I have read every book in the "chess" series with this being the best yet! Not only does it hold some great suspense but throws in some unexpected relational curves as well. I can hardly wait for the next book in the series.
Latest in the Patrick Bowers series by Steven James is the best yet!
I am lucky enough to be married to a woman who reads voraciously and happens to know many authors. A couple of years ago Nora happened to hand me a copy of The Pawn by Steven James. She knows me well and understands that I cannot resist a good detective novel. I am captured by thrillers, mysteries and lawyers fighting in the court room stories.
From the very first chapter of Steven James' series about FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers series, I have been inextricably pulled into his world of suspense. His books are not for the timid. Keep in mind that Agent Bowers chases down serial killers and investigates some heinous criminals. However there are other sides to Patrick that take us deep into his relationships. He is a widower with a teen step daughter. His wife who he loved intensely is diagnosed with cancer and dies not too long before we meet him in the first book. He was struggling to be a husband and stepfather to his wife's daughter before losing her and now two unrelated, grieving, extended family members are thrust into a relationship they both need and desire but have no clue about what to do with.
This is one of many relationships that complicate Patrick Bowers personal and professional life throughout the series. I mention this because, although one could pick up the Queen and enjoy the exciting pace of the story without ever reading the first four books, I must tell you that you will miss the richness and depth of the relationships that are developed from the first page of book one.
The Queen is clearly the best book of the series so far! I am not saying that the other books lacked anything, because they did not. Each book in this series is well crafted and the endings of all of these stories kept me up much later than I planned, because I was compelled to finish them. They pick up momentum and become a irresistible force, page after blistering page. Special Agent Bowers is a geospatial investigator. What this means is that time and location matter, though mostly the location of the crimes, in the due course of his investigations. He is at odds with his co-investigators who lean primarily on profiling, most of the time. He is Sherlock Holmes meets Criminal Minds!
Interspersed, really woven into the fabric of these stories are the issues surrounding grief, forgiveness, who God really is and who we are to Him and to each other. The richness of this book is in the inner healing of the people who are a part of this story. There are questions asked that the reader is left to answer. I highly recommend this book for reading groups who can handle stories about homicidal maniacs and the people who catch them. I guarantee that there will be topics in each of these books that will generate deep discussion of issues that lead to healing. Teen relationships, self inflicted cutting, alcohol abuse, marriage, broken homes, grief, un-forgiveness and forgiveness and much more.
When I said that the Queen is the best of the series I mean it. Is it because of the culmination of so many issues involved with the story line? Is it because I have come to know these people in the book and care about them? Or is it because the author has created a world where we can care deeply for these characters and what happens to them? Maybe it is all of that.
I was lucky enough to meet Steven James at the 2010 Christy Awards in Atlanta. (I am trying to entice him into joining www.bookfun.org ) I felt myself wanting to ask him to say hello to Agent Bowers for me! He makes his characters that real!
I know one thing. I am looking forward to getting my hands on the next book (due out in the Fall of 2012)!!
If you would like to know more feel free to visit his website http://www.stevenjames.net/ and while there invite him to join us here at TBCN? I honestly believe that his books will lead to intimate discussions in any reading group!
Super talented story teller, Steven James, returns with his fifth Patrick Bowers thriller, The Queen, providing readers with another spine-chilling story brimming with plot twists, enigmatic characters and a frozen landscape that takes on a personality of its own. Multi layered in every way, James delves more deeply into Patrick's family and personal life, revealing familial tension and awkwardness, all with good reason. Succinct chapters keep the pace moving although readers will need to focus on the multiple points of view that are regularly rotated. Crime scenes are detailed authentically and therefore are not for the feint of heart and James' words command an emotional investment in the journeys of Patrick, Alexei, Valkyrie and the victims. The Queen is a sophisticated psychological thriller that will satisfy any reader looking for a superior storytelling experience with the guarantee of more to come from Steven James.
The Queen captured me from the first sentence and held me victim until the last page. I literally found myself thinking several times, this book is unbelievably good. James is a master of suspense, and the Patrick Bowers thrillers are some of the best in the genre. The scenes are skillfully written and crackle with tension, and the character of Patrick Bowers is masterfully rendered, with the author probing further into Bowers' personal history in this novel than he has done in previous ones. I love reading about Bowers relationship with his stepdaughter, Tessa, as it is so unique and different than many father-daughter relationships that are often portrayed. Tessa herself is quirky and yet endearing at the same time. And, as in his earlier novels, the author has succeeded at creating fascinating villains, especially in the character of Alexei Chekov, who is brutal and violent and yet an enigma of empathy at the same time. The book concludes with a twist that readers likely won't see coming.
James has a special ability to keep the pages turning at a frantic pace and the rest of my life suffers when one of his books is released, as they are just so difficult to put down! I highly recommend this book, and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
**A word of caution is in order: the books in these series are full of gruesome detail that will definitely turn some readers off. Fans of books or television shows that involve FBI agents and who can handle dead bodies and the portrayal of serial killers will not be impacted, but those expecting a gentle romance should steer clear.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.