FBI behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark is a man on a mission. After over a year of tracking a mysterious serial killer known as Eve, he feels closer than ever to discovering the murderer's true identity when he finds Eve's latest victim still alive.
In an effort to save the girl, Daniel narrowly escapes becoming another casualty on Eve's list. Despite seeing the killer with his own eyes, a gunshot wound to the head leaves him with amnesia, unable to remember any details from the incident. His drive to find the killer takes on a whole new meaning when Eve takes yet another victim, one Daniel knows all too well-his estranged wife Heather.
Determined to bring her back alive, Daniel takes his obsession to a dangerous new level, even recreating his own near-death experience in attempt to recall anything from his encounter with Eve. Soon enough he finds himself fighting for Heather's life, and, in the end, his own.
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About 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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By TED DEKKER
Copyright © 2008 Ted Dekker
All right reserved.
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?"
"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."
"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.
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."
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.
What People are Saying About This
"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)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is my first time reading Ted Dekker and this is a great mystery. It took turns in the story that do not follow the normal path for murder mysteries. I have recommended to several friends and they all enjoyed this book. The author takes the time to go through the story and all the characters - making the ending great and unpredictable. It is not for all readers and does not hold any punches going through the story. Thank you Ted Dekker.
In all the books I have read, I have NEVER been completely surprised by a plot change. This one though, has a jaw dropping plot twist that intensifies the suspense that was already there throughout the novel. Very different reading experience.
The book Adam starts off with an excerpt from Anne Rudolph's article Man of Sorrow: Journey into Darkness. Piece by piece Dekker creates a mystery of a puzzle by using this article. FBI agent, Daniel Clark, has based his whole career on learning how killers think and in doing so he believes he will be able to catch them. Daniel has hit rock bottom with his new case, EVE. As much as he tries he has not been able to keep EVE from killing fifteen females. He is a man of will though and dares not to give up; because of this EVE is now willing to stop at nothing to cause Daniel to stop chasing him. During the killing of the sixteenth victim Daniel is shot in the head and killed, or so everyone thinks. Daniel is revived after clinically being dead for over twenty minutes. Daniel now has an image of EVE trapped in his brain and must die again several times to recover it. In the end Daniel comes face to face with the killer once again and must make a decision of what it is he truly believes in.
Daniel Clark is obsessed. So obsessed that he has sacrificed his marriage to his ex-wife Heather, along with everything else that should matter most. Why? The Eve Killer is out there, wreaking havoc by kidnapping young woman from ages nineteen to twenty-four and killing them with a new strain of meningitis. He works like a clock, killing his victims when the moon is new and waiting almost a full month before snatching the next young girl. The FBI has done everything, but Eve, as they call the killer, seemlingly cannot be stopped. After sixteen months of searching, Daniel is now hard on Eve's heels, sure that if he can just understand the killer's mind, he could catch him and bring him to justice. When a big break in the case is made, Daniel finds himself face to face with Eve and does his best to stop him; however, that is before Eve raises his gun, points it at Daniel, and pulls the trigger... This book was amazing. Ted Dekker, as far as I know, is the only author that ever makes me want to read ahead. I was in the first 100 pages of Adam and I was dying to know what would happen to Daniel, Heather, Lori (Daniel's partner), and the rest. I wanted to know who Eve was, why he was killing all the women, and what this strain of meningitis really was. In the end, my expectations were far surpassed. This book was intensely psychological, so if you want to read it, prepare yourself for mind games. Two of the characters were kidnapped at ages two and three and were abused growing up, based off the rules of the kidnapers' twisted religion; this affects their lives later on, which in turn creates a devastating affect in the book. You will see how easily our minds are deceived into hating truth and how scary that really is. I was amazed by the twist in the end, and I am so thankful for Ted Dekker's love for God and how he turns that love into great books that glorify Him.
Adam was my first Ted Dekker. When i started to read this book i thought it was going to boring but i kept reading. As i kept reading i fell in love with this book. It was interesting and awesome. Ted dekker's world just off the hook amazing.
I'm a big Ted Dekker fan, so this book doesn't disappoint. I still don't think he's topped his Red, White, Black series (I know, that's the wrong order), but I think this one is pretty fantastic. I like that he writes moral books that aren't preachy or pretentious...he just writes good books, darn it. I'd definitely recommend it...but, since I'd recommend pretty much everything he's written, that's no surprise.
Dekker has a way of writing that makes it easy to read and easy to be entrapped by. The book hooks you after the first chapter. Some books start out slow and work into the plot but this one just jumps right into the action and keeps you guessing until the very end.
I loved this book. I was engaged in reading from beginning to end. Just kept wanting to know what will happen next.
In a world where evil runs free, FBI psychologist Daniel Clark searches for the serial killer who has terminated the lives of numerous innocent women. In this thrilling, suspenseful, and page-turning novel, Daniel Clark's obsessive addiction to the "Eve" case results in his death and ultimately, his resuscitation and retaliation to find the face of the man who killed him. Ted Dekker's purpose to reveal the light upon the topic of spiritual warfare shines through the pages of his book. Once you pick up Adam, it will be almost impossible to relinquish. Every page is filled with exhilarating text and brilliant detail that will lure you in from the beginning! "Mucus ran from both nostrils and mixed with foaming spittle that seeped from her mouth. Stringy blonde hair hung below her ears trembling." How could someone not envision the scene from that elaborate passage? Adam, being my first Ted Dekker novel, is indefinitely my favorite book of all times. It's a must-read for all book-enthusiasts!
This is one of the weirdest books, but what made this book different from all the other weird books I have ever read is I really enjoyed it. It is really really good. Strange yes. Plausible? Not really. Regardless I couldn't put it down. It makes you think at times too. And the plot twists that continue to come just become more and more shocking till at the end I nearly gasped at the last twist. A really really good book. Read it. You won't regret it.
I really enjoyed this book....definately a must read!
Great twist! Ending is fantastic! A tale of possession and redemption.
A very good read; couldn't put it down.
Adam waz hear=)
To me, the characters lacked dimension.
This was the first book I was ever physically yelled at to put down. Keeps you on the edge of your seat as you put pieces of the puzzle together.
My personal favorite
This book kept me on the edge the entire time. I could not put it down, at all. Great suspense novel that will have a none believer wondering if there is something truly evil out there.
What a well written book! Geez! Chilled me to the bone. That is Dekker for you. And it didn't help me that I finished reading it at night. Boy, did I have trouble sleeping! Ted Dekker is the only author thus far that has this effect on me. I'm surprised none of his better books (this one included) haven't been turned into movies. Well, except for "House" (collaboration with Perretti) which was, to say the least, a very weak representation of the book. Perhaps because "House" was botched, Dekker has refrained from allowing another movie. Haha. Anyways, if you are into horror and psychological thrills, this is your book :) I recommend it!
I felt sorry for Alex and Lori. To be honest it wasnt his fault he was killing he was possessed and its Alice fault it happen to him. Because she did hat to him when was young might not killing him but he was affected by Alice and Eve.
One of my favorites. Its a suspenceful read from behinning to end. I love the news articles. This story seemed so real. Like i was listening to someone tell their own experience.