#1: Opening Moves, The Bowers Files: The Early Years
Number of Pages: 512
Publication Date: 2012
Series: Bowers Files: The Early Years
Milwaukee, 1997. In a city reeling from the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer, a series of gruesome kidnappings and mutilations draw authorities into a case like nothing theyve ever seen. Cops think a Dahmer copycat is on the loose.
But Patrick Bowers, working as a homicide detective, suspects this is more than an ode to the infamous cannibal. When he discovers that the shocking acts reference some of the most notorious and macabre killers in our nations history, the investigation spirals into a nightmare of manipulation, brutality, and terror.
Wielding groundbreaking investigative techniques, Bowers must now face off with a killer who will stop at nothing to get his message out to the world. Chilling, gritty, and packed with twists and turns, Opening Moves is Steven Jamess most heart-pounding novel yet.
"Opening Moves is a mesmerizing read. From the first chapter, it sets its hook deep and drags you through a darkly gripping story with relentless power. My conclusion: I need to read more of Steven James." Michael Connelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Drop
"With a multi-dimensional quality, Steven James writes with a confident, assured ease. Just good, old-fashioned, gimmick free storytelling that pushes the envelope to the edge and beyond." Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Columbus Affair
"Steven James has created a fast moving thriller with psychological depth and gripping action. Opening Moves is a smart, taut, intense novel of suspense that reads like a cross between Michael Connelly and Thomas Harris…Opening Moves is a blisteringly fast and riveting read." Mark Greaney, New York Times bestselling author of Ballistic
taralynee5 Stars Out Of 5Fabulous fast-paced detective story!March 6, 2016taralyneeQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0A truly edge-of-your-seat series that I recommend to many Thats what Steven James Patrick Bowers novels are. Each one has more creativity and uniqueness than I could begin to describe, so youre just going to have to read them and see for yourself.
Opening Moves takes us back to the 1990s, with portable phones and videos. We meet Patrick Bowers, a homicide detective in Milwaukee, and quickly realize that hes something special. His observation skills and the depth of his thinking, paired up with his loyalty and perseverance, make him a detective unlike any other. He often finds himself pondering how our choices and experiences shape our lives, and what justice really looks like.
Pat, as his friends call him, is investigating a series of terribly grotesque crimes. The villain seems to be honoring past twisted criminals, including a cannibal, with his crime spree, and each one is progressively worse and more cruel than the one before. In order to catch the bad guy and end this horrific series of events, Pat turns to new and nearly unheard of investigation strategies. Nobody is above suspicion as this young detective seeks out the truth.
Personally, I highly recommend this book be read first, even though it wasnt written until after several of the other books in the series. While this series can be read out of order if you insist on it, and they each have an individual storyline, they all fit together like a puzzle, and to get the full picture in the best possible way, they need to be read in order. There are continuing characters and plot lines that show up throughout the series and this should be respected and used to make the most of the story!
Before I finished reading my first novel by this amazing storyteller, he had already earned a spot as one of my favorite writers. As great as they are, though, be aware that they can be somewhat graphic, due to the nature of Patricks line of work.
After pondering this for quite a while, I think Ill go with taco salad as a food comparison for this series. There are so many flavors and textures just as Steven James writing is made up of many levels of story, so very intricately woven together to draw in the reader.
JodyRocky River, OHAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Opening MovesJanuary 22, 2016JodyRocky River, OHAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This book filled in a lot of blanks for me since I had already read the rest of the Bowers series. Well written and fast paced. Really creepy in parts. Good read.
DebbieAlabamaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5opening MovesJanuary 30, 2015DebbieAlabamaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Yes, these books can be disturbing, but so is the fallen world we live in.
I really enjoy reading these books by Steven James on many levels. They are hard to put down once you start reading, and I am intrigued that the good in some refuse to be stopped by the evil around them. Maybe a life lesson??
TBMN1 Stars Out Of 5dark, disturbing...September 17, 2014TBMNQuality: 1Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1I love mystery, suspense and anything with military or police. However, I had to stop reading this book because it was too graphic and disturbing. Too many things from the bad guy's perspective and way too much cannibalism for me! I did not see any redeeming or "Christian" things in nature except the verse the bad guy would quote from the bible from his sicko father.. very disappointing. I was looking forward to reading the others, but I do like to be able to sleep at night! I like shows like NCIS that are not too graphic overall, but this was more like a CSI to the max.
Sally StevensonShoreline, WAAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5May 18, 2013Sally StevensonShoreline, WAAge: Over 65Gender: femaleI love Steven James Patrick Bowers series! The man is a genius.
Author: Steven James
Submitted: November 27, 2012
Tell us a little about yourself. Ive been a full-time author and storyteller since 1996. I love trail running, rock climbing and watching matinees whenever I need a break from a long day of editing.
What was your motivation behind this project? About sixteen years ago my father was on the hit list of a killer in Wisconsin. I wanted to explore that story and use it within the context of a fictional thriller to connect fiction with real life and give readers a glimpse into the minds of killers.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I wanted to take readers on a journey to look evil eye-to-eye to better understand what its really like and how disturbing it really is. Ultimately, my goal is for readers to be drawn more toward the light and more turned off from the darkness of our world, and in our own souls. But there is also hope. This ended up being my most spiritual book as well as my most disturbing one. The light shines the brightest through the darkest night.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Opening Moves gave me nightmares. Some of the scenes were just too real, too disturbing. Within the book I never glamorize evil, but the story reminded me of how fallen our world is, how fallen each one of us isand how much we are in need of a Savior strong enough to rescue us from ourselves.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I love Tosca Lees wordsmithing and Ted Dekkers gift for storytelling.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Be prepared. Since this book references actual crimes done by serial killers throughout our countrys history, it has some very disturbing images. If you like your thrillers a little less intense, try out my new series beginning with the science thriller Placebo.