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

Well-written, heart-pounding thriller

  • Sep 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 I especially loved Bower's step-daughter. She's a very smart and brave, though emotionally hurting, young woman. (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.)

The world-building was excellent, with the details about forensics, the case, and the town bringing the novel alive in my imagination. I felt like this was really happening in North Carolina, which gave me shivers that most mystery/suspense/thrillers don't achieve with me.

The main characters weren't Christian (at least, not that we're told). However, Patrick Bower was struggling with why God allows Christians (like his wife) to suffer. This was not the focus of the book, but Patrick does finally find some peace about it. (This doesn't mean he converts to Christianity.) I felt this aspect was handled realistically. Unless strongly against Christianity, I think most non-Christians would be comfortable with the amount of Christianity and how was handled.

There was no sex, a little bit of romance, and the bad language was of the "he cussed" style. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in forensics fiction and/or who likes to read chilling thrillers.

Reviewed by Debbie from Genre Reviews (genrereviews. blogspot. com)

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September 14, 2010
I like authors who rely on our imaginations to fill in some of the gory details rather than describing it. Nice review.
September 14, 2010
Thanks. Me, too. Steven James usually does a good job of leaving the gory details mostly to the reader's imagination, but for some reason he got a bit more descriptive of the gore in his third novel, "The Knight". Which, of course, doesn't matter unless you read that far. ;)
September 14, 2010
Hm, maybe it's to compete with other big name authors/stories, like "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?" I didn't realize how much violence was in that book until my mother-in-law mentioned that she hated it because of the explicit details. I might be getting a bit desensitized, lol!
September 15, 2010
Darn! This would have been nice! The books offered on Freebie Friday can only be downloaded during that day?
September 15, 2010
Well, I'll have to remember to check every Friday now for the new releases!
More The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers F... reviews
review by . September 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 …
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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Debbie White ()
Ranked #119
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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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.)
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ISBN-10: 0800732405
ISBN-13: 978-0800732400
Author: Steven James
Publisher: Revell

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