Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: : "The Pawn" by Steven James

The central character is FBI agent Patrick Bowers. He is a widower (he's still mad at God about that) with a teenage stepdaughter he has trouble relating to. Pat is called into help catch a serial killer dubbed the Illusionist, who leaves a yellow ribbon and a chess piece at his kills.  

The case becomes more complicated when it is tied to the Jonestown massacre and apparently might involve the Governor of North Carolina (the story takes place in Asheville, NC). 

This is the first, but definitely not the last, novel of Steven James I've read.  He is masterful at diverting the reader from the true killer, and the twists and turns will leave you constantly wondering what is next, and who the guilty person is. 

Mr. James devoted more time to the plot than to character development, which was very successful, because we get a more detailed and entertaining story as a result.   The two characters we learn most about are Pat himself and his daughter Tessa.  However, we do learn enough about the killer's childhood and  life to life to see why he kills.  I like the plot twists at the end,and  especially that a relatively insignificant character plays a key role in saving people.

Content warnings include the gore of the murder scenes.

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