lectures and tours led to his divorce from Heather, after which he requested and received a reassignment to the field. That was nearly two years ago.

At first the Eve case gave him an avenue of escape from the pain of the divorce. But the case soon developed into an obsession because, as Heather insisted, Daniel knew nothing but obsession.

It was why he understood the obsessive criminal mind as well as he did. It was why he'd gone back to school for his doctorate. Why he'd ignored his wife in favor of dishing out a hundred lectures on the same subject. It took an obsessive mind to know one.

Behavioral patterns, like forensic evidence, could lead them not only to a conviction but also to a new understanding of the psychology of serial killing. ViCAP, the federal Violent Criminal Apprehension Program, had a continually evolving database about the intrinsic natures of violent criminals. A pebble of prevention against a landslide of future psychopaths.

The Eve killer was a poster child for the conclusions presented in both of Daniel's books if there ever was one.

Montova's eyes were back on him. "Do what you do best, huh?"


"And what is it that you do best, Daniel?"

"I work alone best. Without all the distractions that keep me out."


Daniel hesitated. "Of his mind."

"Eve's mind."

"Yes." Few understood the discipline and focus required to enter the criminal mind.

"Isn't that a dangerous thing to do? Alone?"

Daniel shifted in his chair, uncomfortable for the first time. Heather's words came to him. They're your addiction, Daniel. You live your life in their minds!

"If not me, then who?" he said. "You want this piece of trash off the streets, you take some risks."

The assistant director clasped his hands on the desk calendar in front of him. His straight hair, normally slicked to one side, curled down over one ear. Montova was a respected man-a throwback to the previous generation, preferring a pen and a calendar to a Palm Pilot. As he liked to put it, the mind was sharper than any brain power a computer could muster.

"You're more concerned about beating Eve at his own game than you are about the victims," Montova said.

Daniel crossed his legs. "You're forgetting that I was on the Diablo case in Utah. I've seen what a compulsive killer can do in the space of seven hours. Don't tell me I don't care about the victims. I care about stopping the killer, not just wandering behind him with a dustpan and filling out Uniform Crime Reports."

"I'm not saying you don't care about the victims. I'm saying they're not what drives you."

Daniel started to object, but the words caught in his throat. "Does it matter?"

"Actually, it does," Montova said.

His desk phone beeped twice.

"It tells me why your motivation runs so deep. This isn't just a job to you, and that makes you a risk to this investigation, even a liability. Your allegiance to protocols-I don't care if you wrote them-is critical."

The phone rang twice more before he reached for the receiver and lifted it to his ear. "Yes?" He listened, interrupting once for clarification.

Daniel glanced at the books he'd written. Heather had repeatedly made the same accusation Montova had. The truth of it had cost them their marriage.

Montova hung up and pressed another extension. "Send her in." He set the receiver back into its cradle.

"Send who in?"

The door opened and a woman stepped in. Closed the door behind her.

"Daniel, meet Lori Ames. Lori, meet Daniel Clark, our major crime SAIC."

Daniel stood and shook her hand. "Nice to meet you."

"I know your work," Lori said. "It's great to finally meet you."

Daniel turned to the bureau chief. "I take it this conversation is over. I hope we can-"

"Sit down, Clark," Montova said. To the woman: "Have a seat."

Lori brushed past him, wearing a gentle smile. Soft brown eyes and a slender body wrapped in a dark business suit. Black heels. Blonde hair that hung just past her shoulders.

But it was the way she looked at him that caught Daniel's attention. Like she knew more than he might assume she did.

He followed her back to the guest chairs and sat.

Montova eyed them both and spoke when neither offered comment. "Agent Ames is a pathologist from the Phoenix field office's evidence response team. She knew the fourteenth victim, Amber Riley, and has since become quite familiar with the case. We'd like to reassign her to you."

They were replacing Mark White two weeks after his death. But why not with a local? There were at least five qualified pathologists at the LA field office. He glanced over at her. Skirt tight against one toned leg crossed over the other. Not exactly the dress of a field agent.

"I suppose that's your call, sir."

"It is, and I've made it. She starts now. And I've changed my mind. I'm granting your request. Assuming, that is, you don't object to working through Lori. She'll remain on the case but shadow you in all respects."

Daniel didn't know what to say. "Just like that?"

"Just like that. Working within these new parameters you suggested, of course. Who do you suggest I turn the case over to?"

"Brit Holman," he said without thinking. The man was competent and nearly as familiar with the case as Daniel was. "You're saying you'll let me go dark alone, as long as my sole contact is an agent who's new to the case?"

Montova looked at Lori, who evidently took his stare as an invitation to share.

"The first believed victim was discovered sixteen months ago in the basement of All Saints Catholic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Maria Stencho, a twenty-three-year-old tasked with cleaning the church. Her body was bruised and blistered, and traces of a previously unknown bacteria similar to Streptococcus pneumoniae were found in her blood. SP is normally associated with meningitis, which infects the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can kill a host within hours in a manner consistent with Maria Stencho's death. No signs of struggle, no evidence of blunt-force trauma. No evidence of harm caused by any weapon. According to the local medical examiner, cause of death was acute encephalitis, most closely associated with symptoms consistent with ICD-10, code A-85, meningoencephalitis. The lab work detailed leukocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid after a lumbar tap, and confirmed that the disease was present and in full effect at the time of death. It was first assumed that Stencho died from a form of meningitis. Shall I go on?"

"I get the point," Daniel said.

But Montova held up his hand. "Please, go on."

"The next victim was found twenty-eight days later in San Diego. A Mormon, age twenty, female. This time in the basement of an LDS church. Nearly identical set of circumstances except this time the name EVE was painted in red on the cement wall next to the body. Lab came up with the same results in the spinal fluid, and the local coroner found evidence of the same intracranial pressure, as well as advanced infection of the meninges. She died of brain pressure leading to cerebral hemorrhage. A new victim has been found every new moon-the killer evidently likes the dark. All fifteen have been female, between the ages of nineteen and twenty-four. All found underground: seven in church basements, four in abandoned cellars at abandoned farms, four in natural caverns preselected by the killer."

Lori switched her gaze to Daniel. She was unique, he'd give her that much. Fresh. Her eyes sparkled with an infectious mystery. If he wasn't mistaken, in her late thirties.

"Evidence recovered from each scene includes size 13 shoe impressions-Bigton boots available at any one of several large chains across America. Stride indicates a height of six-six, and indentation puts him between 220 and 250. Different white vans were recovered near two of the sites. Hair and skin cell samples from each identify the killer as Caucasian, blood type B-positive, male. The lab cross-checked him through Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), and his DNA profile has appeared in no other investigations outside of this series. Hair indicates he is in his forties. There were no latent prints. No saliva, blood, semen, or any other fluid that could be traced to any other source than the victim. The killer's not a secretor. He's effectively either a newcomer or a ghost."

A pause. Then she went on delivering the data with practiced precision.

"The fact that he's gone to such great lengths to avoid leaving any prints suggests he believes his prints are in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database. Which in turn suggests he's a professional. His killing is organized, patterned, premeditated, and clearly religiously motivated. He's killing with motives that are consistent with a classic psychopathic profile-he knows right from wrong, and he chooses wrong. He will continue until he is captured or killed. His profile indicates that he will likely never be taken alive. Nothing else is known about Eve."


"Would you like me to tell you about you now? An even more fascinating case."

"I know myself, thank you," Daniel replied, offering her a polite grin.

"Do you?"

Lori said it with complete sincerity, as if she were his therapist and was only interested in the truth. Then she smiled. "I hope not. My mother always told me that men who think they know themselves are only stuck-up versions of those who don't."

"Smart lady."

The soft hiss of the air conditioner settled the room.

"Like I said, Lori has familiarized herself with the case," Montova said. His phone rang and he took the call. He nodded curtly and dropped the receiver back in its cradle.

"You'll have time to fill in the blanks on the way."


"Local police in Manitou Springs, Colorado, just received a report of an abandoned white van found by two spelunkers near the Cave of the Winds. They found an entrance to an unmarked cave nearby. The report drew a flag from Eve's ViCAP profile. Local enforcement is setting up a perimeter, but they've been told to stay out of the scene until you arrive."

Daniel sat still, breath gone. Eve.

Ice crept through his veins.

Daniel stood and crossed the room in three long steps. He grabbed the doorknob and was halfway through before Montova's voice stopped him.

"Lori goes with you."

He spun back and saw that she was already right behind him.



Excerpted from ADAM by TED DEKKER Copyright © 2008 by Ted Dekker. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

David M. Kiely
"As always with a Ted Dekker thriller, the detail is stunning, pointing to meticulous research in a raft of areas: police and FBI methods, forensic medicine, psychological profiling-in short, all that accompanies a Federal hunt for a serial killer. But Dekker fully reveals his magic in the latter part of the book, when he subtly introduces his darker and more frightening theme. It's all too creepily convincing. We have to keep telling ourselves that this is fiction. At the same time, we can't help thinking that not only could it happen, but that it will happen if we're not careful."--(David M. Kiely and Christina McKenna, authors of The Dark Sacrament)

Meet the Author

TED DEKKER is a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels with a total of more than 10 million books in print. He is known for thrillers that combine adrenaline-laced plots with incredible confrontations between good and evil.

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