The Pawn (Patrick Bowers Files)

by Steven James

Paperback, 2007



Call number



Revell (2007), Edition: 1st, 427 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Thriller. A chilling debut mystery from critically acclaimed author and professional storyteller Steven James.


Original language


Physical description

427 p.; 8.5 inches



User reviews

LibraryThing member cat910
I couldn't put this down! I don't think I slept a wink the night I finished it. The spectacular writing and haunting images had me jumping at the sight of my own shadow all week.
LibraryThing member debs4jc
Steven James is the new thriller writer I've been waiting to discover! This first of a series features a FBI agent named Patrick Bowers whose specialty is environmental criminology. Bowers has a different method of criminal investigation, as he analyzes the geography of the crime scenes to predict
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where the killer lives and where he will strike next. He is called in to help investigate a series of murders in which the killer leaves a chess piece at each of the murder scenes. As Bowers uncovers the truth of what is going on, he discovers that more is at stake than just stopping this murderer--including the safety of himself and his stepdaughter--but will he be able to figure out the entire truth before it is too late?
I heartedly enjoyed this read, the danger factor kept me turning the pages, but the emotional crisis that the main character was going through kept me just as involved. At the time of this story Patrick Bowers has just lost his wife to cancer, and her recent death and the problems he is having with his stepdaughter create another challenge for him throughout his investigation. He also has questions of faith--namely why did God let his wife die--and it was interesting to see his struggle with those as well. Some of this is left unresolved--but then this is the first of a planned series so it gives the reader something to look forward to in future installments. I highly recommend this book, especially for those that like thriillers, and I will definitely want to check out the next in the series!
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LibraryThing member bridget3420
The opening chapter resembles Romeo & Juliet. Two young teens are about to take their own lives because "It's a cruel world" and they believe "our love with unite us forever". It's very easy for Aaron to convince his girlfriend, Jessie, that it's necessary they take their own lives. Jessie is head
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over heels in love but ignorant to the fact that Aaron doesn't even know if he has feelings for her. Little does she know that he has no intention of taking his own life.

Now Patrick Bowers has been called in to investigate. His reputation for tracking down killers is impeccable. This case is different from any other. It is almost as if the killer is invincible. Will Patrick be able to use the skills necessary to find this killer or has he finally come up against a worthy opponent?

A major thrill-ride!
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LibraryThing member chriSchaeffer
Very few times has an author jumped to the top of my reading list in only one book, but Steven James did just that with his thriller called The Pawn. Literally the very first chapter of The Pawn broke new ground in my reading history because it takes the reader beyond the PG-13 filter by which many
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books frame their story lines. Steven James spares no detail as he introduces his serial killer antagonist.Further on, as the story begins to take shape, it feels as though you are walking into a narrative that has already started, because the characters already have deep history and interconnecting relationships. I particularly like it when an author understands that the life of their character doesn’t begin with their novel, a good story line rides on the lives of it’s characters and I think Steven James understands exactly how to put that into his books.Another aspect of the book that I found to be particuarly interesting was Mr. James’s thread of motive and reasoning. As the main character struggles to stop a crazed serial killer, Mr. James expertly introduces questions of morality. It’s not just a bloody world of murder that keeps this novel racing to the end, it’s also the threaded uncertainty of good in a world of evil.The Pawn is a smart, thought provoking book that continues to push the envelope. I don’t think I will ever be happy with another crime novel that doesn’t theme itself with something greater than just another bloody slasher.
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LibraryThing member Reacherfan
I picked this book up on a whim, and I'm glad I did. It was such a great read!! The characters seems true to life and jump off the page at you.

The plot is a complex one. There's a serial killer out there, and he's picking his victims in a very special way; Not just anyone can be on of his victims,
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just a chosen few. The killer seems to be one step ahead of the police and knows every last detail about his victim, down to the last detail.

Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to try and catch the killer. Just one problem, the killer is pretty much expecting Bowers and has something special planned for him, and his daughter. As if this isn't enough for Patrick to deal with, he has to deal with his own demons: the death of his wife, and why God has chosen to take her. Please know this isn't a "Christian book", rather something that gives depth to the character of Patrick.

There are some outstanding plot twists in this. Just when you think you have something figured out, then Steven James, tosses you a curveball that you never saw coming!

I'm really looking forward to the next installment of the Patrick Bowers adventure.

There will be one drawback, if you start The Pawn, plan to lose a lot of sleep due to reading such a page turner.
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LibraryThing member ark76
I'm always excited to find a new author or better yet, a new series. I discovered it by downloading the promotional free kindle book and would happily pay for the book. This detective series has in Patrick Bowers a character with a history as interesting as the mystery itself. His background is
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revealed to us in little pieces, much like the clues of the mystery. As a single father to a rebelious teenager trying to balance a professional life with parenting, Patrick is a character that both male and female readers would relate to. James reminds me of Baldacci. I expect quite a bit from this author.
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LibraryThing member TracyCampbell
Really great thrill ride of a book! Good storyline that keeps you guessing until the end. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
LibraryThing member pennsylady
a bit dark for my taste....but a decently constructed story
LibraryThing member CarmenMilligan
WOW! This was a fantastic thriller/mystery. I had to text my friend (who is reading the same book) to tell her that the prologue made me queasy, but I could NOT put this one down. I have three weeks to read this for book club, but read the almost-700 pages (on the iPad, at least) in two days.

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it is gruesome in places, it doesn't cross that line into gratuitous gore. However, you have to expect a book about a pair of serial killers to have some serious moments. The action is compelling and the characters are excellently drawn. This being the first in a series, I expect the characters will be developed and explored in future books.

This is a Christian fiction book, winning the Christy award for suspense. God is mentioned, but the relationship between characters and God is not explored. Again, I expect this will be detailed later. The good thing is that there is no foul language, rampant in like novels.

Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member katcoviello
I loved it. Violent, but not graphic. Complex, but not confusing. A page turner
LibraryThing member AmieG
I read this book because I got it for free from Amazon for my Kindle. Was trying not to expect much from it, but I was pleasantly surprised that I actually liked it.

Thought I had the "bad guy" figured out, but it was totally someone I did not expect. Patrick Bowers is an interesting character,
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with an even more interesting job. I will definitely be reading more of Steven James' books.

I didn't even realize this was a Christian author, aside from noticing the lack of swear words, until I searched further for more books by James. Taut, interesting and no pulled punches made this a fantastic read.
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LibraryThing member moukayedr
A roller-coaster ride of a thriller with a very interesting true backstory. I think it will make a very good movie.
LibraryThing member hofo
A good twisty page-turner!
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