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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Bishop (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 4) » User review

Fasted paced & exciting

  • Aug 2, 2010
"The Bishop" is a fast-paced forensic/detective suspense novel. This is the fourth book in the series. Though you can follow what's going on without reading the others first, you'll probably understand it better if you start with the first novel, "The Pawn." Also, reading this novel spoils the "who-done-it" mystery in several previous novels, so you'll want to read the others first if you plan to at all.

The novel had a somewhat bleak tone. Several of the "killed by violence" bodies were described in more graphic/gory terms than in his previous novels--though, oddly, I found these descriptions less chilling. The ones were he left most of the details to my imagination were more chilling. Also, this was the first novel in this series that I've correctly guessed "who-done-it" before the big revel. Part of the reason I liked his previous novels so much was because he's one of the few authors who can fool me on a mystery anymore, so I was a little disappointed by that.

The world-building was excellent, with the details about forensics, the case, and the city bringing the novel alive in my imagination. All of the aspects of the novel seemed very well researched. The tension was high throughout most of the story (with a few slight lulls). The suspense was created by the race to save a victim before she's killed, the potential physical danger to the main characters, and the relational tensions.

The characters were interesting, complex, and dealt with realistic issues outside of the case (like how to relate to a biological father or potentially losing a daughter in a custody battle). The author portrayed the main women in this novel as smart, competent, respected, and not trying to be men. As a woman, I liked that.

There was a minor, ongoing "what makes human's moral" discussion among the characters in relation to the case. The Christian view was vaguely presented. More detail was spent on scientific study promoting a "humans are animals, there is no god" viewpoint, though only a few minor characters seemed to wholeheartedly support that view.

There was no explicit sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this novel as well-written and exciting clean reading.

I received this novel as a review copy from the publisher.

Reviewed by Debbie from Genre Reviews

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More The Bishop (The Patrick Bowers... reviews
review by . August 05, 2010
I am a HUGE Steven James fan. When I picked up his first book, THE PAWN, I could not put it down. It was literally one of the best suspense/thriller books I have ever read in my life. Seriously, he knows how to write and grab a reader. This may be due to him having a master's degree in storytelling (something all writers would definitely benefit from) and how he knows the craft of keeping a reader's attention.    This book is a huge psychological ride. If you have read the other …
review by . August 02, 2010
The sinister `game' began with the brutal murder of a prominent Congressman's daughter. Two killers, both desperately wicked, who torment others in a game of conquest and power. They're smart and they know how to leave no evidence, but plenty of misdirection keeping the authorities off balance and unable to discern what clues point to their true intent. The puzzle pieces are many but few fit into place. Are Patrick and his colleagues overlooking the key or is the key what's not there? As the mystery …
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Debbie White ()
Ranked #120
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
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About this book


James, critically acclaimed author of the series the Bowers Files, sends new chills down the spine in his newest suspense thriller, told from various points of view and centering on FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers's criminology and geospatial tracking of serial killers. When a prominent congressman's daughter is murdered, seemingly unconnected crimes become evidence of a heinous game played by two people who have the same things coursing through their veins as their victims and the cops trying to catch them: love and hate. James packs the narrative with ethical dilemmas and subplots involving abortion and medical research ("It would have saved us all a lot of trouble if your mother had just gone ahead with the abortion"). The novel moves swiftly, with punchy dialogue but gruesome scenes. Readers must be ready to stomach the darkest side of humanity and get into the minds of serial killers to enjoy this master storyteller at the peak of his game.
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ISBN-10: 0800733029
ISBN-13: 978-0800733025
Author: Steven James
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Revell
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