My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As I continue to work through the series, I am surprised that Steven James keeps me guessing till the end. Some of the formula writing he has developed for the Bowers Series is good and entertaining but still slightly predictable, I know when something will happen but not the details. In this one, a new killer, Giovanni, aka John, is terrorizing the Denver Metro area. Even though the story begins again with a killer pov it progresses well and the suspense rises believably. (Spoilers Follow after the jump Link)
With the death of Shade early in the story, I was looking for a greater conspiracy to develop., one that has the hand of many players moving the pieces on the board. In addition, the push to move Basque’s trial as a major point of conflict in the story showed more direction to that effect but lacking overall. I will admit that Basque’s character is a little flat and seems scary to Bowers but not to me. The fact that Basque as the victim of bad police work is still a great thriller technique but didn’t cut the mustard in the story. Too many elements of his guilt/innocence were left out for the story to progress do that rabbit hole, even with the courtroom shooting in the first 100pgs. I was disappointed about the story development of the Shade conspiracy and the Basque trial; however, Giovanni is an interesting serial killer given his moves in the great story. The idea of creating romantic tension is a little bit annoying considering the fact that Cheyenne was only introduced for this book. Tessa finally gets her time as a full character and the story of her mother’s diary, and subsequently details about her Father, is a great addition to the odd family dynamic they experience. His choice of killer was a bit odd, considering Kurt’s connection to the original trial is non-existent and pain of his family disintegrating seemed a little too convenient.
In the end, I didn’t have the killer pegged at all. Also the use of Renaissance Literature as a foil for the killer was a geek -lit bonus. I will continue the series and look forward to the two unfinished books James is obviously developing.
- Goodreads: The Pawn by Steven James (modelbfw.wordpress.com)