Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review of OPENING MOVES by Steven James

Rating: 4 out of 5

A killer is loose in Milwaukee, connecting his heinous crimes to the likes of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ed Gein and forcing innocent people to do unspeakable acts in hopes of saving the ones they love. Police detective Patrick Bowers, an intelligent force with a rare knack for getting into the minds of criminals, is on the case. Working with the FBI, Bowers must find the killer before he strikes again and rescue one more person who will suffer at his hands. In the midst of all this, he must also navigate a struggling romantic relationship and evaluate where the future will take him.

OPENING MOVES is Steven James’ prequel to his Bowers Files series of novels about FBI agent Patrick Bowers. This story gives us some back story to his life before becoming an FBI agent, and it’s interesting because being an FBI agent seems to be the last thing Bowers wants to do. I read this novel having only read the first book in the series THE PAWN.

I must confess that I had to stop reading this novel about midway through because I was so disturbed by the nature of the crimes described in it. It’s not that James is glamourizing evil. Instead, he’s showing us the darkest part of human nature, and it was difficult to focus on. A couple weeks later I picked the book back up with a determination to finish it, and I’ll say that it’s definitely a page-turner. I was never bored by the story. James knows how to tell a fast-paced thriller that’s full of mystery. It’s really a novel for people who love to think a lot because there’s a lot to take it.

The story is told from Bowers’ perspective, so we really get into his head and hear his struggles. And it’s from this perspective that we’re faced with the potential for incredible evil that exists in everyone. Yet Bowers is a hero who strives to eradicate evil rather than embrace it.

OPENING MOVES is a well-crafted thriller that introduces us to James’ Patrick Bowers character. I didn’t like it as much as THE PAWN, but I’m sure it definitely helps us to understand Bowers better.

I received this book for free for review from Signet Select

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