Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Bishop by Steven James

The fourth book in the Patrick Bowers Files series.

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers's cutting-edge 21st-century geospatial investigative techniques and impeccable logic have helped him track some of the country's most grisly killers. But those skills are pushed to the limit in this new installment of the highly-acclaimed, award-winning The Bowers Files series.

This time it's a congressman's daughter who is found dead even as her killers launch a spree of perfect murders in the Northeast. With nothing to link the crimes to each other, Agent Bowers faces his most difficult case yet--even as his personal life begins to crumble around him. Known for his intricately woven, masterfully plotted novels of high-octane action and spine-tingling suspense, Steven James delivers once again. The Bishop is a gripping, adrenaline-laced story for readers who are tired of timid thrillers. Strap on your seat belt and get ready for a wild ride. The game is on.

WARNING: This book contains violence and graphic descriptions of disturbing crime scenes. It takes the reader inside the minds of psychopathic killers.

My Review:
Do you enjoy being frightened? If so, this intense thriller should be your next read. It literally had my heart pounding within the first few pages, and I'm sure to stay awake tonight. Although I usually steer clear of books or movies that cause my pulse to race, I had previously read two others in this series from the Bower's Files, so I expected it to be worth the missing sleep. It is!

The author knows how to flesh out characters. Special FBI Agent Patrick Bowers, PhD, a coffee expert, struggles to keep order in his fast-paced life. It's been just over a year since his wife died of cancer, leaving him with her teenage daughter to raise. Two female agents strive for his attention, but he barely seems to notice; after all, there are two serial killers on the loose! His ability to sort through details keeps the reader riveted. Could that sharp insight come from the coffee he drinks?

Tessa, Pat's bright seventeen-year-old stepdaughter, is quite good at eye-rolling and sarcasm. She's just beginning to trust Pat when she meets her birth father, causing complications in a well-woven sub-plot.

Tessa, a devout fan of Edgar Allan Poe, challenges Patrick to think differently as she sites a comparison/contrast of Poe's Dupin to Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Further, she contends that Doyle "cheats" his readers. There's even a tie-in of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I thoroughly enjoyed these periods of literary relief. (It gives the reader a chance to breathe!)

Written in the first-person account of Agent Patrick Bowers, and interspersed with a third-person point of view for many of the other characters, allows the reader a unique look inside their minds, including a glimpse of an evil mind. Oh, the games people play! Shudder ... some minds I don't wish to revisit.

The story takes place in the nation's capitol, and the author's research on primate's metacognition, computer technology, and the question of free will is extensive and thought-provoking.

Despite the heart pounding, I definitely loved this one.

Thank you to Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing Group for my copy of this book published by Revell.

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