My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Again, a very complicated scheme to overshadow the serial killer lying underneath. James’s use of the military sub-plot and the growing relationship between both Tessa and Lein-hua, is again formulaic but lovingly readable. Overall a good read again and I think that I will continue on with the series. The middle road feelings I had with his last book gave me some apprehension about this one but I was wrong. It is clear that he and his editor team have found a singular long term goal for Patrick Bowers and luckily it is not a want to rise in the FBI ranks but instead it is just to keep working at what he does best. (Spoilers after jump link.)
The climax and resolution of the Shade character is a little transparent. If you like the Sebastian Taylor guy as villain keep reading, if not stop know. I thought that The Illusionist killer from The Pawn would become the recurring villain but its not. I know he has to come back at some point. The use of Cassandra and Terry as dual handlers from Creighton was also a great plot twist. The only disappointing moment was the lack of belief during the Bowers’s belief that Lein-hua was possibly Shade. That plot twist was just too much for my liking. I am also curious to find out how the assault story with Tessa will move forward in the other books. The hook of Basque coming back to get Bowers as well was a little heavy handed and over-the-top evil villain monologue.