Original Books

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Bishop by Steven James

Patrick Bowers, special agent for the FBI, has solved quite a few cases in his day, but this current case has him stumped. Teamed up with two women he can’t seem to decide between-Lien-Hua and Cheyenne-he must try to stop a pair of killers who have been leaving their mark around random Washington DC attractions, using misdirection every step of the way. Besides his new case and his relationship confusion, the biological father of his stepdaughter, Tessa, is seeking legal custody of her in a lawsuit. Tessa doesn’t understand the intricacies of life herself, since she is now wondering whether there is a true difference between man and beast. When it comes to criminal investigation, Patrick has to wonder the same things as well. With fake clues and no leads, the time is running out before true disaster strikes Washington DC…

In his usual epic and dramatic storytelling style, Steven James has weaved another complicated and deep mystery wrought with philosophy, suspense, and originality. Driven by good characters, this plot is only tarnished with minor missteps at the end.

Patrick and Tessa are the core characters of the series. They drive it along with their deep ponderings and well-developed personalities. Other characters are fine, but Patrick and Tessa and the true heart of the character base. The only problem with Steven James’ character department in The Bishop is the cheesy identity of one of the villains. Otherwise, I have no complaints.

As usual, Steven builds a strong case filled with dead ends, false suspects, and Patrick premonitions. Tessa’ philosophy adds no small addition to the series; in fact, I would miss her contributions if they were left out. One of the better points of the book is that Patrick’s relationship issues are not resolved. However, Steven may be purposely dragging the issue out. The showdown is the best of the series, though it may not seem like it at first. There is a deeper meaning that requires a second look, which then warrants an applause. There are unresolved issues at the end of this book that Steven will no doubt use to fuel a case for The Queen.

All in all, Steven James makes his books ten times better than they could be with his masterful storytelling abilities. While the originality of the Patrick Bowers Files may be coming to an end, I hope he does not lose to epic qualities he has demonstrated thus far.

4.5 stars

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