Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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The Pawn by Steven James

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"Thrilling and chilling with turbo boost pacing, The Pawn will hold lovers of suspense tightly in its grip until the very last page."

Having read, reviewed and enjoyed Steven James’ The Story and Sailing between the Stars, I was eager to tackle his first effort at faith fiction. James does what he does like nobody else can . . . tell a compelling story. As always in his writings, he hopes the story will cause readers to ask new questions and not just read for the fun of it. Questions like, “What would it take for us to do what we deem most unthinkable?”

In The Pawn, the reader is introduced to Patrick Bowers, a specialized investigator for the FBI. When he's summoned to Asheville, N.C. to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself thrown into a deadly game of “two steps ahead, three steps back. He’s matched against a cunning and lethal killer who is always one step ahead of the law. Dealing with personal struggles doesn’t help the situation either.

The supporting cast behind Agent Bowers is as diverse as any great suspense novel. More than merely token, they contribute to the character depth of The Pawn. As a reader, it is not too hard to empathize with Bowers, Tessa, (his stepdaughter), or any of the law enforcement team members assembled to help him.

The underlying connection of the events of Jonestown (1978) was definitely intriguing, even though it was written to fit into a fictional storyline. Thrilling and chilling with turbo boost pacing, The Pawn will hold lovers of suspense tightly in its grip until the very last page.

I wrestle mightily with the personification of evil in fiction storylines. On one hand, to make the killer real to the reader their character must be thoroughly believable. And yet when descriptions get too colorful or graphic and the past history of the killer is written to evoke sympathy, I’m turned off as a reader. There were a few places in The Pawn where I was troubled.

I look forward to reading and reviewing his second title in this series, The Rook.

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.