Patrick Bowers is an FBI investigator. He thinks he can capture every serial killer in the world. He thinks he's invincible. But he hasn't met the Illusionist.
The Illusionist is a powerful serial killer. He is extremely smart. His mental capacities are above average. He's definitely not normal. He stalks women and leaves chess pawns at the scenes of his crimes. Sometimes they are black; sometimes they are white.
Patrick Bowers is fighting his past by immersing himself in his job. He lives and breathes his job. He's completely obsessed with finding and apprehending serial killers. But when things start to not add up about the Illusionist, he starts to go crazy.
The book is partly a first person perspective of Patrick, and partly omniscient point of view of several other characters. Though Patrick is showed to the reader via first person, he isn't a very good character. He has flaws, but no personality.
The Illusionist is one of the best serial killer characters ever crafted. He is very realistic and thought out. He's so real it's scary.
Unfortunately, James spent most to all of his time working on his character, while he let the rest of the plot go to waste.
Don't get me wrong; the first half is exceptionally written for a debut novel. But in the second half, James loses the handle.
He begins introducing too many villains at once. There are too many unrelated things happening by the end of the book. It gets confusing and downright typical at the same time.
The other characters aren't really any good; they are merely plot devices.
At the end, James hints about the topic of the next book, The Rook. It could be interesting; it could not.
All in all, The Pawn is good for a debut novel. I'm interested to see what Steven James will do next.
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