#157 ~ Boneman’s Daughters

Cover of Boneman's Daughters

BoneMan’s Daughters by Ted Dekker

Boneman’s Daughters tells the story of Ryan Evans, a naval intelligence officer whose life gets turned upside down after being taken hostage in Iraq. Despite his extensive training and understanding of the techniques used during hostage-type interrogations, the stress and strain associated with his captivity break him down and make him resolve to change for the better, especially when it comes to his estranged family. Early on in his daughter’s life, he chose his military carrier over his family. As a result, he has very little contact with his wife Celine or his daughter Bethany. After getting clearance, he returns home to Texas in hopes of reclaiming what he now knows is the most important thing in his life.

Unfortunately, his revelation may have come too late. Celine has found love with the local district attorney who won a recently overturned conviction in the Boneman serial killer case and wants a divorce. Bethany, who doesn’t necessarily get along well with her mother, wants nothing to do with her father. Perhaps because of his Post-Traumatic Stress disorder, Ryan does not handle the rejection as constructively as he should. After therapy and making one final gesture toward Bethany, Ryan is able to move on with his life alone. Once again, his resolve comes to late. When Bethany is taken from her home by the Boneman, the State of Texas and his ex-wife look to him as the primary suspect.

noxemaThis novel was more than just a good read. It is a story the reader experiences through almost every sense. I saw the words upon the page, felt the Boneman’s cool and smooth, smelled the ever present scent of Noxema, and heard the popping sound of breaking bones. Having almost my entire body engaged in a novel added to the suspense and the thrill. During the time in which I read this novel, my daughter got sunburned. I grew up using Noxema to sooth the pain at night. As it turns out, we were completely out. So, not long after reading a detailed account of how Boneman continuously slathers Noxema all over his body to keep his skin perfect, I had to buy some at the drug store and rub it on my daughter. This seemed just a little bit spooky to me and I will never look at or smell Noxema in the same way again.

The one source of objection I had was over the way that adoption was used almost as a tool. Ryan and Celine never tell her about this and it is used to partially explain Celine’s odd and distant parenting style. This left wide open the possibility to assume that Celine didn’t love Bethany as much as she might have loved a biological child. This stereotype – or at least stereotypical concern – about adoption only made Celine feel that much more like a caricature. The adoption plot line came in to play substantively only as a setup for a revelation Ryan makes at the end of the novel. That twist didn’t work for me either, especially since it didn’t further or complete the story.

I don’t read suspense all that often, but I usually enjoy them when I do. After reading Go With Me by Castle Freeman, Jr., I was really put in the mood for a great thriller. Boneman’s Daughters hit the spot. This is my first Ted Dekker novel, but it will not be the last. I found this novel interesting and engaging from the moment Ryan’s Hummer was attacked in the Iraqi dessert. There was not enough graphic violence to disturb me, but enough to get my heart racing. Best of all, the ending isn’t as happily ever after as you might expect. It left me wanting to know what happened afterward. This novel was not perfect, but it was perfectly enjoyable. If you enjoy a thrilling, suspenseful novel, this should be high on your list.


Miriam at Hatchett Books has graciously going to provide a copy of Boneman’s Daughters to three of my lucky readers.  The giveaway is open until 11:59 EST on 5/4/2009.  If you haven’t entered already, what are you waiting for?


To buy this novel, click here.

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  • At 2009.04.29 16:43, Kathy said:

    I enjoyed this book too! I came to appreciate it even more after the Blog Talk Radio show with Ted Dekker.

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    • At 2009.04.29 16:53, Ti said:

      I like what you said, “Not perfect but perfectly enjoyable.” That’s says it all :)I can’t wait to read this one. I am going to check out your giveaway because I cannot remember if I entered or not.

      • At 2009.04.29 16:58, Sandy said:

        I love novels like this, I love twisted protagonists, and as far as the bad guys…the more dark and messed up, the better. I’ve never come across the Noxema angle before. I think I’ve already signed up for this giveaway!

        Sandy’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

        • At 2009.04.29 17:27, bookworm said:

          this does sound like an intense read, great review.
          interesting about the noxema!

          bookworm’s last blog post..Quote of the Moment

          • At 2009.04.29 18:14, Karen @ Planet Books said:

            Please throw my name in the hat for this giveaway! This title has been on my TBR/Bought list since before it came out.

            Karen @ Planet Books’s last blog post..Book Review, Author Q&A and Book Giveaway ~ Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland

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            • At 2009.04.29 19:18, jennygirl said:

              Sure! Throw my name in please. Great review! I would have been creeped out with the Noxzema too.

              jennygirl’s last blog post..Review: The Red Leather Diary

              • At 2009.04.29 21:45, Literate Housewife said:

                I think all of you guys will enjoy it. Boneman is quite a character. The Noxema thing was really interesting. If they ever make this film into a movie and it doesn’t have one of those John Waters Odorama cards, I’m bringing along a jar of Noxema. Could you imagine what people beside me would do if I opened the jar and started using some in the movie. LOL!!!

                Literate Housewife’s last blog post..#157 ~ Boneman’s Daughters

                • At 2009.04.29 23:11, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                  LOL about the pic of Noxema!!

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                  • At 2009.05.01 16:12, Ladytink_534 said:

                    Well I’ve never used Noxzema so I don’t know what it smells like but I think I might enjoy this one since it seems like the story is very vivid! Since it ended left you wanting to know more, do you think the author will make a series out of this?

                    Ladytink_534’s last blog post..Based On a True Story

                    • At 2009.05.03 01:43, bluebelle0367@hotmail.com said:

                      This book sounds really interesting and I would like to read it. Please enter me in the giveaway

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                      • At 2009.05.03 15:37, Alyce said:

                        I can smell the Noxzema in my mind! My mom used that as a cold cream every night, and we used it for burns too. I haven’t read this book yet because I haven’t decided if it’s going to be too creepy for me.

                        Alyce’s last blog post..The Sunday Salon – May 3

                        • At 2010.01.25 23:29, Arielle said:

                          I read this book by chance last week, and clicked on the review to compare your thoughts to mine. Spot on! I also thought that Ryan’s revelation kind of deflated some of the momentum for a few moments. But it recovered, and all in all was a great read.
                          Try “Three” for your next Ted Dekker book. There’s a movie too, but I didn’t really feel it was worth comparing to the book personally.
                          Happy reading!

                          (Required, will not be published)

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