Friday, September 20, 2013

Steven James' The King - Anticipation Reading

Friday Book Review – the Anticipation Read

The King, Steven James
ISBN: 978-0451239785
Publisher – Signet Select
Date – July 2013
Price $7.99 ebook  $8.99 pbook

I am putting this out here first: I bought and read The King, mistakenly thinking it was the end of the series. Anyone else have that experience? It’s kind of a gasp and a slap, along with your chess pie, isn’t it? But in this case, I slapped myself.

From the publisher:
FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers has matched wits with some of the most violent serial killers in history—and one of them has never forgiven him....

Patrick Bowers has pursued the nation’s fiercest serial killers—and now one elusive foe is back for revenge.

Settling into a new post at the FBI academy, Patrick and his fiancée, Lien-hua Jiang, are planning their future together with his stepdaughter, Tessa.

But just when his life seems normal, a demon from the past returns to draw him down a dark road he hoped had closed forever. Forced into a desperate hunt to save the two women he loves most, Patrick is in a race against time to stop an international conspiracy from becoming the most widespread act of terrorism in U.S. history.

See Kevin's review of The Pawn here.

My review:
Not the last of a series, and I should have realized this right away, I read the book thinking that Bowers was at last going to solve the case that began in Milwaukee all those years ago. About the time I realized I was mistaken, I was both relieved and disappointed. The experience made me think about how I read, as well as my choices of reading material.

As a book reviewer, I am offered a pretty wide array of books and genres. Yes, it’s still my choice whether to accept one or not, in any particular genre, but I like to help out others, network, and hope others will be willing to review for me sometime. Unfortunately, being asked to review, most of the time, feels like work, even with material I normally enjoy. I consider it a treat to “pig out” with authors I’ve come to call favorites, and Steven James is one of them. How did I find out about his books? I was asked to review of the Patrick Bowers books, mid-series, by his then-publisher.

In The King, Bowers and his fiancé, Lien-hua, are getting close to their wedding date; Patrick’s stepdaughter, Tessa, is getting ready to graduate from high school, and bodies are still showing up in unusual places. Bowers’s nemesis, cannibal Richard Basque, is still taunting, and a companion killer we met in an earlier book is on the loose threatening the world’s psychological drug supply in an effort to weaken and then take control of governments when he shows he can manipulate government leaders’ family members. It’s a stretch, but it does come together nicely by the time the reader realizes that Checkmate hasn’t happened between Bowers and Basque.

Lien-hua plays an important role; I was glad to see this, but because I thought this was the last book, thought for sure her character was toast, ala James Bond trying to get married.  Perceptions, right? And this isn’t the end. Yet.

I am very excited to read Checkmate, which is scheduled for release in summer of 2014. I already have books from, but haven’t started, his new series featuring magician Jevin Banks, who is briefly mentioned in The King.

How do you approach books? Do you read with a certain mindset when you pick up a favorite, or do you just gobble books for recreation, then forget about them after The End?
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