This past summer I attended a writer's conference in Tennessee. Steven James was one of the main speakers, so I picked up The Bishop to read before I went. After all, I wanted to be familiar with the authors who would be leading the conference.
After reading the first few chapters I had to ask myself - "How in the world did I miss this guy?" The writing was tight, the plot complex, the pacing accelerating like a hopped-up Ferrari. However, the story was not for the faint of heart. Graphic and unnerving descriptions of serial murders were front and center. But the protagonist, FBI agent and geospatial intelligence specialist Dr. Patrick Bowers doggedly tracked down the killers as he handled problems on the home front with his intelligent and perceptive stepdaughter, Tessa.
Since then I have read all James' Patrick Bowers novels. Each one keeping me up late at night turning those pages, although toward the end of each novel I purposely slow down, not wanting to finish such a well-written book too quickly.
The Queen, the latest in the series, does not disappoint. In fact, it's the best Bowers book so far.
Bowers finds himself in the wintery woods of northern Wisconsin investigating a double homicide, chasing an international assassin, and dealing with an estranged brother. As the snow drifts deeper, Bowser faces eco-terrorists and criminal masterminds with evil agendas all their own.
As with all his novels, James expertly weaves the characters from previous books into the plot. If you've read all the books from The Pawn through The Bishop you are definitely familiar with James' heroes and villains and the battle of good vs. evil. This conflict is what I appreciate the most. Bowers is indeed the "Good Guy" and the bad guys are, well, evil and yet James is not willing to allow us to settle for simple solutions, for black and white answers. James' characters fight the evil in others and in themselves. Concepts of the evil within each human heart, guilt, and forgiveness are wrestled with sincerely but never heavy-handedly.
The Queen is not just a good read, but a well-crafted story with multi-faceted characters, a storyline with a good many hairpin turns, and a plot that not afraid to explore our darker nature and yet unashamedly holds out hope.
Steven James has certainly moved this queen into the checkmate position. It is a winner.
FBI Special Agent, Patrick Bowers is back in another non-stop action suspense novel The Queen. Bestselling author Steven James managed to keep me up all night reading once again. Though this book is 516 pages long it won't feel like it because you won't be able to put it down.
The personal and professional life of the main character get very complicated as he tries to track down a violent serial killer in northern Wisconsin. Each of Steven's books in this series also tackles a larger moral issue. In this book he tackles one so complicated that at one point he is sort of working 'with' the killer ... sort of. You'll have to read it to find out why and how!
I found this novel to be less graphic than the previous one, but still involving the major issues of murder, motive and morals in a very real way that will touch the reader. As a woman I still enjoyed this novel, but I do feel that men would enjoy it equally if not more.
* I received this book from the publisher for review with no obligations for a positive review.
Steven James is my favorite thriller writer, and The Queen did not disappoint.
Patrick Bower is back--this time in Wisconsin where he is tracking the serial killer he first put away as a detective. Now a FBI geographic profiler, he thinks he's closed back in on the man. Before he can close that case he's sent to serve as the lead FBI agent on what looks like a domestic murder-suicide. But things go much deeper than the surface. Before long he is tangled in a web that tangles the past and present and the two cases.
Like his others, The Queen is richly layered. The plots mix and mingle. Tessa, his stepdaughter is back, dealing with ongoing issues from prior cases. Then there's Patrick's brother. His colleagues. Past cases colliding with current cases. All the twists pulled me through the pages. The short chapters make it easy to think just one more page, one more scene. And Patrick and Tessa are familiar characters I like to spend time with. There's a gut-level honesty and vulnerability in the way they act that makes them resonate.
While there are deaths, my husband and I noticed they are less graphic than past novels. These books aren't for the faint of heart though.
Steven James' books are not for the faint of heart. If you have trouble sleeping at night I might not reccomend them but for anyone who loves to get your pulse pounding and reading books is all about sitting on the edge of your seat - then the Patrick Bowers books are made for you!
To call what Patrick Bowers goes through a thriller is an understatement. There are so many layers to this story that it is impossible to even try and give you a heads up. It wouldn't be fair to the reader in you to try and clue you in too much anyway. Most of the main characters are back in this next installment and doing what they do best. Racing against time to try and avoid death and destruction with only partial success. The dialogue is excellent and I love the way the conversations play out between the characters with Patrick's biting wit keeping the pace moving right along. But the real scene stealers are the depths of the storylines, the layers that Steven James weaves along and intertwines. He never leaves any stone unturned and I love how he lets Patrick figure things out.
I love, love, love the Patrick Bowers series. But I know they aren't for everyone, I reccomended them to my sister-in-law and it was too much for her. That's okay, I will eat up every installment and cry the day I find out the series is over.