Book Review: The King

The King (The Patrick Bowers Files, #6)The King by Steven James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Steven James has quickly become one of my favorite reads in the christian fiction genre. Whereas other crime novels still have rough edged and broken nihilistic heroes, Patrick Bowers is a logical and faithful man of the law. He uses science as a means and not a ethical crutch to do he wants, that is directed at you Sherlock Holmes. In this novel, we really get to see the emotional and logical connection that law enforcement has to make everyday and it is not done in the stylist Lethal Weapon or Rush hour buddy cop kind of way.This time we find Bowers on the cusp of his wedding and what would turn out to be one of the worse weeks of his life. Richard Basque, the cannibal psychopath, is slowly working his way closer and closer to Patrick Bowers. Meanwhile, someone is tainting shipments of anti-depressants as a means to cause mass suicides across the US. As if this is not enough, Tessa, Bower’s step-daughter, is in the final weeks of her Senior year, no Prom date but a cute guy is interested and a possible graduate speech to boot. Toss in a pair of garden sheers, a crime novelist, her daughter, and a side trip to India and you have the one of the best novels in the series. For those looking to find a hard science based legal thriller, without the sex and cursing, this is your series but do your self the favor and start at the beginning, The Pawn.
Spoilers!!!!
After reading Opening Moves, I couldn’t figure out what made that whole story seem off to me. I thought maybe it was the publisher/editor or the fact that it was a flashback. The novel was good but just wasn’t the Patrick Bowers I was use to, then I read this one and it was obvious. I like the Patrick that is more like me. Family guy with stress from both sides of life, family vs career. Techie but still has friends and can unwind around regular people. Some of the best scenes for Patrick are the ones where he is trying to figure out how to handle being Tessa’s “dad.” Brineesha and Ralph are great foils for this and provide him parental advice that he desperately needs. Alternatively, after Lien-hua’s attack she is mostly pointless in the story except for the wedding at the end. Her encounter with Basque really turns on the heat but I like her as a character and at times she completely disappears for chapters because of her recovery. Brineesha helps to fill the role and some muddled and teenage angst driven conversations from Tessa help, but Bowers is on his own in this one and that what scares him the most.

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