If what was described as punishments is real and is happening in our prison system. It would be a very bad place to be. As far as recommending this book to a friend, I would have to really think about it, the contents are something everyone can handle. It might have come with a warning about the violence portrayed.
The Sanctuary was a dark story. No doubt about that. In fact, I needed an occasional break from it; it was that dark. However, in typical Dekker style, redemptive themes made the payoff worth it. I really enjoyed The Priest's Graveyard, so this was a great sequel. There are twists in it that I didn't see coming. When it comes to the depravity of man, Dekker is a master at showing it. But he also shows how love is greater than all of the darkness. I love that about his stories. Anyway, I enjoyed this one. I don't want to tell too much and spoil it for readers, but let me say if you enjoyed the first book, you'll find this one worth your time as well.