Customer Review

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars . . . Long Live the Queen!, September 4, 2011
This review is from: The Queen,: A Patrick Bowers Thriller (The Bowers Files Book 5) (Kindle Edition)
Steven James has created a real dilemma for himself. He has written four Patrick Bowers novels to date, fashioning some of the best suspense fiction on the market, and so the bar is raised high when readers come to this fifth in the series. "The Queen," on so many levels, surpasses those expectations.

This time around Patrick, Lien-Hua, and Tessa find themselves in the frozen landscape of a wintery Wisconsin. A mother and daughter have been murdered in their own home, and the father is nowhere to be found. Is he the murderer? Or another victim? This mystery leads them into an ever-expanding conspiracy that involves a Russian assassin, a radical eco-terrorist group, and the deeper truths and lies regarding Patrick's old nemesis, serial-killer Richard Basque.

James does two things here as well as he's ever done them. The snowy wasteland becomes a very real character in the story, and Patrick almost becomes a victim to this harsh reality in one of the best scenes in any Patrick Bowers book. In that same scene, he encounters a man named Alexei Chekov, who is one of the most refreshingly three-dimensional villains in suspense fiction. While brutal in his methods, Chekov also shows empathy and traits of heroism. As the book wraps up, Chekov's dimensions are expanded even more, and I can't wait to see what happens in his next confrontation with Patrick.

While raising the bar--and boy, does he!--James also risks losing the attention of readers who must juggle multiple viewpoints and plot threads. There is more going on here than in any other Patrick Bowers novel, enough material for two novels by most authors, including a nuclear missile attack. We also discover entire new levels of Patrick's own family history. This lends that much more richness to the fantastic conclusion, but some readers may take longer getting there than they have in the earlier books.

For those who find themselves plodding early on, don't lose hope. There is a point to this journey through the cold and ice. There is a Queen to be revealed. There is a killer's true identity to be exposed. And there are moments of forgiveness that are real but do not come cheap. Long live the Queen!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 5, 2011 10:28:43 AM PDT
Loved this book. It definitely lived up to the others in the series. It started out a little slow, though.
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Location: Nashville, TN United States

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