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Showing 1-10 of 293 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 427 reviews
on July 1, 2016
This is THE BEST BOOK EVER it causes you to open this book take a breathe and not breathe again until the end. There are like 5 story lines each one more intense than the other. You are so mesmerized. He slaps you in the face right off. There is murder, mayhem, family dysfunction,romance, military cover-up to the highest echelon. Need I go on? Believe it or not it is clean and references to Christianity. It is a hotbed of intrigue. My life is a little different looking at the government, just wait.I am going to read the whole series can't wait to see what's next.
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on November 26, 2015
Characters are generally well-developed. The protagonist, Patrick Brower, and step-daughter Tessa are the most complex and promise further growth and development in future books. Plotting is strong. If the book has a weakness it is so many characters and subplots (that do come together eventually) interact at such a fast pace, that it isn't easy to keep up. It kept me interested enough to read the second in the Brower Files but probably not the remainder. The problem with all thrillers is that predictably the hero wins; good again triumphs over evil and the protagonist has to succeed to be in the next book. James is a strong writer. I actually read his fiction because I was impressed with his book Story Trumps Structure. I'd love to see him tackle a more thoughtful genre -- perhaps another thriller but push it beyond the pattern. .
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on May 16, 2017
I'm not even sure how I happened to download this little gem, but I'm so glad I did. This is not your typical FBI/serial killer story. FBI agent Dr. Bowers is a fully developed, complex character and his personal life is as much a part of the story as his job. It's fast paced and exciting. After finishing it, I immediately downloaded the next two books in the series.
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on September 11, 2010
I live near Asheville, NC, am an avid outdoorsman and my profession is law enforcement. Because each of these things is an integral element of Steven James' "The Pawn", I passed up the free version several times. I hadn't even read the book but I decided that I would be so overwhelmed by all of the "mistakes" that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it..... Well, you know what assume means. I just finished reading the book and I have to say I was really surprised! I love cop stories, but they must be realistic and this one hit the mark! Yes the book might be considered too graphic by some but Mr. James paints a realistic portrait of the serial killer, crime scenes and the surrounding geography. This book is a must read and you can bet I will put Steven James on my must read list!
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on August 19, 2013
In 2012, I attended my first writer's conference (OWFI) and listened to the keynote speaker tell wonderful stories and share writing advice bold as any I have heard. That man was Steven James and I assumed his novels would be as entertaining as his oration.

Like many people nowadays, I have quite a reading list. Recently I did some catching up and found the Pawn to be a fairly good serial killer suspense novel.

James has an engaging voice and crafts a story well. Later in the book, the plot seemed to march rather than dance. Lots of challenges were thrown in the path of the protagonist. I began to feel the story lost some of its focus when the Jones Town incident came into the plot.

The lead character, Patrick Bowers, has a troubled step daughter who has resorted to "cutting" after her mother died. Bowers and Tessa's relationship is strained. This added to the stakes and is an issue I haven't read much about in fiction. Though not a main part of the plot, this is one example of how James raises the stakes for his characters.

All in all a good story, entertaining, but I had my hopes set a little too high after hearing James speak. He is a truly gifted orator. The stories he told at the conference had eveyone on the edges of their seats.
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on June 23, 2016
Steven James is an amazing writer! So many twists and turns, you will never see what is coming next!! Patrick Bowers is a great character one that you want to see succeed in both parenting and in the FBI. The Pawn will not let you down, it is a page turner and you will want to know what happens to Patrick, Agent Jang, and Tessa. You could say that there are multiple story lines in this book, but you always know which is which and that they are vital to what is going to happen next. This book is a must read and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
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on December 29, 2011
I really enjoyed this novel. It kept me guessing until the very end and there were a lot of twists/multiple plots going on. The author also did a good job with interesting subplots, character development, etc. I am a huge fan of Harlen Coben and found myself as wrapped up in this novel as I do when I read one of Harlen's Myron Bolitar books. Even though I am a Christian author, I don't usually enjoy Christian novels (I find they are often too preachy). This was not the case with this novel, however. As a matter of fact, I would not classify this as a Christian novel, but I know that it is written by a Christian author. While there is certainly room for the main character to grow and develop in his Christian faith, the door for that was only mildly cracked open in this novel.

The novel is a bit gory. This doesn't bother me, but it might bother some, so I'll throw that in there just as a warning.

I "bought" this novel because I had heard great things about Steven James before and because it was free, so it was a great opportunity for me to try him out. I am a cheapskate and rarely pay for books for my Kindle, but I will definitely be investing in the sequels to Pawn. I highly recommend it.
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on May 27, 2016
This is my first Steven James book, recommended to me by my brother. It won't be my last. Gripping story...I didn't want to put it down. Looking forward to the next Bowers Files book.
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on September 27, 2012
I just discovered this author and this is the first book I have read by him. Something very unique happened that I have never really experienced before. I knew from the very first page that I would not only like the book but like the author as well. That never happens. Sometimes it can take pages or even chapters for me to warm up to a new author. Not here.

The plot is quite complex and there are real surprises along the way. Just when you begin to think you have a grasp on everything, you realize that you don't. The different plot elements are woven together in a very interesting way, and I couldn't wait to see just how everything would connect by the end.

The second half of the book is very exciting with a lot of action and plot twists. I highly recommend it especially for people who like mysteries and crime novels. There is an undercurrent of Christian teaching, but it is very subtle. I like the hero's struggle with his belief in a benevolent God. I also like the balance Steven James achieves as he tells a good story while he also focuses on sound moral principles. However, if you are looking for a "feel good" Christian novel, this is not the one.
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on July 3, 2011
When I first saw "The Pawn", I really did not expect much. I love mystery novels, and murder-mystery's, and that is why I did not expect much. It seems like once you have read a few of those type of stories, you have almost read them all.
So I picked up the book for what I would consider a "cheap thrill". A book that I could read nonchalantly in my spare time, and maybe put my brain to a little work trying to figure it out.

What I got, was so much more.
The novel posses a level of depth, emotion, and personality that I have never seen before. There are parts that are terrifying, parts that are heartbreaking, parts of humor or sarcasm, logic, romance, this novel has it all.

The novel spins an intricate tale, where the lives of many intertwine, where every detail relates to another, but at the same time is different. We are shown these glimpse's from the different perspectives, and are left trying to desperately figure out what it means and how it relates to the rest of the story.
There is an overwhelming amount of detail in this book, but yet, it is given to the reader in such small intervals and in such a way that it is easy to process and tantalizes us to keep reading.

There is also a lot of factual information presented. Information about topics that relate to the story. But again, this is done in such a way that even learning about a historical event seems thrilling and intriguing.

Another PRO for this book is that we get to worm our way into the minds of the criminals. It is not just a one-sided chase, we get to see the same events from different perspectives, which adds something different, intriguing, and makes the characters seem more real, more alive.

What I really find amazing, is that somehow the author managed to weave this tale in such a way that the reader and the main character are figuring out the plot and making the connections almost simultaneously.
There were very few parts where, even putting my hard-working sleuthing mind to the task, that I could figure it out. Any things you were able to figure out were clearly because the author wanted you to, not because they had used a cliche' or forgotten to cover their tracks.

I was absolutely thrilled with this book and I can't wait to snatch up the other books in the series.
This book would be a good a read for anyone who is interested in mystery novels, or who enjoys reading about the tailspin between good and evil, humanity, morality, love, revenge, hate and disappointment, sadness, and faith. Like I said, this book has it all.

For all the mystery junkies who are looking for a little something different and a little something more, check out this book. "The Pawn" definitely has some meat on its bones. Give it a shot and "Enter the game".

~ K.A.E
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