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Opening Moves

(The Patrick Bowers Files #0.5)

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  1,920 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Milwaukee, 1997. In a city reeling from the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer, a series of gruesome kidnappings and mutilations draw authorities into a case like nothing they've ever seen. Cops think a Dahmer copycat is on the loose. But Patrick Bowers, working as a homicide detective, suspects this is more than an ode to the infamous cannibal.

When he discovers that the shocking
Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Signet (first published September 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.38  · 
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 ·  1,920 ratings  ·  189 reviews

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Chris Jager
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Opening Moves by Steven James should come with a warning on it. It may cause sleeplessness and/or nightmares. It also should contain the warning that if you have a busy weekend coming up don’t start the book as it may cause you to miss something important, like work, a business meeting or breathing.

Written as the prequel to the Patrick Bowers series, Opening Moves joins Patrick as he starts his career in Milwaukee. He is a detective and a new case has come to him. Someone is honoring Jeffery
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio
Two in a row where I didn't get The Who done it right. Fabulous. I love it when I'm wrong. I'm sorry I waited so long to continue with the series.

I will say I knew what one of the killers was but didn't put together who it was until right before the reveal.

It was very descriptive with the killers. But it made it all real, believable.

Wow and to find out how the author has a tie to real killers.... scary.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Before he was an FBI agent, Patrick Bowers was a Milwaukee homicide detective. With his sharp mind and uncanny ability to ‘notice things’, Patrick moved quickly up the ranks of the Milwaukee Police Department. When a bizarre abduction and mutilation occurs, with eerie similarities to notorious serial killer, Jeffery Dahmer, Patrick is chosen to lead the task force responsible for locating the perpetrator. However, Patrick’s case also happens to have some semblances to a series of deaths FBI ...more
Suspense Magazine
Sep 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Steven James brought us Patrick Bowers in his debut novel “The Pawn” and the series has continued onward, earning Steven rave reviews and many awards along the way. His last book “The Queen” continued the events of Patrick Bowers both professionally and personally, but one thing was always in the back of my mind, how did Patrick get this way?
With many series characters, the author sets you in the middle of their life, leaving the reader to wonder what happened to them in the beginning. Steven
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't know it was about cannabalism.
But I enjoyed it.

At least I managed to finish the audio this time, being prepare for the gory details. While I plan to listen to the rest of the series, I hope I'll be able to follow the story, unlike this prequel - I found it hard to keep track of the investigation and why Ralph, the FBI special agent was there if Bowers was leading the way right to the end. While I got that there were two killer threads interwoven together, I couldn't follow it and at the end of the audio,
Dina Sleiman
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I should start by saying that I'm not the typical thriller reader, but I love all of Steven's novels! For me they are beautifully written forays into difficult psychological and philosophical questions that force me to take a deep look at life and into my true beliefs. This latest offering is the most disturbing and therefore the most challenging of the bunch. My favorite aspect is that while the villains are unbelievably creepy and evil, you also get inside of their heads and see what caused ...more
Gail Welborn
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
***Steven James never disappoints, only gets better and better!***

Steven James, best-selling author of “The Bowers Files” takes readers back to FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers early years in “Opening Moves” the prequel that releases today, Sept 4th. There readers find Bowers working as a homicide detective, ten years before his career as an FBI Special Agent.

James weaves fact and fiction together and uses 1997 Milwaukee, Wisconsin for his setting, just a few years after serial killer Jeffrey
Brittney Condren
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The drama and suspense were epically intoxicating. I think this however, may be the goriest book in the Bowers series. I skipped over a few sentences cause it was a little too real. Lol but the climactic ending was WORTH IT. I'm telling you... when a book makes you sit straight up and almost throw the book you are so psyched... it's a good read. FIVE STARS EASILY
Lisa Johnson
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Title: Opening Moves
Author: Steven James
Pages: 483
Year: 2012
Publisher: Signet Select
If you’ve never read Steven James before, this book should be the first. He does a masterful job of building tension, maintaining suspense, and action. This book is the beginning of his Patrick Bowers series, a prequel if you will. I’ve read all of the other Patrick Bower books, which are great! This one is no exception.
For this story, the reader finds Patrick Bowers as a homicide detective in Milwaukee.
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really, really like Steven James's books. They're extremely well written and full of facts. This book has a lot of true crime mixed into it.

This book was written after the first five books had been released, and I would recommend reading this one before you start The Pawn. Having read the other books, I was almost at a disadvantage because I knew the outcome to the main plotline. But don't get me wrong, this was still an incredible book!

Opening Moves is quite gruesome, more so than the other
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rereads
Opening Moves was just as good the second time reading it! Even though it's only been a couple years since I originally read it, I still had forgotten a lot of the story, so things definitely ended up surprising me again.

I loved seeing how Patrick and Ralph met. It was fun how they interacted with each other and I loved the ending. It made me very eager to pick up The Pawn and continue reading Patrick's story.

Overall, I loved this book. The crimes in Opening Moves are very gruesome and
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love Steven James and I love all his books. This one included. But, this is a very, very hard emotional read. There were many times I sobbed, felt gut wrenching pain and became very nauseous after reading many chapters. This book is very graphic and while good is not for the squeamish.
Many times after reading several chapters I laid in bed and asked God to just wipe us out. The pure evil that people can do just boggles my mind. The flood IMO came too early. But, one the other hand if I think
Deanne Smith
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow. As with the other books in this series, I could hardly put it down! I really enjoyed going back to the beginning of Pat's career and filling in details that were alluded to in the previous books. I now feel like I understand his character more. With this new insight, I now want to reread the series. Maybe I'll get them squeezed in before The King comes out next spring.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING! I couldn't put it down.
Cristina Oliveras
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good read! Chilling and gripping story that keeps you turning the page. Had some true event elements to it which made t that much more chilling.
Elton Menezes
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Back to what makes Steven James amazing, this book revives the beggining of Bowers’ career. After the boring Bishop and the despicable Queen, this is a refreshing crime novel for the series. Can’t wait to read The King.
maria helena
Jul 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Interesting prequel to the series.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
Review on Amazon:
Review on my blog:

I think Opening Moves might be one of Steven James' most chilling and creepy Patrick Bowers book yet (although all of them are creepy in their own way).

I found Opening Moves very interesting and I loved getting to see Patrick Bowers in the way that we do and finding out more about this case (which was mentioned in other Patrick Bowers books).

The story was super suspenseful and
I really do not know how to rate this book. Based on "technical aspects" alone, it is no doubt a "five-star" book, at the minimum. It has great character development [despite two of the "main characters" being so well known/developed in the "subsequent" books], it grips the reader and carries the reader along, it has a crazy narrative, it intermixes "fact" with "fiction" to create a believable blend of reality, it is fast-moving and has some twist-and-turns along the way; it has mystery, action, ...more
WOW! This was a thrilling and gripping book...and also extremely gruesome and chilling! I have never read any of the Patrick Bowers books before and kept hearing great things about them, but since I had read one of this author's other books (Placebo) and didn't care for it all that much I wasn't in a hurry to try this one. I am glad that I finally did - it was so great in a dark and creepy way.

Opening Moves was actually the sixth book written in this series, but it's the prequel and that's why I
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Because this book was written sixth in the series but is actually a prequel to the first book, I was very skeptical of the story. Often I find that prequels tend to be trite, piecing together odd details to try to create a backstory as they go to cover every characteristic they have ever used in the books.

HOWEVER, I was very impressed with this book. There were no gimmicky details that made you grimmace at how obvious they were played out in the other novels. (The one exception being Patrick
Oct 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think prequels are strange. Having read all the other books in the series, and being personally acquainted with the author, I was really anticipating Opening Moves. I was not expecting the historical connections that were presented in the earlier part of the book, but enjoyed getting to know Patrick Bowers a bit earlier in his career...and a couple of other characters that would appear later in the series. The second half of the book was just great as the story progressed....I was trying to ...more
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it

I read the book as I had heard a lot about this series. I picked this book as its a prequel to the 1st book titled Pawn. Patrick Bowers is the main character who is a detective in this series prequel and is looking for a serial killer who is aping other infamous ones in Milwaukee.

The author has to be given credit for his characterization as the main character while being alike to Sherlock Holmes is much more personable. There's also the overall mystery which unlike most serial killer
Aug 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I hate to give this book only three stars, because Steven James is one of my favorite authors. However, I could not finish the book and it had nothing to do with the writing. In fact, the writing was excellent. It was almost too good because yes, it was very descriptive, yes, you felt like you were in the story, and these were my problem. I would love to have finished the book, but it just got to me in a way that no other book of this style ever has. This is my favorite genre, and it causes me ...more
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think this was the best one so far! Not to give too much away but it was nice reading about the case that he refers to so often in the other books. I loved reading about how he met the other characters that we already know from the others. Also, the story being related to famous past serial killers was interesting! I loved it!
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading Steven James' Bower series of books. However, after reading the entire series to date I had eagerly awaited his latest edition not expecting it to be about the characters early career prior to the beginning of the initial book. WTH is that about ; however it was an enjoyable read. Awaiting his next book coming out next year.
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was one of his best books so far. It is a prequel to the Patrick Bowers series but can be read at anytime during the process. The bad guy in this book was downright creepy and his murders were grisly! I loved this book and had a lot of trouble stopping at night.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! Love this series although this one was disturbing. Use of real criminals and discussion of cannibalism makes it too real. However the story is amazing. You never see the twists coming. It also fits nicely as a prequel to the others in this series.
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
James said that he had a difficult time writing this book because he had nightmares about it. He probably should not have written it. The book was dark and had no redeeming benefits. If I had read this first,I wouldn't have read any of his other works.
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Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

His latest novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, is set to release on October 8, 2019.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book EVERY WICKED MAN one of their “Best Books of 2018,” says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.”

Other books in the series

The Patrick Bowers Files (7 books)
  • The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers Files, #1)
  • 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)
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