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The Pawn

A Patrick Bowers Mystery by Steven James

The Pawn by Steven James

Review: Steven James introduces FBI Agent Patrick Bowers in The Pawn, an exhilarating thriller that will keep readers up late into the night.

Bowers is called from his home in Colorado to North Carolina to assist in identifying and ultimately stopping a serial killer. He had been assigned to similar cases in the past, but never to one where the killer is always one step ahead of the FBI crew. The killer is aware that Bowers has been called in on the case, even calling Bowers to identify himself as "The Illusionist" with self-proclaimed powers of misdirection, control, and meticulous planning. Although Bowers works well with, and cooperates with, the forensic scientists and profilers on the case, he feels he must use his own unique, often unorthodox, investigative approach. Unlike the others on the team, he is interested in precisely when and where the crime occurred. He believes the significance of the crime's time and location are important to the killer and thus to capturing him. Bowers faces quite a few dangerous situations in order to try to save the lives that the Illusionist has chosen for elimination including his own and that of his daughter Tessa.

The best thrillers have multi-faceted conflicts. In The Pawn Bowers is faced with one of a more personal nature. He is a single father and has had a difficult time raising his 15-year-old daughter since the death of her mother. The fact that the killer has chosen young women as victims plays into his fear that he's losing his daughter. The Illusionist seems to know this and factors it into his game plan. It is not unlike chess, in which he makes a move leaving each dead girl where she can easily be found. A pawn is left with the victim, first white, and then black, a not so subtle clue that lets Bowers know the next move is his.

The Pawn is, in a word, intense. As Bowers pushes towards checkmate, it's never clear to the reader which pieces will be left standing at the end of the game.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Pawn.

Acknowledgment: Newman Communications provided an ARC of The Pawn for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author

Mystery Book Review: The Knight by Steven JamesThe Knight
Baker Publishing (Hardcover), August 2009
ISBN-13: 9780800718985; ISBN-10: 0800718984

Location(s) referenced in The Pawn: Denver, Colorado, North Carolina

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The Pawn by Steven James

The Pawn by A Patrick Bowers Mystery

Publisher: Baker Publishing
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-8007-3240-0
Publication Date:
List Price: $13.99

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