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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thrilling Murder Mystery Series

THE PAWN by Steven James
This the first book in the Patrick Bowers series. Patrick Bowers is an FBI agent who specializes in environmental profiling. Basically, his theory is that criminals have patterns and go through the same things as normal people do, so by looking at the patterns of the crimes, one can identify where and who the most likely criminals are. I'm not doing it me it's cool.

In "The Pawn", Bowers is called to North Carolina to track a serial killer who leaves a Pawn with each body. The killer, called "The Illusionist" is murdering young women throughout the Asheville, North Carolina area. Once Patrick Bowers is on the case, The Illusionist steps it up a notch, and Bowers fears that he has finally met his match. Complicating things is that 2 of the murders seem out of place, and Bowers is still struggling with the death of his wife and his new role as father to her 17 year old daughter.
I really enjoyed this book. Apparently it's by a Christian publishing house, and there are occasions in the book where Bowers is really seen to struggle with why God lets things happen the way they do, but it's not the focus of the book. The mystery kept me guessing until the end, and, well, I was wrong. If you like a good mystery, give "The Pawn" by Steven James a try.      

THE ROOK by Steven James

This is the 2nd book in the Patrick Bowers Files series, which is up to 4 books at this time. In this installment, Agent Bowers is in San Diego, investigating a string of 14 fires that the San Diego police believe to be the work of the same arsonist. At the same time, Bowers stumbles across some mysterious murders, and a possible corporate/government cover-up. All the while, the mysterious "Shade" seems to be pulling every one's strings. This is a fast paced thriller that didn't disappoint after the successful first book, "The Pawn". I look forward to reading the next 2 books in this interesting, thrilling series.

THE KNIGHT  by Steven James 

 The third book in the Patrick Bowers Files is my favorite of the four books thus far. I think it's because this book was a bit more focused than the others, but still having enough twists and turns to keep me guessing until the end. Patrick Bowers is almost as cool as Jack Bauer. In "The Knight", Bowers is struggling against a serial killer known only as Giovanni. In addition, he has a budding romance and the on-going struggle of learning to be a parent to his teenage step-daughter. Oh, and there's the little matter of the retrial of his first big collar, who also happens to be one of the darkest killers Bowers has ever captured. All this, and Bowers is still struggling to find his faith, which doesn't dominate the book, but is a neat addition by Steven James, who happens to be a Christian Author.
THE BISHOP by Steven James

 The 4th book in the Patrick Bowers series, "The Bishop" is actually my least favorite of the 4 books. I still enjoyed it, but it did feel a bit disconnected at points. It was almost as if there was too much going on. The serial killers Agent Bowers is chasing in this one almost take a backseat to Bowers on-again/off-again romance, and to his issues with his step-daughter. I also found this book a little more predictable than the others have been. I'm still looking forward to the release of book #5, which is called "The Queen", later this summer, so this book was still good enough to keep me interested. I think it was just a little bit of a let down after the terrific 3rd book, "The Knight".

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