Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pawn” as Want to Read:
The Pawn
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers Files #1)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  5,379 ratings  ·  605 reviews
A chilling debut mystery from critically acclaimed author and professional storyteller Steven James.
ebook, 401 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published 2007)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pawn, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Amy Yes, I got this from my public library and read it on my Kindle. I also got an audio download for a long drive I had and wanted to finish it up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
Aug 03, 2012 Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Adult
Recommended to Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost by: Found Randomly in the Kindle Book Store.
The Bower's files are all fun reads. The first one is every bit as creepy as it should be. As much as Patrick Bowers comes across as a sad-sack and a proprietary thinker, he becomes endearing and likeable. The most interesting character is his daughter! Reads like a movie. The plot is involved and twisted and spills into the sequels. James's sense or romance could be tightened up a bit, but he manages to make that fun too. Bower's big "theory" of how to catch serial killers and his disdain of pr ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
First let me say this is a good book, I recommend it. I say that first because there is one thing that kept tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "hey, look a me!" So when I list a negative or a few instances of the same negative don't get the idea that it's a deal breaker. This is a good novel, I like it.

First of all the writer does a great job of pulling you in and getting you involved in the protagonist's life and situation. I am not a fan of seeing things from the psychopathic point of vie
Imagine my surprise after reading all the Patrick Bower series by Steven James and in wanting to write a review of the books, to discover that this series is labeled as being published by a Christian publisher, as well as authored by a Christian...ergo, the Patrick Bowers series is labeled Christian Fiction. I'll tell you this, as an atheist, I didn't have a clue (not even a suspicion) of this throughout my reading of these novels.

Now, now, I am not implying that good Christian fiction doesn't
Eve Victorié
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
From page one of 'The Pawn', I was captured and didn't want to put the book down. The prologue was so gripping that I could vividly imagine what was happening. The suspense didn't stop there, it stayed throughout the entire book and with a surprise twist ending 'The Pawn' is sure to keep you up in the night.

There are some gruesome scenes in 'The Pawn', so if you don't like reading books that are somewhat disturbing I wouldn't recommend this, but if you like reading books that are filled with sus
The Book Blogger (inside and in between)
as first posted on my blog
Wow. This was a reeeaaaly creepy book. Gave me nightmares:P
But seriously...Steven James is an amazing author. His descriptions are vivid and his plot is really intricate and intense. At times I was overwhelmed by what was going on, especially in trying to grasp some of the background details .But I reckon the writing was still top-notch.

The book is a crime-thriller novel. Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to help catch a mysterious serial killer known as 'The Il
Apparently this is considered "christian-fiction" which explains some of the heavy-handed question of God and faith in the book. I was looking for a clever serial-killer book with a clever detective using chess as a way of playing cat and mouse. This was not clever and chess was just a "pawn" in my opinion to get you interested in this book.

It was pretty fast paced, highly unbelievable, too many mistakes and I didn't really care for the "hero" of this book at all, Patrick Bowers. Needless to say
Caitlyn Santi
WOW! This was my first time reading a book by Steven James, and I can guarantee that it will not be my last! I have heard so many amazing things about the Patrick Bowers series, and I can now officially say that they were not exaggerated! Where do I start, I loved this book! I loved the main character Patrick Bowers, I loved how even though he was brilliant, there were still pieces that it took a while for him to put together, that made his character so real and relatable! In a way Patrick Bower ...more
Wow! THE PAWN by Steven James started off like a walk in the park, progressed to a race against time, and climaxed with an all out sprint to the end.

I am a little bit late in reading this suspense/thriller that was released in 2007. But, as I prepare to read his latest, THE QUEEN, I am back peddling to read the previous installments in the Patrick Bowers Thrillers to make sure I am in the right frame of mind when THE QUEEN is released next month.

Dr. Patrick Bowers, has a PhD in Environmental Cri
Nike Chillemi
I'd read The Knight before reading The Pawn. I'd advise doing it from book one and going straight through.

I think it's beneficial to meet Patrick Bower at the beginning of the series when he's so emotionally raw having just lost his new bride to cancer. He had also inherited a step-daughter who is reeling from the loss of ther mother. The teenager has a love/hate relationship w/Patrick.

The villian calls himself the Illusionist. I'd say the author is a bit of an illusionist in this book, as the
Max Rudenko
Quite well written police/psychological thriller with lots of all kinds of twists and turns. The only gripe I have with it is the conclusion: it was too ambiguous. Generally I prefer more definite, clear ending to the book. Therefore, only 4 stars, although until the end I wanted to rate this novel 4.5 stars. Well, I guess here author wanted to hook us on this series and ensure the demand for the next book. In my case he succeeded. Despite that I didn't care for the ending I will continue the se ...more
I thought the premise and plot were good and most of the characters were well-thought out, particularly the killer's background. But I didn't think the writing was very good. The author had a habit of using a lot of short sentences and at one point when an alarm was going off, instead of describing the sound, he actually just wrote "Brum, brum, brum..." Not even a very good impression of an alarm if you ask me! Sounds more like a child making the sound of a car. And worse, he uses the same words ...more
I read this book (actually on audiobook) for the first time about four years ago, quickly followed by The Rook. While I was reading other things, the rest of the series has steadily been coming out but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. When I decided I wanted to finish the series, I had to go back and make sure I remembered what had happened up to the point I stopped. I didn't! This book was just as gripping as ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. I can s ...more
The opening chapter resembles Romeo & Juliet. Two young teens are about to take their own lives because "It's a cruel world" and they believe "our love with unite us forever". It's very easy for Aaron to convince his girlfriend, Jessie, that it's necessary they take their own lives. Jessie is head over heels in love but ignorant to the fact that Aaron doesn't even know if he has feelings for her. Little does she know that he has no intention of taking his own life.

Now Patrick Bowers has been
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book was like an onion, peel back a layer and you find another layer underneath. A mystery within a mystery if you will. I like the authors writing style and his ability to move the book along at a very quick pace as well. This is one of those writers that has you guessing all along who is in on it and he writes each chapter dependent on the next which puts a reader in the position of having to keep those pages turning. The story line got a bit thick but not so thick that it pushed it into ...more
Jack Cavanaugh
Overall, Steven did a good job with the story. I think he attempted to squeeze too many twists and turns into one book, making for a disjointed feeling. Better to build to one or two first-rate surprising twists in my opinion. I was a bit put-off with the detail in the opening sequences. While detail roots the story in reality, when it comes to sharing information on how best to slit one's wrists, an author does a disservice to impressionable (and at times, moody) young readers.
J.S. Bailey
I loved this book! The Pawn is very fast-paced and gripping, and I managed to read it in less than three days. I liked how the characters were so well-developed; even the villains. At first I had my sights set on one character, thinking he was the "bad guy" up until almost the end, but Steven James, being as good an "Illusionist" as the serial killer, tricked me. And now I have to read all of the other Patrick Bowers novels to see what kind of villains he has to track down next!
James is clearly a talented story-teller, but he needs to exercise self-restraint. Do we need to know the kind of exotic coffee Patrick Bowers prefers. (Does he prefer milk, cream, half-and-half - shaken or stirred?) Does it make a different to the plot or its development what kind of make and model of firearms he prefers?

This is the first in a series of four "thrillers" featuring Patrick Bowers. I do not intend to read the rest.
I bought The Pawn when it was on special for $0.99. I more than got my money's worth and found a new author to read!

What I liked: The characters in this first of a series are top notch. Patrick Bowers is an FBI agent and I thought was a profiler. He's not, Bowers is interested in a new type of profiling, environmental criminology. All facets of the killing are taken into account not just the killer's profile.

Bowers is endearing and struggling with the loss of his wife. They hadn't been married v
Keiki Hendrix
Patrick Bowers is an FBI agent in the new field of environmental criminology who finds himself tracking a serial killer in the mountains of North Carolina. A good plot with many twists and turns.

The book begins with a spin tingling teen suicide scene. this is not a book for the squeamish. But for those who can accept the gore knowing that is the reality in this world, what follows is a thriller that propels the reader to turn the page.

Most of the book is set in or near Asheville, North Carolina
"The Pawn" is a well-written, heart-pounding, fast-paced forensic/detective thriller. The novel had a somewhat bleak tone. The crimes and crime scenes were very chilling, though not particularly graphic (i.e. he gives you just enough to let your imagination fill in all the gory, horrifying details). Combined with the high tension level, I'd strongly suggest you think twice about reading this novel right before going to bed.

The characters were interesting and complex, and I especially loved Bower
First, I haven't read a legal/police thriller in about a year. Thus anything I say will be comparable to what I watch on L&O or NCIS. That being said, I really enjoyed reading a book with some ramped up suspense and thriller aspects without all of the blatant nudity, sex, and language. The evil serial killer was believable and his cohort was as well. Actually if he had let off a line of curse words, I would have been surprised because of his cool demeanor throughout. (view spoiler) ...more
Steven James- The Pawn (Revell 2007) 4.75 Stars

Bowers has been called to North Carolina to assist the police in hunting down a serial killer. Little does he know that the killer, the Illusionist, has suddenly taken a keen interest in the man sent in to find him. As Bowers investigates, he discovers that the Illusionist always seems to be just a few steps ahead of them, and that there may be more to the killings than had been originally apparent.

I was very impressed with The Pawn. The book grabbe
I absolutely loved this story of Steven James. This is the first of his books that I have read; defiantly planning to read the full series.

"The only thing that consoles us from our miseries is diversion. And yet it is the greatest of our miseries." The Pawn is a story full of twisted characters dealing with the trauma's that impacted their past; miseries they are trying to cover up, revenge, or forget. I embodied each character in this story, from the police, to the killers, to the daughter, an
So this is the first in the series for me from Steven James. I gotta say that this book would have gotten 5 stars if it was not for one thing. But before I get to that, let me talk about my thoughts on the book. Steven James is a great writer, had me on edge on most chapters and this book even contained some factual information from actual serial killers and their quotes. I really like the character development with the main character and his step-daughter. Very believable to say the least and I ...more
I enjoyed reading The Pawn so much more than Opening Moves and was able to finish it rather quickly. Opening Moves was a great book but the reason I didn't read it as fast is that it was so disturbing and gruesome that I couldn't read it for more than 50 pages at a time. The Pawn was completely different, it was suspenseful and scary but never gruesome and stomach turning - I just didn't want to put it down!

I loved learning the back story to Patrick life first from reading the prequel, so a few
Doug Cummings
For me, character is the key. I'll follow a good character anywhere. Problem here is that Patrick Bowers isn't compelling enough to care about. He's got the standard baggage of a dead wife, step-daughter who hates him because he's never home, and the pain of years of looking at dead people. By golly, he's pushing on, though, because all those victims had daddies and he doesn't want another father to have to deal with the pain of losing a child. Other authors have made all that kind of thing work ...more
I saw this book on my Kindle a couple days ago and couldn't remember what it was or why I had it. Rather than look it up I decided to jump into it blindly (I thought it was a sci-fi book). To my surprise it was actually a crime thriller and away I went.

This book is pretty slow to start and almost lost me a couple times. I'd read a few pages then lose interest and go back to the other book I was reading, but around the 20-30% mark things really started to pick up.

The Pawn is the first in the Patr
Julie Graves
The first book in The Patrick Bowers Thriller series did not disappoint at all! If you like stories about serial killers and murder mysteries then you definitely have to pick this book up.

Patrick Bowers is called in when several girls have been found dead, the work of a serial killer with a signature of a chess pawn left behind. Patrick's wife has recently passed away from breast cancer and his 17 year old step-daughter Tessa is staying with his parents while Pat tries to help find the killer.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Action/Adventure ...: January Group Read: The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers Files #)1**Spoilers** 66 29 Mar 19, 2012 03:18AM  
different 11 76 Jan 15, 2012 07:10PM  
  • Crush (Karen Vail #2)
  • Conspiracy in Kiev (The Russian Trilogy #1)
  • Dead Reckoning
  • Exposure
  • County Line
  • Relentless (Dominion, #1)
  • A Nail Through the Heart (Poke Rafferty Mystery, #1)
  • You Can't Stop Me (Crime Seen #1)
  • By Reason of Insanity
  • Hour of the Hunter (Walker Family, #1)
  • Deeper Water (Tides of Truth, #1)
  • Code Blue (Prescription for Trouble, #1)
  • Breach of Trust (Call of Duty, #1)
  • Vanish
  • Hostile Intent (Devlin, #1)
  • Treason (Navy Justice #1)
  • A World I Never Made
  • Monday Night Jihad
Steven James is the best selling author of more than three dozen books, including the Patrick Bowers and Jevin Banks thriller series. In May 2014 he released the first book of his teen suspense trilogy, Blur, and a book on the craft of novel writing, Story Trumps Structure. Steven’s other works span a variety of genres including non fiction, fantasy and drama. He has received wide critical acclaim ...more
More about Steven James...

Other Books in the Series

The Patrick Bowers Files (7 books)
  • The Rook (The Patrick Bowers Files, #2)
  • The Knight (The Patrick Bowers Files, #3)
  • The Bishop (The Patrick Bowers Files, #4)
  • The Queen (Patrick Bowers Files, #5)
  • The King (Patrick Bowers Files, #6)
  • Checkmate (Patrick Bowers, #7)
The Rook (The Patrick Bowers Files, #2) The Knight (The Patrick Bowers Files, #3) The Bishop (The Patrick Bowers Files, #4) The Queen (Patrick Bowers Files, #5) Opening Moves (Patrick Bowers Files, #0.5)

Share This Book

“Plastic people flashing fake smiles at a pretend world.” 18 likes
“None of us can know what it's like for someone else. It's what makes us individuals. We each have our own pain, our own mistakes. But we can reach out toward each other, help each other. That's what makes us human.” 1 likes
More quotes…