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The Bishop by Steven James


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The Advocate



The Bishop by Steven James

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"This electrifying story, told from various points of view, moves at an incredibly quick pace with FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers smack dab at the center."

Steven James continues his impressive run in this fourth Bowers Files novel, and it appears his writing gets better with each offering. The Bishop transitions with alarming clarity from The Knight and picks up right where it left off without missing a beat.

This electrifying story, told from various points of view, moves at an incredibly quick pace with FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers smack dab at the center. As he finds himself challenged in his personal life, his work, and his relationships, he must somehow find balance, peace, as well as a few crafty, demented killers. The game is on as his cutting-edge 21st-century geospatial investigative techniques and impeccable logic are put to the test once again.

Paul Lansing, Tessa's birth father, has sought her out. Bowers is caught in a confusing love triangle with Lien-hua and Cheyenne, and Richard Basque, a psychopath from his past makes a shocking appearance. Tainted secrets and jaded connections must be untangled to solve this perplexing mystery.

The novel moves swiftly between quick-fire dialogue, tender moments and gruesome crime scenes. If you can handle the dark, evil side of humanity, you’ll enjoy The Bishop. The depth and diversity of the characters are a staple of a Steven James storyline. The twists and turns are unpredictable and mind-boggling! You’ll be chilled to the bone as you flip the pages to keep up with all the happenings of law enforcement’s pursuit.
The exceptional use of the first person narrative (Patrick Bowers) as well as the author’s depiction of the father/daughter relationship between Patrick and his step-daughter, Tessa, help cement James as an amazing, master storyteller. This non-perfect, yet beautiful relationship has been the glue holding these stories together.

Even though The Bishop is written in the realm of fiction, there are plenty of contemporary issues and ethical dilemmas confronted in these pages. Pro-life, pro-death penalty, transhumanism, nanotechnology and psychopathology. to name a few.

The level of research that goes into each of James’ stories is outstanding making everything about the story feel eerily real.
My only frustration was that it just seemed to keep going and going and going through 520 pages with no resolution in sight.

It will be a prolonged wait for many readers as The Queen, next in the series, will not be released until summer 2011. I have no doubt it will be well worth the wait.

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.