The Rook, by Steven James

Dear Reader,
In a number of earlier posts, called “Book Reviews,” I told you about books I’d read. But, as has recently come to my attention, I’m not a book critic. I never reviewed a book I didn’t like. Why slam another author? Besides, calling my posts “reviews” sounds a little pretentious, like I’m some kind of expert.

Hah. I just want to share, friend to friend, books that I think you’d enjoy.

So, I’m taking my proverbial nose out of the air and will think of these posts as book recommendations. You can find them under the Category “Great Weekend Reads!” in the sidebar.

With that in mind, here’s my latest…

james-the-rookI picked up this book because I’d registered for a novel writers’ workshop led by Steven James, and wanted to make sure he knew what he was talking about. I mean, he’s a national bestselling author and all, but what kind of writer was he?

Wowzer.

James’s suspense thriller opens with a creepy scene, told from a seriously creepy character’s point of view. Soft-hearted sap that I am, I almost didn’t read any further, but I figured I’d better know what I was getting into. At least I’d give James a chance to introduce me to the protagonist.

That protagonist, Special Agent Patrick Bowers, totally drew me in. His off-the-wall ways of investigating bizarre, seemingly unrelated incidents led to a growing suspicion that Seriously Creepy Character was connected to something waaaay bigger than his own creepiness.

A recent widower, Bowers’ relationship with his stepdaughter, Tessa, is hampered by grief and insecurity on both their parts. His drive to parent and protect Tessa gives the story heart, even as the intense action and jaw-dropping twists kept my own heart pounding.

One thing I especially like is that this book, the second in a series, works perfectly well as a standalone story. James doesn’t load it down with backstory, just a few hints here and there that Bowers has some history with the antagonist.

If you like intense tales of truly decent good guys fighting truly evil bad guys, complete with stunning endings, then read The Rook. I think you’ll agree that this story qualifies for my “Great Weekend Reads” list.

Better yet, read the whole series. I plan to.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find a copy of Book 1, The Pawn.

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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