The Bishop (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 4)

by Steven James

Paperback, 2010



Call number



Revell (2010), Edition: Reprinted, 524 pages


Fiction. Thriller. Critically acclaimed author and storyteller Steven James is back with another heart-stopping suspense novel featuring FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers.


INSPY (Winner — Mystery/Thriller — 2011)
Christy Awards (Nominee — Suspense — 2011)


Original language


Physical description

524 p.; 8.5 inches


0800733029 / 9780800733025

User reviews

LibraryThing member tarenn
THE BISHOP by Steven James is a thriller/suspense. It is a Patrick Bowers Thriller. The Bower's files series, but can be read as a stand alone. It is set in modern day Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois. It has criminology, FBI, diabolical murder, mayhem, betrayal, suspense, action packed, twists
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and turns and family conflicts. It is a thriller ride from beginning to end. The characters are engaging, intelligent, manipulative, and some all around diabolical and pure evil. Patrick Bowers is a cutting edge, best in the field of criminology, FBI Special Agent. He is called in to investigate a brutal murder of a women in Washington, DC. He soon learns there is much more to this than meets the eye. There are a hole whole host of characters each with stories of their own including the killer(s). This is a to be continued but is an in engaging thriller. As one story comes to an end another one is just beginning. I would recommend if you enjoy murder, suspense, and thriller. This book was received for review and details can be found at Revell and My Book Addiction and More.
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LibraryThing member Twink
The Bishop was the first book I had read by Steven James, although it is the fourth book in the Patrick Bowers thriller series.

Although previous cases and players are mentioned in the beginning, I was able to easily 'catch up'. The book opens with a pair of killers committing a horrific crime. They
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have a detailed plan to continue their 'game.' FBI Special Agent Bowers and his team are called in.

Bowes' speciality is fascinating - he consults with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for the FBI. "Using the locations related to serial offenses and sttudying the timing, location, and progression of the crimes, we can work backward to find the most likely location of the offender's home base." The degree to which this was used was intriguing.

I liked Bowers as a character. He's introspective, intelligent, confident yet fallible. He is the sole guardian of his step daughter Tessa. Their relationship is a work in progress. Tessa herself is just as interesting as Bowers. She's highly intelligent and it is some of her reveries that spur truly thought provoking. philosophical conversations between many of the characters. Good vs evil, what separates man from beast, is evil predetermined, pre emptive justice and more. James has produced some incredible chilling characters in the killers.

The main plot is intelligent and carefully crafted, drawing on cutting edge technology and news. Read carefully though as there are twists and turns just when you think you know where the story is going. There are many sub plots playing out at the same time - political machinations and Bowers' love life. Lots of foreshadowing had me reading 'just one more chapter' and I found myself sneaking a peak a few pages ahead more than once.
The Bishop is put out by a publisher that focuses mainly on Christian books and authors. The plot of The Bishop is not for the faint at heart. It is violent and would be disturbing to many readers. How can these two jibe?

From the author:

'In my books I want people to look honestly at what our world is like, both the good and the evil. The evil in my books is not senseless; people’s lives are treated as precious and I want my readers to hurt when an innocent life is taken. The only way to do that is to let them see it on the page and then reflect on its meaning.

I think that an effective way of dissuading someone from doing something is to make them see it as deeply disturbing. And the only way to make people disturbed by evil is to show it to them as what it really is. I believe that including graphic material within the broader context of a redemptive story, just as the Bible does, is appropriate when trying to reveal the truth about human nature and our relationship with the Divine. I believe that the Bible includes graphic material to show how far we as a race can fall, and how far God came to rescue us from ourselves. That's what I hope to do in my novels as well."

All in all, a great thriller. Following a chess theme, The Queen, the next in the series is due out in the summer of 2011. I'll be picking it up.
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LibraryThing member ReviewsbyMolly
I'm going to start this review off with a small complaint: this is book 4 and now I want all the others in the Patrick Bowers series! Other than small minor complaint, I LOVED this suspense novel. Steven James' writing style is astronomical! I was instantly captured and reminded of James Patterson
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thrills with Alex Cross mystery. WOW!

From the start I was pulling into the twists and turns of amazing crime solving suspense. It was a feeling of HAVING and NEEDING to know RIGHT NOW what happens next. This was by far THE BEST suspense novel I've read. Patrick Bowers was a wonderful character full of depth and intensity. His love for his job and his stepdaughter was phenomenal! The spiritual messages are are strong through out the intense story. The differences between good and evil are portrayed perfectly through the characters and the plot. Patrick Bowers is most definitely the Alex Cross of the Christian genre! It takes the best of the best to top suspense king James Patterson in any genre and that's exactly what Steven James did by ten million percent!

So, I'm sure by my review you can guess that I want to give this 5 star book so many more stars than simply 5! The intensity of edge-of-your-seat emotions is worthy of recommendation-hands down-to everyone! I can't wait for 2011 and the release of book 5-The Queen!
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LibraryThing member DLester
The Bishop (The Bower Files series - Book 4) by Steven James

(For review from Revell)


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
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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 seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride. The game is on.


This isn't your typical suspense novel. It's fast paced, adrenaline pumping and full of surprises. The Bower Files series by Steven James is one of those series of books that you can't wait for the next installment to come out. It's action, action, action... from the first page to the last. James' style puts me in mind of James Patterson's action based thrillers. If you got to attend the facebook launch party, I'm sure you were able to get to chat with this wonderful author.

In this installment of the series, Bowers is after a killer. The congressman's daughter is dead and it's up to Bowers to figure out who did and why. This book is filled with some pretty gruesome descriptions and lots of great forensic science. It reminds me of those really really intense episodes of CSI. Patrick Bowers is such a great character. He is witty and very intelligent, which is always attractive in a leading character. I felt like the way he solved the crime wasn't fraught with a lot of coincidences. It was how a real agent might go about solving the crime. It was very authentic and well written.

The plot development was excellent. The story really flowed together. The overall feel of the book was edgy and packed with all the suspense we have come to expect with this series. If this is your first experience with Steven James, you'll love it and want to read all the other books in the series.

The Bishop is available from your favorite bookseller August 2010 from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This one is definitely a 5 out of 5 apple book, from my book bag!
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LibraryThing member katcoviello
I think this is a top ten favorite.
LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
I have been binge-listening to audiobooks featuring FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers. In The Bishop, Patrick and Tessa are spending the summer in the D.C. area as Patrick is teaching at Quantico. Of course, Patrick cannot go anywhere without being pulled into an investigation. The horrific murder
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at a primate research center is just the beginning of an intense killing spree. Familiar characters are on board to get the crimes solved, but the perpetrators are in this for personal reasons, making the stakes life and death for all the characters.

The Bishop is another creepy, creepy story. James adds just enough detail to let the reader’s imagination take flight. The result is especially chilling. Patrick Bowers is a complex character, with many flaws, but also with deep love and loyalty. His personal life is as interesting as the gruesome cases he investigates. Tessa, Patrick’s step-daughter, is the character that contemplates the spiritual aspects within the novel. The Bishop focuses on man’s free will versus instinct. Tessa’s investigation of evolutionary theories and moral arguments is a great counterpoint to the crimes detailed within the book.

While The Bishop may not be for everyone (especially those with queasy stomachs), it is a thrill ride. Great writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes make this one a perfect choice for those looking for a suspense-filled thriller. Note: The Bishop is the 4th book in the series, but can be read as a standalone.


Audience: adults.
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LibraryThing member ScribblingSprite
View it on my blog.

I actually read this one back in December, and just discovered that I had a review stashed away. Convenient, right?

Well, Steven James did it again. The suspense continues with The Bishop, book number four in The Patrick Bowers Files. Creepy, but my favorite of the series so
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“It's hip,” I assured Tessa.

She grimaced. “Hip?”

“Trust me. I have my finger on the pulse of all that is cool.”

“Please tell me you did not just say that.”

I love it. I love how, even during this dark, slightly gruesome suspense, James still manages to add a sprinkling of humor here and there. His characters really come alive—Patrick especially feels very real to me.

The Bishop was very thought-provoking and expertly crafted, in my opinion. Definitely a book that will get your heart racing.

At the conclusion I felt somewhat accomplished, having guessed a part of what would happen in the end. Yet, when that did happen, my mind was still completely blown. That's what reading this series is like. You think you have it all figured out, and then the author delivers a twist you never expected, completely throwing you off.

The endings of James's books are always the best part. You're kept in suspense until the very end when everything unfolds and all the subplots come together. And you're thinking, “I never would have guessed...”

And then, there it is.

The end.

A cliffhanger. A brilliantly executed cliffhanger, mind you.

Now you must read the next book.

Content: Some cringe worthy murders. Some intimacy--behind closed doors scenes. More of a Christian message.
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LibraryThing member impactwriter
What can I say, except that this was another terrific read from Steven James?
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