I’ve dubbed this season of my life, the ‘fall’ of Steven James. I took several workshops recently taught by Steven and sat a couple of times at his table during meals.
I’ve read a few of his many books now. Story, one of his non-fiction books, touched my heart and gave me some new insights into my faith. I’ve now read 4 of his 5 Patrick Bowers novels, The Pawn, The Rook, The Knight and The Bishop. Steven’s craft continues to grow with each book.
In these psychological thrillers, Patrick Bowers is an FBI agent is a recent widower, who is trying to balance a stressful career and learning to parent his teenage step-daughter, Tessa. He seems to be targeted by the most evil of criminals and in constant trouble with his supervisors, step-daughter and girlfriends. Confronted daily with evil, he has a growing awareness of the evil in him in his response to the villains. Tessa is exposed to this evil sometimes outright, sometimes in a secondary manner. Both Tessa and Patrick, in their own ways, are slowly coming to understand how evil dominates this world and the consequences for them.
The pace of the books is fast. The characters and plots are compelling, and the symbolism is subtle but powerful. I particularly like the symbolism of the bishop chess piece in The Bishop.
Having spent the classroom time with Steven recently, I have to confess that his persona became Patrick Bowers for me.
I have to take a short James respite to read a book by another friend of mine as an early influencer. I can’t wait to start The Queen and find out what’s next for Patrick and Tessa.