There are times when guidance comes from unexpected places, others when you don’t know help came until time passes, and very rare occasions when it comes from within, a place to intimate, so secret, you didn’t know existed until your souls brings it into the light. In A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming, by Kerri Rawson, the authors tells how she lived these three cases when her father was arrested and she discovered he was the serial killer BTK.
Kerri Rawson, neé Rader, tells the story of her life, focusing on the grieving periods when she first doubted and then denied the existence of God, of any kind of divine being watching over her and her family, and how she, slowly, regained her faith, mostly due to an expedition that could have devastated her.
However, after returning to Christianity, her family’s religion and the one she was raised in, she is faced with more questions and doubts than ever before, when her father, Dennis Rader, is arrested for murder. As the investigation advanced, she discovered she was A Serial Killer’s Daughter, a man guilty of ten murders, including children.
The books explains how she struggled to understand loss, mourning and then come into terms with the other side of her father that Kerri Rawson didn’t know about, just like the rest of her family, how she accepted these episodes as part of her life and learned from them, discovering that, although painful, helped her to get closer to God, to the good memories and feelings.
Although the premise is promising and that’s exactly why I got this book, the first half of it had little to no relation to what the title and synopsis sold me, made me consider abandon this reading. However, just when I was about to give up on the book, A Serial Killer’s Daughter went right to what interests the readers.
Kerri Rawson shares deep, emotional episodes relating this time of her life, explaining how it affected her as a victim of emotional abuse and a woman with PTSD, lighting a part of the complex world of mental health. Not only serving as a form of personal catharsis, the book also provides guidance for those who may have lived under conditions similar to the author’s, explaining how help can come when one less expects it.
Despite having a troublesome beginning for me, which is mostly due to my personal interests, I have to clarify, A Serial Killer’s Daughter was worth the wait. It haves several phrases that, no matter the reader’s faith of spiritual posture, could help anyone in any situation of need, but always making clear that professional help, such as therapy, cannot be substituted.
The author has a simple yet direct style, filled with emotion and honesty, making it more than just a personal retelling of historical facts. This is her confessional, which could have easily been a journal in the beginning to be later edited in book format. Kerri Rawson has written a powerful, healing book.
More than just a memoire or autobiography, A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming, by Kerri Rawson, honors its subtitle. It truly teaches the reader how faith and love can lead to overcoming, how life gives and takes mindfully and that there is a lesson behind every episode in our lives. Whether you’re interested in serial killers, Christinity or self-help books, or even an unconventional combination of the three, you will enjoy this reading.
Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 29, 2019)
Publishing Date: January 29, 2019
About the Author
Kerri Rawson is the daughter of Dennis Rader, better known to the world as the serial killer BTK. Since her father’s arrest, Kerri has been an advocate for victims of abuse, crime, and trauma, sharing her journey of hope, healing, faith, and forgiveness. She lives with her husband, two children, and two cats in Michigan.
About the Reviewer
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and solitary, eclectic witch interested in the darker side of magic and divination. Besides reading and writing, Bader also enjoys studying the Gothic subculture, which he belongs to, learning new languages and making endless lists of movies, music and the like. He can be found on Instagram as @saab.bader.