Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Bishop

Author: Steven James
Publisher: Revell
ISBN 978-0-3007-3302-5
August 2010
Genre: Fiction/Suspense

One of my favorite “arm-chair” reads has always been the cases of Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the quintessential detective, who always saw the details that everyone missed, and grasped the significance of those details as he ran his nemesis “to ground.” Two issues have always bothered me with these mysteries: the reader is never given the details that Sherlock Holmes has to work with until “after the fact.” And Sherlock Holmes, for all his analytical genius, has always been rather “flat,” as a character.

Steven James brings us Special Agent Patrick Bowers, the 21st century equivalent of Sherlock Holmes . . . only better. For the reader is given all the details, allowed to draw his or her own conclusions, and is still left dumbfounded at the insights that Bowers brings to the table. And Patrick Bowers actually has a life outside of his detective shield. And a family. And relationships. And all the tensions, troubles and turmoils that accompany life, and family, and relationships. And Special Agent Patrick Bowers refuses to duck.

In THE BISHOP, Bowers once again faces off against seemingly insurmountable odds. One serial killer from his past has disappeared. Two more, playing a deadly game which began on the cyberscreen, are engaging in murder while framing other individuals. And his step-daughter’s biological father is seeking custody after nearly 15 years of silence. All of Special Agent Bower’s cutting-edge skills are brought to bear as he continues this deadly game of chess, in which there are no clear winners, and where everyone loses something, even if it is only innocence.

Steven James has crafted a work of fiction which touches so much on real life that is hard to separate the two. While this is the fourth book in the Patrick Bowers series, and allusions are made to the previous works, this novel can be read on its own without any loss of tension or enjoyment. This is the first novel I’ve read from Steven James, and I fully intend to purchase the previous books in the series. For further information, one can go to his website, $14.99. 520 pages.

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