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Authors: Ted Dekker

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Sinner

BOOK: Sinner
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SINNER

teddekker.com

DEK
K
ER FANTASY

BOOKS OF HISTORY CHRONICLES

THE LOST BOOKS
Chosen
Infidel
Renegade
Chaos

THE CIRCLE TRILOGY
Black
Red
White

THE PARADISE NOVELS
Showdown
Saint
Sinner

Skin
House
(with Frank Peretti)

DEK
K
ER MYSTERY

Blink of an Eye

MARTYR'S SONG SERIES
Heaven's Wager
When Heaven Weeps
Thunder of Heaven
The Martyr's Song

THE CALEB BOOKS
Blessed Child
A Man Called Blessed

DEK
K
ER THRILLER

THR3E
Obsessed
Adam

© 2008 by Ted Dekker

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Published in association with Thomas Nelson and Creative Trust, 5141 Virginia Way, Suite 320, Brentwood, TN 37027.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fundraising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMa[email protected]

Publisher's Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Dekker, Ted, 1962–
      Sinner / Ted Dekker.
          p. cm.
      ISBN 978-1-59554-008-9
      I. Title.
    PS3554.E43S565 2008
    813'.54—dc22

2008024223

Printed in the United States of America

08 09 10 11 12 QW 5 4 3 2 1

Content

AUTHOR'S NOTE

I

WORDS OF PERSUASION

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ZERO

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

II

WORDS OF POWER

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

CHAPTER FORTY

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO

PROLOGUE

AUTHOR'S NOTE

I AM often asked about the ideal reading order for the Books of History Chronicles, which include the Circle Trilogy, the Lost Books, and the Paradise Novels. Readers from all walks of life have waxed eloquent on this subject, glad to give a new reader the inside scoop on this somewhat twisted world of books I've coaxed to life.

There is an answer to the question, but it isn't what you might expect. Then again, nothing in the Books of History Chronicles is what you might expect.

I could say that the first books to read should be the Circle Trilogy—
Black, Red,
and
White
—but that isn't entirely right. They are prequels to the whole series, much like Genesis is a prequel to Matthew. Does reading Genesis before Matthew affect your appreciation for either? Not necessarily.

I could say that
Showdown
should be the first book you read, but that isn't right either.
Showdown
is a prequel to
Sinner
,much like Exodus is a prequel to the Gospel of John.

So then where is the beginning? Surely all things have a beginning and an ending.
Just quit running circles and tell me
, you're thinking.

But that's just the point. The Books of History Chronicles are unique because they are circular, not linear.You may make friends with the story at nearly any point and not feel cheated any more than making friends with your future spouse leaves you feeling cheated for not knowing him or her during grade school.

Having said that, there are some books best read in order. Read
Black
before you read
Red
and
White
, because the Circle Trilogy is one story.

Read the Lost Books—
Chosen, Infidel, Renegade,
and
Chaos
—in that order if you can.

It doesn't matter if you read the Paradise Novels (
Showdown, Saint,
and
Sinner
) before or after the Circle Trilogy, but it might be more fun to read
Sinner,
then
Saint,
then
Showdown
—the prequel about how it all began.

Each series in the Books of History Chronicles is a different experience to be engaged either on its own or with the others.

Some may take exception with me because they want everything to line up in perfect order, and that's fine for other series out there. But these are the Books of History Chronicles, and we don't like to follow the crowd here.

We like the mystery of it all. We like piecing the puzzle together. We like to take a big bite out of the middle and then work our way to either end because we get more grease and juice on our chins when we do it that way.

So go ahead, take a bite out of
Sinner,
and then decide which way you want to go. Left to
Saint
. Right to
Showdown
, or all the way around to the Circle Trilogy.

Either way, enjoy.

Ted Dekker, August 2008

I

WORDS OF PERSUASION

The apostle who saw the Light with his own two eyes said this:

I came to you in weakness
and fear, and with much trembling.

My message was not with wise
and persuasive words,
but with
power.

First-century letter written by
Paul to those in Corinth

PROLOGUE

OUR STORY began two thousand years in the future, because the Books of History came into our world from that future.

After they arrived, the Books of History lay in obscurity for many years until a Turkish dealer unwittingly sold the dusty old tomes to David Abraham, a tenured Harvard University professor and collector of antiquities. Upon discovering that the books contained the power to animate the choices of men by turning the written words of innocent children into living, breathing flesh, he swore to preserve the books in a manner consistent with their nature.

Deep in a monastery hidden from all men near a Colorado mountain town called Paradise, Father Abraham and twelve monks vowed their lives to raise thirty-seven orphans, lovingly nurturing them and teaching them all things virtuous. One day these children would use the books for the good of all mankind.

And so was born Project Showdown
.

But Billy, the brightest of the students, was lured into the dungeons below the monastery, where he found the Books of History. And there, surrounded by intoxicating power, the thirteen-year-old boy wrote into existence an embodiment of his deepest fears and fantasies. And he called his creation Marsuvees Black.

Fueled by the power of evil spun from Billy's own heart, Marsuvees Black became flesh and entered the small mountain town called Paradise. There,with Marsuvees Black, Billy wreaked terrible havoc and Paradise fell.

The correction of Billy's transgression came at a terrible price, but before everything could be set right again,Marsuvees Black escaped with a book, which he used to spawn more manifestations of evil like himself.

Since that day many years ago, Black's creations have lived among us in fleshly form, determined to learn how to make all men evil as Billy was evil.

But good also came out of Paradise when it fell. Three children used the Books of History to write a great power into themselves. Their names were Johnny, Billy, and Darcy.

For twelve years, thankful only that they had survived the failed project, they forgot about what they had written in the books. But then, unknown to Billy or Darcy, the power revealed itself to Johnny, the Saint, in stunning fashion.

Now Johnny waits in the desert for his time to come, because he knows that Marsuvees Black has not been sleeping. Because he knows that the time is near.

In fact, that time has come.

CHAPTER ZERO

MARSUVEES BLACK reread the words penned on the yellow sheet of paper, intrigued by the knowledge they contained. He felt exposed, almost naked against this sheet of pulp that had come his way.

August 21, 2033

Dear Johnny,

If you're reading this letter, then my attempt to help you has failed and
I've gone to meet my Maker. You are likely in hiding, so I can only hope
that this letter finds you. Either way, I feel compelled to explain so that
you might know my own convictions in the matter that faces us. I will
be brief.

BOOK: Sinner
7.79Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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