Special Agent Patrick Bowers has met only one person he's feared---until now. Working on a North Carolina serial murder case, he's caught in a macabre game of cat-and-mouse with a cunning killer called the Illusionist. The pieces of the puzzle don't add up. Can Bowers unravel the pattern in time to save the next victim?
Special Agent Patrick Bowers had only met one man who made him truly afraid. Until now. When he's called to North Carolina to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself in a deadly game. Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he's about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers's instincts and training to stop this man who calls himself the Illusionist. And just when the pieces start to come together, Bowers realizes they're not quite adding up. Can he unravel the pattern and save the next victim? Or will the Illusionist win the game by taking one of his opponent's pieces? Thrilling, chilling, and impossible to put down, The Pawn will hold suspense lovers in its iron grip until the very last page.
Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including Story, A Heart Exposed, and the bestselling Patrick Bowers thriller series. He is considered one of the nation's most innovative storytellers and versatile authors, and is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest. Steven lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.
James writes smart, taut, high octane thrillers. But be warnedhis books are not for the timid. The endings blow me away every time. Mitch Galin, producer of Stephen Kings The Stand and Frank Herberts Dune
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 2007 Reed Business Information.
Tell us a little about yourself. Ive written over twenty nonfiction books, but this is my first novel. Ive wanted to write novels for a long time and have toyed with ideas for years, so it was a blessing to be able to finally craft one.
What was your motivation behind this project? I wanted to examine, within the framework of an intense psychological thriller, the question of what makes us (specifically, me) different from those who do the unthinkable. Serial killers are just as human as I am; theyre not some kind of monsters, and yet they act in monstrous ways. Am I capable of that as well? Thats the question that drove the narrative.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I dont write so much with an agenda in mind, that is, that Im hoping readers will learn a lesson, as much as I am hoping theyll examine and explore moral issues. But I would say that, in addition to being entertained, I hope readers will gain new insights into the fallen nature of man and of the need all of us have of a Savior.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? For this book I needed to do a lot of research on cults. When I saw the power of brainwashing, I was reminded once again of how powerful ideas are and how easily we can be deceived and led astray by them. Scripture warns against being deceived by the hollow philosophies of this age. Its easy for all of us, me included, to get deceived. Its not easy to admit that, but when we do we open ourselves up to grow more in the knowledge of the truth.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I remember reading Sigmund Brouwers novel Blood Ties and being struck by how groundbreaking it was in the Christian book market. It gave me confidence that my books would find an audience here as well.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Since The Pawn contains some graphic and violent scenes, some people have asked me if this book is a Christian novel. I would say that it is not by any means unchristian. If you like gripping psychological suspense without sex and foul language and written from a Christian worldview, youll enjoy this book.