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The Knight by Steven James

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Steven James is a consummate storyteller. Whether it’s describing the crime scene, the inner workings of the criminal’s mind or the conversation between the protagonist and any of the supporting cast, the intricate details draw the reader into the plot."

**Spoiler Alert in Paragraph 5**

In The Knight, the third installment in the riveting series featuring FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers, the ante has been upped. He is accustomed to tracking the country's most dangerous killers with geospatial investigative techniques, but now it appears like a killer is tracking him. With the help of an assigned team to help put the pieces together, they realize the murderer is using an ancient manuscript as a blueprint for his perfectly executed crimes. Faced with a collapsing deadline, Bowers races to discern who the next victim could be and put an end to these shocking murders.

Steven James is a consummate storyteller. Whether it’s describing the crime scene, the inner workings of the criminal’s mind or the conversation between the protagonist and any of the supporting cast, the intricate details draw the reader into the plot. This delivers a flood of overwhelming emotions, some feeling very uncomfortable and others, feeling very fulfilling.

His crisp writing puts you on the edge of anxious anticipation. This psychological thriller definitely borders on the extreme and may well be rated R if it ever became a movie. The word pictures created in lines like “A roll of stomach fat oozed out of the space between his shirt and his belt like the tip of a giant tongue” are vividly imaginative.

The author uses history and the fine arts as the catalyst for the criminal mind and killing spree. This is fascinating, yet perverse with regard to how it motivates the killer. Evidence of the author’s thorough research is clearly evident throughout each and every page making the story believable.

I found myself, at times, wanting to continue on with the main storyline. Yet the underlining stories took precedence in the sequence of chapters often providing a much needed break from the main storyline’s intensity. The sequence isn’t confusing and the transitions are smooth. Within some of the chapters, all the running story lines are covered concurrently. **Spoiler Alert** Patrick’s relationship with his step daughter Tessa, deepens amidst the stress and strain of his work while the need for the companionship of a woman seems to fail again. **End Spoiler Alert**

Reaching the conclusion to this wild ride was disappointingly bittersweet as what I didn’t want to have happen . . . did happen. Your sense of justice will be tested to say the least. The Knight has an open-ended finish with too many unanswered questions and yet I believe that’s why it’s called a series.

I’ll be the first in line when The Bishop appears in the summer of 2010.

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Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.