Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Pawn by Steven James

The first book in The Patrick Bowers Thriller series did not disappoint at all! If you like stories about serial killers and murder mysteries then you definitely have to pick this book up.

Patrick Bowers is called in when several girls have been found dead, the work of a serial killer with a signature of a chess pawn left behind. Patrick's wife has recently passed away from breast cancer and his 17 year old step-daughter Tessa is staying with his parents while Pat tries to help find the killer.

"The Illusionist" is what this serial killer calls himself. He prides himself on being one step ahead of the law. Part of the thrill he gets from the kill is the game. He's not interested in sexually assaulting the women he kills. The pain that he inflicts on them before they die is what he is interested in. When Patrick joins the team to find him the game becomes even more interesting.

Feeling guilty about his relationship with Tessa, Patrick insists that the FBI bring her to him so that he can make things "right" with her. Unfortunately this puts Tessa right in the sights of The Illusionist.

There are so many twists and turns in this book that it kept me on the edge of my seat! From government cover-ups, to the happenings in Jonestown(Jim Jones and the People's Temple Cult), to The Illusionists background, each story is interwoven together to make for an exciting read. There are definitely some graphic death scenes that would probably make some people cringe so I would recommend this book for a more mature audience. Tessa's character really got on my nerves. I wanted to reach through the pages and shake her. I found she acted more like a 12 year old than a 17 year old. My daughter had to remind me that after all Tessa had lost her mother recently and never had a father so therefore she wouldn't act like a "normal" 17 year old, but I still found her character annoying. As dysfunctional as Tessa and Pat's relationship is though, I found myself cheering for them when they did connect. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series to see that relationship develop.

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