Steven James novel

The Pawn: The Bowers Files
by Steven James
Published by Revell Books

Reviewed by Jake Chism

Steven James takes us into the world of FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers in this exceptional psychological thriller. A serial killer is at large in the Appalachian area of North Carolina, and Bowers, known for his expertise in environmental criminology, is called in to help make sense of this baffling case.

The killer has dubbed himself “The Illusionist,” thriving on misdirection and confusion to further confound the authorities at every turn. As Bowers and his team search for clues, they realize they are facing a madman who is as cunning as he is evil. As answers are uncovered, more mysteries surface, linking the Illusionist to a charismatic cult leader with ties to the infamous Jonestown cult. Patrick Bowers now faces seemingly insurmountable odds as the case becomes larger and more dangerous than anyone ever anticipated.

Steven James writes at a break-neck pace, effortlessly pulling the reader along on this incredible thrill ride. With the backdrop of the Jonestown disaster, James has added a clever dose of history that brings a sense of relevancy to the story. The plot twists and turns while never hinting at the destination, and the characters are rich and absorbing. Patrick Bowers is an intriguing hero who is extremely brilliant, yet very fallible. While he excels in his professional career, his personal life is in shambles, and his struggles in parenthood are real and pertinent.

While The Pawn holds its own both as mystery and a suspenseful thriller, the strength of the novel is found Patrick Bowers”‘ spiritual journey. As Bowers is drawn closer to danger, he finds that he must also face his difficult past and come to grips with some hard, yet hopeful truths about life and death. In the end, James leaves us enough to satisfy and whets our appetite for more. With this first installment of The Bowers Files, Steven James has left his mark as a writer to watch for.

Armchair Interviews says: With this first installment of The Bowers Files, Steven James has left his mark as a writer to watch for.

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