The Queen is the fifth in a gripping series of thrillers by author and storyteller Steven James. The Bowers Files, as the series is known, features Patrick Bowers, an FBI agent specializing in geographic profiling.
Several of the other books in this series have been reviewed here, including The Bishop and The Knight. In The Queen, we see Patrick dividing his efforts between two cases, one involving a serial killer that is out of prison after only thirteen years due to a judicial mishap, and the other a man who has gone missing while his wife and daughter lay murdered in their home.
Amidst all of this, these cases have taken Patrick right to the doorstep of his brother Sean, with whom he has had a strained and distant relationship for many years, and Sean’s wife Amber. His stepdaughter Tessa is also nearby, having just finished winter session for prospective students at the university.
James’ books have all the hallmarks of great psychological thrillers, including layers of intrigue, conspiracies, and plenty of plot twists and turns along the way. He draws his readers in even further with truly believable characters and the exploration of deeper issues such as love and forgiveness and faith, such as in this dialogue between Patrick and his fellow agent/girlfriend Lien-hua:
Lien-hua: To find out what lies at the core of someone’s personality, you need to know more than what he wants.
Patrick: What he loves?
P: Dreams of?
She shook her head.
P: Then what?
L: What he regrets. Only when you know what someone most deeply regrets will you know what matters to him most.
And Patrick’s conclusion from this conversation: “We run from the past and it chases us; we dive into urgency but nothing deep is ultimately healed.” Or, as Tessa had put it earlier, “Denial is too cheap a cure.”
If you are a fan of suspenseful yet thoughtful books, The Queen (as well as the rest of the series) is definitely worth the read.
Trish loves a good mystery, even if it keeps her up too late at night! She blogs about books and other things at In So Many Words.
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