The Rook (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 2)

by Steven James

Paperback, 2008



Call number



Revell (2008), Edition: Reprinted, 492 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Thriller. HTML:Full of fast-paced action and mind-bending plot twists, The Rook is an adrenaline-laced page-turner that will keep readers up all night.


Christy Awards (Nominee — Suspense — 2009)


Original language


Physical description

492 p.; 8.5 inches


0800732693 / 9780800732691

User reviews

LibraryThing member smilingsally
I'm a wimp, so I usually steer clear of thriller books. However I definitely loved this one, even though I may not sleep so well tonight. There are no graphic sex scenes. There is no profanity. There's just a beautifully written, edgy, scary thriller. How refreshing!

The characters are believable.
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They're not perfect; rather, they're flawed, just like you and me. Since the loss of his wife, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers struggles with Tessa, his independent stepdaughter. Tessa an intelligent seventeen year-old is a handful and a good sub-plot involves her antics. She's brilliant, and at one point presents a comparison/contrast of Edgar Allan Poe's Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. That discussion, in and of itself is intriguing enough to warrant the purchase price.

The author's research is amazing. The reader is introduced to technological weaponry, the study of sharks, and Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA) a rare disorder in which the afflicted feels no pain--ever. All of this is set in San Diego, where Bowers has been called in to investigate a series of fires. However, more evil takes place, and I can say no more.

If you usually figure out the ending, I think this one will give you the challenge you've been looking for.
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LibraryThing member mrsjason
If you have the read the first book the series, The Pawn, then you know what to expect with this book. So you know you're going to stay up late trying to finish this, getting deliciously freaked out while you read it. It is not as gory as the first book. There are still many intense situations that
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will make you want to keep the lights on. The main villain though, while you want to scream at because you're so disgusted by him, is not as creepy as the villains in the first book. Interestingly, while there are times you want to hurt this villain according to the storyline, you can't. It's makes your mind boggle to think that.

It's a scary book, scary because it's painstakingly real. There are situations happening like this every day in the world. This is edgy Christian fiction at its best. We don't want to read about things that will make us uncomfortable and boy does this book make you feel that way! Beware this series is NOT for those who have weak stomachs or are expecting a light, airy read. There's actually not much, if any, mention of Jesus or Christianity in the books. However the battle between good and evil is strongly present throughout the entire book. I love seeing the characters grow in each book. Tessa wasn't my favorite person but she is growing on me. I am looking forward to reading more about Patrick and Lien-hua's growing relationship.

If you are trying to get a guy to read, this is the book to give to him. Non stop action, suspense, gore. I would not want to see this made into a movie because I'd be too scared to watch! This really is one of the best thrillers I have ever read. I really hope this book gets more mainstream attention because it has everything (and better writing!) that the NYT bestsellers have without having to resort to unnecessary sex or swearing. I cannot wait to read the final book in the series when it comes out next year. VERY HIGHLY recommended.
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LibraryThing member debs4jc
I eagerly anticipated picking up this second book in the Patrick Bowers series, and I was more than satisfied when I did get around to reading it. Patrick works for the FBI as a criminal investigator who specializes in geographic analysis--he can look at the locations where crimes are commited and
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predict where the criminal lives and where he/she might strike next. In this book he is called upon to help with an arson investigation. Since it seems like a relatively tame case he brings his teenage step-daughter Tessa along. Of course things heat up and the case turns out not to be the tame case he thought it was going to be and suddenly several lives are in danger.
The investigation element feels spot on to me, but it is also Patrick's interpersonal relationships that make this an interesting story. He struggles with being a father, he has a potenial love interest in one of his fellow agents, and he and his daughter are spiritual seekers. I heartily recommend it for readers who like well thought out thrillers.
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LibraryThing member chriSchaeffer
The Rook by Steven James is the follow up to The Pawn, a suspenseful mystery based around intense criminology investigations. The Rook continues on the storyline that Mr. James developed in the first novel. My favorite aspect of James’s writing style is that he able to take a typical mystery and
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mix in a complex theme of morality and self reflection. Read my review of The Pawn for more thoughts on the moral aspects.Since The Rook is a sequel, I can’t help but compare this book to the original, but unfortunately this installment did not grab me as strongly as the first one did. While the storyline was complex and engaging, there are several times that the characters and dialogue downshifted and lulled the progression of the novel. However, that’s a minor aspect of the character development. Mr. James is much more qualified at creating interesting characters than many other popular authors.I’m a fan of reoccurring characters and plots that build through a series of events. Life isn’t linear and Steven James is able to weave a beautifully complex protagonist / antagonist relationship. After finishing the second book in James’s “thrillogy” I’m ready to dive into the final installment. With the grit and raw pulse he’s put into these first two novels I’ve become a Steven James fan!
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LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
If you like the television series 'Criminal Minds', then you would probably like this book series. It revolves around solving cases using geospatial profiling, as well as, the more conventional behavioral profiling. Unlike the chess piece of this book's namesake, the plot weaves complex moves all
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over the board, making this yet another page-turner. 5 stars
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LibraryThing member CarmenMilligan
This was a good thriller, well-written, with characters that are being developed with each book. This one, in my opinion, was better than the last in that it wasn't so graphically violent, and the plot line seemed much simpler. I found it to be a bit character-heavy, though, and at one point, I
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made the note that the plot was getting a little far-fetched. Conspiracy theorists will disagree with me.

All-in-all, it was an enjoyable read, can stand alone or read in sequence (which is always a plus with a series) and tied up loose ends while leaving room for the next book. Recommended.
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LibraryThing member katcoviello
I love the Patrick Bowers Series. They are all amazing.
LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
Years ago my book club read Steven James’ first novel, The Pawn. We had varied opinions — scary, creepy, nightmare-inducing . . . . Some did not even finish it because it was too intense. I had forgotten all that when I chose the audiobook of The Rook, the second in the Bowers Files series, for
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my daily walks. While it didn’t produce bad dreams, it was scary, creepy, chilling, and perhaps a bit too real. I really liked it. It made me think. However, if you are the least bit squeamish or have trouble with disturbing images, then this one is definitely not for you. But if you like a thriller with twists and turns and some seriously disturbed bad guys, then I recommend it.

Patrick Bowers is a Special Agent for the FBI. Not a profiler, he is an expert at identifying where serial offenders are apt to strike leading to the discovery of their identities. Called in to help with a serial arsonist case in San Diego, he gets more than he bargins for. A sinister weapon is being developed, and there are lots of people who would like to get their hands on it. Add the life and death implications of the case to a tenuous relationship with his sullen, stubborn, and vegan stepdaughter, and Patrick may just be in over his head.

While The Rook is a masterfully plotted thriller sure to induce gasps and grimaces and keep you up way too late at night, the characters are what I loved. Patrick is at once caring and compassionate and dogged and determined. He has trouble with authority, but is on the side of the good guys. Tessa, Patrick’s 16-year old stepdaughter struggles with her place in Patrick’s life following the death of her mother. Tessa and Agent/profiler Lien-hua Jiang show the personal side of Patrick, giving the reader a balanced view. The Rook is Christian Fiction, but it does not have an overt spiritual message. Tessa and Lien-hua discuss faith and Patrick wrestles with the nature of evil, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. And perhaps that is enough. I did like Patrick’s realization of the nature of evil — “We are all monsters, all of us. But we were made to be so much more.” The narrator does an excellent job, making this audiobook easy to listen to, even with the times I had to cringe.

For edge of your seat thrills, The Rook is a recommended read (or listen).


Audience: adults.
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LibraryThing member impactwriter
If the half-star was available, this would have been a 4.5 rating. But I won't go backward.

The Rook was a good read. Maybe a little longer than it needed to be, but it did keep me coming back. The end of the story, though ... INTENSE! James truly knew how to spike the adrenaline. I found myself
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wanting to skip words, because I needed to find out IMMEDIATELY what was going to happen next. Terrific ending ... except that the last paragraph was not a surprise.
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