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Lunch » Tags » Book » Reviews » The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 1) » User review

PG-rated Police Procedural covers all bases

  • Sep 20, 2009
Serial killer, copycat killer, torture-killer psychopath, politician with a past, CSI, profiling, corrupt local police, CIA coverup, Jonestown massacre, terrorist-style revenge, "catch-me-if-you-can" game between killer and cops, childhood abuse, adolescent cutting, detective trying to overcome grief of wife's recent death and connect with step-daughter he barely knows, new love interest for said detective: Steven James freights all these plot elements into "The Pawn." The amazing part is he keeps things boiling along at a fast enough pace to keep everything afloat. It passes the must-finish test for any good mystery thriller, with the tipping point in this one coming at about page 275 of 427.

Patrick Bowers is the PH. D. geographical profiler who will be the hero of this book (and others planned to follow) who is called in to investigate a killing near Asheville, NC. Entanglements, as outlined above, ensue. Everything happens in a very short time and space, and the author does a good job of keeping the time-line clear and intercutting between scenes where synchronization is important.

We know this falls in the genre of Christian fiction because it is published by Revell, one of the biggest Christian publishers in the US. This accounts for the PG-rated nature of the story. No swear words appear in the book, although there are references to characters using profanity, the sexual contact consists of glances and carefully worded asides, and while the body count adds up during the course of the book the descriptions are not graphic. However, there is very little explicitly Christian content, only some brief discussion of motives and how detective Bowers dealt with his wife's death with the assistance of her pastor and another church member who attempted to share their faith with him. This book could easily be enjoyed by Christian and non-Christian readers alike who enjoy (without fear of being preached at).the emotional thrillride of this genre without the graphic lanuage violence, and sex which often accompanies it.

We know this is intended to be the first of a series because of the subtitle "A Patrick Powers thriller". It will be interesting to see how James pares down the plots and builds on the basic spiritual foundation he laid in this book.

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September 14, 2010
Sounds like a good read; I will probably check it out sometime.
More The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers F... reviews
review by . September 12, 2009
"The Pawn" is a well-written, heart-pounding, fast-paced forensic/detective thriller. The novel had a somewhat bleak tone. The crimes and crime scenes were very chilling, though not particularly graphic (i.e. he gives you just enough to let your imagination fill in all the gory, horrifying details). Combined with the high tension level, I'd strongly suggest you think twice about reading this novel right before going to bed.    The characters were interesting and complex, and …
review by . April 16, 2008
The Illusionist, as he calls himself, has already brutally killed and mutilated six beautiful young women in North Carolina and has already identified victim seven. He's left virtually no clues and always seems to be one step ahead of authorities. Even consultant Special Agent Patrick Bowers has underestimated the Illusionist. Will Bowers be able to piece together the clues in time to keep another woman from falling victim to this calculated killer?    Wow! The Pawn is a great …
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Todd Stockslager ()
Ranked #36
I love reading and writing about what I have read, making the connections and marking the comparisons and contrasts. God has given man the amazing power to invent language and the means to record it which … more
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In this riveting thriller, the first of a planned trilogy, James (Story) introduces FBI agent Patrick Bowers. His professional specialty is environmental criminology, which attempts to track lawbreakers by analyzing the significance of the time and place at which the crime occurred. When corpses of young women start turning up near Asheville, N.C., Bowers is called in. The killer's MO is to tie a yellow ribbon in his victims' hair and leave a chess piece somewhere on the scene. Bowers begins to suspect that the governor of North Carolina, rumored to be the next Republican presidential contender, is somehow connected to the murders, and that a cult with links to Jonestown might also be involved. Making matters trickier, the special agent supervising Bowers turns out to be a longtime colleague with whom Bowers has some bad blood. Bowers, a recent widower with a surly teenage stepdaughter to raise, tries to keep his grief and parental confusion at bay so that he can focus on the case as the killer targets more innocent women. Christian faith makes a subtle appearance in the story and appears to be a theme that will be developed in future installments. A gripping plot and brisk pacing will win James some fans eager for his next offering.(Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10: 0800732405
ISBN-13: 978-0800732400
Author: Steven James
Publisher: Revell

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