Bill Garrison's Reviews > The Queen

The Queen by Steven James
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's review
Oct 03, 2011

it was amazing
Read in September, 2011

With THE QUEEN, Stephen James has again demonstrated that he was one of the best suspense writers in America today. In this fifth book of the series, James delivers a novel full of great characters, nail-biting suspense, and great plot twists. This novel easily gets five starts from me. James easily stands out as one of the best thriller writers in the market, HOWEVER, this may just be the worst book in the series. And I'll get to that in a moment.

The novel opens with Patrick Bowers investigating a murder related to his long-time nemesis, Richard Basque, when he gets called away to a snowy Wisconsin farm house where it looks like a man may have killed his wife and daughter, before killing himself. Meanwhile, an environmental terrorist group is making plans to sneak into an abandoned military base. On top of that, a double-crossed good-hearted Russian assassin is out to kill anyone who keeps him from killing Valkyrie (the planner of all this.)

The plot takes place over a few days in a condense setting, which is a change for James. Also, another change is all the family drama. Bowers is raising a teenage stepdaughter, and I've always loved the interaction between him and troubled Tessa. But, Pat's brother, Sean, and his wife, Amber, live in Wisconsin. Pat runs into them while working on the case, and tons of family drama ensues. I don't think it got in the way of my enjoyment of the novel, but this is just a warning that this novel deviates a little from James' standard plotting.

Now, for my complaint, and it’s been growing as the series progresses. It's the James Patterson Villain Syndrome. As great and creative as James is, he can't let a villain die. In this novel, Richard Basque (who's been around since the first book) is totally outside the realm of the actual plot, and the big revelation at the end of its thread is totally pointless. In addition, there are a few more bad guys hanging around from previous novels. As deep and complex these novels are, you'd think James could come up with original villains instead of reusing old ones. Okay, that's my complaint. It doesn't really take away from the enjoyment of the novel, except for when it kind of highlights the incompetence of Bowers and the FBI when they can't catch this Basque character.

THE QUEEN is a Christian novel, meaning it is published by a Christian publisher, doesn't contain any bad language or sex, and it has a good spiritual message. However, it has a lot of violence and evil is realistically portrayed. But THE QUEEN will easily be enjoyed by readers of all types of novels, including by those who don't regularly read Christian fiction.
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