Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Bishop by Steven James

So many things going on in this story! Basque has been released from prison and I'll just say, that conversion he supposedly had in prison? Yeah, not so much! Tessa's real dad is now wanting custody of her. WHAT?! And a new murder investigation for Patrick Bowers and the FBI along with several other agencies.

Here's where I'm going to start with the SPOILER ALERT!

For the most part I really liked this installment of the Patrick Bowers thrillers. But, there were several things that stood out to me as either annoying, or just not necessary.

So yeah, Basque is out of prison and shows up at Pat's friend Calvin's funeral. I'm thinking that that would be enough to arrest the dude again, but evidently there's no problem for that. He then drops out of sight for a while after Pat gives him a mild threat to back the bus up.

Tessa of course has been going behind Pat's back and e-mailing her real dad. And now Paul wants to meet secretly with her. Bells and whistles go off in my mind over that. But they meet and he gives her a lame story of why he has been holed up on a mountain in Wyoming for so long. Tessa then learns that he is trying to get custody of her and she bails on him. That's another thing, Tessa is almost 18 years old. Like in a few months she will be 18! Crazy to go through all of the expense of a custody battle for a few months time. But anyway, she wants Pat to fight him and keep custody of her. But yet he keeps showing up randomly. Makes a person wonder what the heck he is up to. Major spoiler here***I thought it was a major cop out on the authors part when he killed off Paul's character. Isn't that convenient? In my opinion there are still unanswered questions about this whole deal and I'm wondering if they will ever be answered or if he is just conveniently dead and now Tessa has a further excuse to be miserable and impossible. Frankly Tessa still annoys the heck out of me. She vacillates between being a 17 year old young woman to acting like a 12 year old pre-teen. Whiny and then aggressive to get her way. Smart as all get-out but no common sense. Independent, but then vulnerable. So kuddo's to the author for evoking such contrary feelings in the reader.

There is also Pat's relationships with Lien-hua and Cheyenne. Because of course Cheyenne shows up at the FBI place to attend lectures and get drawn into this case. Honestly I thought for a while that Cheyenne may be involved in the killings. Pat is in love with Lien-hua, but he is also attracted to Cheyenne and not above using her to dump Tessa on when he needs a babysitter. I'm not a fan of the love triangle in most books and this one just annoys me. I do however like some of the discussions that Cheyenne and Tessa have. I thought the author was going to cop out again by killing off Cheyenne in the end as well, but that would have been even more convenient so thankfully he didn't go there.

There seemed to be a lot of "teaching" or "telling" in this story. I got bogged down in the genetics and such of monkey's and the human condition etc. I'm sure they served a purpose, but the only purpose they served me was to bore me. I think the author used some $10 words when a $5 word would have been perfectly acceptable. Examples:

"Cheyenne shook her hand convivially." Seriously? Convivially? Why use that when the words agreeably or friendly would have been more understandable. I got the gist of what he meant, but just now looked it up to make sure that's what I was thinking.

"A stretch of elegiac silence filled the room." WHAT?! I looked it up and I still don't get what it means. Something to do with elegies, so maybe referring to the solemness of a funeral? I don't know, but why use that word?

And one final one: "Neither did I find any procedures that seemed overly invasive, cruel, or tendentious." Huh?

So usually if I run across words that are little used and I don't know the meaning of I stop and look them up. This time I just wrote them down and looked them up just now for this review. I'm all for broadening my vocabulary when it is appropriate, but when it seems like the author went to a dictionary or thesaurus to find a more snobby or random way of using a word it again just annoys.

The actual murders and bad guys that Patrick was hunting this time around had me on the edge of my seat and as always managed to keep me wondering who actually was orchestrating the whole mess. There are several twists and turns that keep the reader guessing throughout the story and once again we are left with some loose ends with Basque still out there. Can't wait to start The Queen!


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