Choose the person who is the ugliest and kill him. That is the task the five people who remain after three tornadoes hit the small Nevada desert town are given. Or are they the only ones left? Wendy Davidson is on the way to meet her mother when she hits a car in the middle of the road during the storm. Then she finds a brother and sister in need of help. After driving them to the small Nevada desert town of Summerville, they meet up with a police officer. Officer Colt Jackson is chasing down a man who has killed to people and threatens to continue the killing spree. Sterling Red is determined to get revenge on the five people he has brought together in Summerville, but they will play the game according to his rules.
Ted Dekker’s mind always fascinates me. Throughout the entire book I was constantly guessing who Sterling Red might be or what is happening to make the five main characters shift between settings (you’ll understand this more when you read the book). The book shifts between several character points of view—the killer, one of the police officers in the town, Wendy, and Colt—but this is mainly Wendy’s story and perhaps a little bit of Colt’s. While it takes a little while to familiarize yourself with the cast of characters, things really start to move after the tornadoes move through the town. Because I wanted to know who was behind the murders and why, it was hard to put this one down.
If you enjoy suspense thrillers that will bend your mind, this is one to pick up. If you’re easily creeped out, don’t pick this one up before bed. The main theme of the book is that beauty is more than skin deep and everyone has ugliness in them. There is minimal spiritual content in the book (other than the comparison of the killer to Lucifer in a couple of chapters). This is a mass market reissue from a 2007 release.
***Center Street provided me with a free copy of this book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own