Previously, I reviewed the first book of Steven James' Jevin Banks Series, Placebo. I made mention to another series of his, The Patrick Bowers Files. I had read the first book, The Pawn, quite some time ago and I remember being gripped by it, so I decided to pull it from the shelf and read it again.
It was better than I remembered.
His writing is raw, gripping, and thrilling, and I read the first two books, The Pawn and The Rook, in two days. He follows up with The Knight, The Bishop, The Queen, and then The King. Opening Moves was written between The Queen and The King, as a prequel to the series, and I'm reading it now. Engrossed, of course. It seems to be the darkest of them all, but of course, just as gripping. If not more so. Checkmate fits into the series as well. I'm not sure how it all pieces together, yet, but I am anxiously awaiting the twists I'm sure to encounter.
Patrick Bowers is a geographical profiler, meaning he studies the where and the when of crimes that are committed, rather than the how and the why. In the series, the beginning at least, his character dismisses profiling and uncovering motive as less important than his own area of study. But he works closely with a criminal profiler and I believe he's beginning to see the value in her field. This tells me that James has put serious work into character development, and I am excited to see it unfold. It also provides room for comedic relief amidst the more gruesome aspects of the subject matter - I wouldn't call his writing gory, but it is definitely on a more violent and realistic bend, not for those more sensitive to the darkness of the world. The Knight, the third book in the series, definitely takes the series on a turn for the darker.
Patrick also has a stepdaughter, Tessa, very punk-goth and angsty teen-like. Their relationship starts out...awful. In the first book, they can hardly get two words in without arguing. But as their characters grow, so does their relationship, and as hard as it sounds, the trauma and stress that they undergo together as a result of notorious criminals is a bonding experience for both of them. For all of Tessa's teenage angst, she's a terrifically likable character, and highly intelligent, resulting in her comically outwitting "Dr. Patrick Bowers, PhD".
With the characters that Steven James has created, he has reams of material - ample for a 6+ numbered saga, and more than enough to keep readers tearing through book after book. Steven James is one for the thrill-seekers, feverish readers, crime solvers, and chill chasers. He makes it well worth the white-knuckled need to know more.
For more information on Steven James' series, visit our website here.