Rural Oklahoma in Ted Dekker’s ADAM

PHOTO CREDIT: “Everything’s Okay,” Doug Wertman. This photo is licensed under the the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

“Using a series of phone calls, Eve had drawn him to Oklahoma, south of Interstate 40, into the woods. Forty-five minutes had passed since Daniel last saw the lights of another vehicle. Eve had meticulously laid out the route, probably the same one he’d used to transport Heather once he’d turned south on I-25.”1

Like any good murder mystery, Ted Dekker’s ADAM requires a scene of the crime: in this case, a root cellar deep in the woods of southern Oklahoma. While serial killer Eve is known for being methodical—he’s notorious for anticipating every possible scenario that could give the FBI an advantage—he breaks his pattern when he kidnaps the wife of behavioral psychologist Daniel Clark. In doing so, he lures Daniel into rural Oklahoma, to the killer’s childhood home. Here, Eve and his sister were tortured by a corrupted religion until they managed to escape on the trains that ran behind the house. This location serves as the setting for the climax of the novel, when Daniel confronts Eve and likewise, the killer confronts the demons of his past.

While Dekker never specifies where Eve’s root cellar is located, the text hints that it’s probably found near Idabel, Oklahoma. Founded by the Arkansas and Choctaw Railway Company, Idabel was named for the two daughters of railroad official Isaac Purnell. It is the county seat of McCurtain County, and falls within the touristy Kiamichi Country. The city relies largely on their timber industry, as well as on ranching and farming, and is known as the Dogwood Capitol of Oklahoma. Consider visiting the Museum of the Red River, famous for housing a complete skeleton of the Oklahoma State Dinosaur, or the original Frisco Train Station, which Dekker’s characters might have passed through on their escape from the root cellar.

Read more about Idabel, Oklahoma and the Museum of the Red River. Find ADAM at a local library or on Amazon.

1Dekker, Ted. ADAM. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008. 244. Print.

Marie McDonough is beginning her junior year at the University of Arizona as a Creative Writing major. She enjoys classic and young adult novels, and spends too much time knitting.

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