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The Rook (Patrick Bowers Files Series #2)

The Rook (Patrick Bowers Files Series #2)

4.3 342
by Steven James

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An arsonist has struck a top-secret research facility at a key US naval base. But it's not just a random terrorist attack. These people were after something specific. When Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to investigate, he is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue and deception. With his own criminology research being turned against him and one of the


An arsonist has struck a top-secret research facility at a key US naval base. But it's not just a random terrorist attack. These people were after something specific. When Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to investigate, he is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue and deception. With his own criminology research being turned against him and one of the world's most deadly devices missing, Bowers is caught up in a race against time to stop an international assassin before it's too late.
Full of fast-paced action and mind-bending plot twists, The Rook is an adrenaline-laced page-turner that will keep readers up all night. Book 2 in the Bowers Files, this riveting look into the criminal mind is the perfect follow-up to James's well-reviewed The Pawn.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sophomore slump? Fuhgeddaboutit. In his second thriller about FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers, James delivers the caffeinated plot twists and intriguing characterizations that made The Pawn a welcome addition to the suspense genre. In this installment, Bowers is called to San Diego to investigate a rash of fires, but he begins to suspect that a seemingly random kidnapping and suicide may be related to the arson attacks. As Bowers digs deeper, he uncovers a chilling biotech conspiracy. Fans of CSI and Law & Order will enjoy the police work and forensics, but this jacked-up read feels more like an explosive episode of 24; ita's a wild ride with a shocking conclusion. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Patrick Bowers Files Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.46(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.23(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including Story, A Heart Exposed, and the bestselling Patrick Bowers thriller series. He is considered one of the nation's most innovative storytellers and versatile authors, and is a contributing editor to Writer's Digest. Steven lives in Tennessee with his wife and three daughters.

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The Rook (Patrick Bowers Files Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 344 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As The Pawn ends, FBI agent Patrick Bowers is learning how to be a dad to his angst-filled step-daughter and recovering from a serial killer's too-close-for-comfort interest in his family. The Rook begins in ever-beautiful San Diego, California, where Bowers and Raven are enjoying some much needed time together. Both are working hard to navigate these new 'family' waters without treading on toes, Bowers being happy to not have cases going on. But the cases find him. An arsonist case demands Bowers expertise in geo-spatial investigative work and before long Bowers in the midst of one of the most difficult and deeply personal cases of his life. His budding relationships with Raven and Agent Lien-hua teeter on the edge of breaking apart as Bowers deals with his own personal demons. Through these experiences Bowers must learn how to relate to those he cares about and those he would rather see dead. The reader will find this book difficult to put down. Until they finish it work and school might seem a little dull and any number of daily experiences will begin to take on an air of importance as they wonder how someone like Bowers or Lien-hua would handle themselves. One gets interested in the characters, even the conversations, and finds themselves wondering why the characters would not say or do something that seems relationally smart in that instance. Steven James does a wonderful job of giving the reader the vantage point of one observing from the outside and yet right in the thick of things. Your library would not be complete without this continuation of a promising saga of books by Steven James!
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
If you have the read the first book the series, The Pawn, then you know what to expect with this book. So you know you're going to stay up late trying to finish this, getting deliciously freaked out while you read it. It is not as gory as the first book. There are still many intense situations that will make you want to keep the lights on. The main villain though, while you want to scream at because you're so disgusted by him, is not as creepy as the villains in the first book. Interestingly, while there are times you want to hurt this villain according to the storyline, you can't. It's makes your mind boggle to think that.

It's a scary book, scary because it's painstakingly real. There are situations happening like this every day in the world. This is edgy Christian fiction at its best. We don't want to read about things that will make us uncomfortable and boy does this book make you feel that way! Beware this series is NOT for those who have weak stomachs or are expecting a light, airy read. There's actually not much, if any, mention of Jesus or Christianity in the books. However the battle between good and evil is strongly present throughout the entire book. I love seeing the characters grow in each book. Tessa wasn't my favorite person but she is growing on me. I am looking forward to reading more about Patrick and Lien-hua's growing relationship.

If you are trying to get a guy to read, this is the book to give to him. Non stop action, suspense, gore. I would not want to see this made into a movie because I'd be too scared to watch! This really is one of the best thrillers I have ever read. I really hope this book gets more mainstream attention because it has everything (and better writing!) that the NYT bestsellers have without having to resort to unnecessary sex or swearing. I cannot wait to read the final book in the series when it comes out next year. VERY HIGHLY recommended.
YodaBee More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I got hooked on the Pawn, then was very eager to read the Rook. It was a good, interesting read that kept you turning the pages right up until you regretfully finished it. It is not scary. It is not gory. With no foul language, you aren't jarred out of the story. I had been reading James Rollins before this, and I have to say Steven James is just as good.
cat-tales More than 1 year ago
Like his first book, The Pawn, this novel is riveting! It is a book you don't want to put down until you reach the ending. Multi-plots and very intense at times. Well worth purchasing and reading.
nancymitchell More than 1 year ago
Patrick Bowers is on a case, one which involves a serial arsonist. When he stumbles across a crazy homeless man committing suicide, Patrick knows there is more to the incident than meets the eye. Clues lead to an aquarium, shark research, and stolen technology. Patrick is also trying to build a relationship with his teenage stepdaughter. Between girl and woman, she searches for freedom but makes unwise, youthful choices that force Patrick to keep a watchful eye. Including Tessa in helping with the investigation gives the storyline even more of a challenge. Wonderful characters!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In San Diego, FBI Special Agents Patrick Bowers and Lien-hua Jiang investigate several suspicious fires in conjunction with the San Diego metro Arson Strike team (MAST). The latest at a naval research center is a change in M.O. but the agents believe the work is by the same perpetrator who does not act like a terrorist, a thrill seeker, or covering a crime until the last one was committed. A geo-spatial profiler with a great success record, Pat begins to theorize that the earlier arsons were practice for something in the lab. The two Feds soon connect dots from the fire to an abduction, an apparent suicide that looks suspiciously more like a homicide and something called Project Rukh. Behind the scenes is a grandmaster playing everyone including Bowers, his rebellious stepdaughter Tessa, Jiang, and others like a virtuosos moving pawns to do Shade's bidding. The sequel to the Pawn is a terrific FBI police procedural with a strong cast including a nasty brilliant villain who makes every move like a chess grandmaster. Tessa helps personalize Pat as each mourns the loss of her mom, his wife one year ago. With some humor adding to the fun of a strong thriller filled with a myriad of story lines that at times feel as if several chess games were going on at once until they converge, fans will relish the exciting action-packed yet character driven the Rook as Pat explains the true importance of profiling to the audience. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read The Pawn that he wrote and liked it so much, bought The Rook to read. Wasn't disappointed at all and look forward to reading his next two in the series. I'm hooked and recommended to friends that are now reading the series as well.
kitty68 More than 1 year ago
Just as good as the first one.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
I'm a wimp, so I usually steer clear of thriller books. However I definitely loved this one, even though I may not sleep so well tonight. There are no graphic sex scenes. There is no profanity. There's just a beautifully written, edgy, scary thriller. How refreshing!

The characters are believable. They're not perfect; rather, they're flawed, just like you and me. Since the loss of his wife, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers struggles with Tessa, his independent stepdaughter. Tessa an intelligent seventeen year-old is a handful and a good sub-plot involves her antics. She's brilliant, and at one point presents a comparison/contrast of Edgar Allan Poe's Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. That discussion, in and of itself is intriguing enough to warrant the purchase price.

The author's research is amazing. The reader is introduced to technological weaponry, the study of sharks, and Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis (CIPA) a rare disorder in which the afflicted feels no pain--ever. All of this is set in San Diego, where Bowers has been called in to investigate a series of fires. However, more evil takes place, and I can say no more.

If you usually figure out the ending, I think this one will give you the challenge you've been looking for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As in The Pawn, The Rook finds FBI geographic profiler Patrick Bowers hot on a serial case, this one seemingly involving only arson. But before long the stakes ratchet up to include kidnapping, suicide, murder, taunting video tapes, a challenging deadline, and a serial killer of surprising identity. And fueling it all is a biotech weapon, one of the world¿s most deadly devices and one of the military¿s darkest secrets. I want to give you more specifics about the plot, but I am forcing myself to stop here as I don¿t want to ruin the page turning surprises you will encounter in this almost five hundred page thrill ride. Bestselling author, Steven James has mastered the thriller, and with only two fiction books under his belt, has surpassed many of the big name thriller authors. Clearly James understands the concept of the BIG novel as in both The Pawn and The Rook, you couldn¿t ask for a more aggressive, big, and I mean really big plot. As a writer I admire his ability to think on such a high level, his unique plot lines, and his diligent research. Equally important as the race to the end plot are the characters James has richly developed. My favorite parts of the book involve the interplay between Tessa and Patrick. James gave us a glimpse of this tumultuous relationship in The Pawn, but in The Rook, Tessa is more of a starring player. James has captured the wit, sarcasm, and emotions of a teenager, though I have to say, Tessa like everything else in this book is not what she seems on the surface. I am one of the plethora of readers who loved The Pawn, but before I read The Rook I had the chance to sit down with Steven James for an interview. As the book unfolded and the plot built, I kept remembering what he told me in the interview¿all the technology he expertly used in The Rook exists today and all that is left is for someone to put it together and make the weapon. Wow, did this up the thrill of reading the book for me. And hopefully it will for you as you listen to my interview with Steven James at my site The Suspense Zone
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Sully52 More than 1 year ago
OMG!! Couldn't put the book down. We pass the books around at work then discuss them and everyone is anticipating the KING!! Can't wait to see what transpires at the very end!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Patrick Bowers is likable, his crime solving methodology is interesting, and the plot moves forward at a nice pace. A recent widower, his attraction to another FBI agent seems unlikely. Moreover, his angst filled teenage step-daughter's approval of this relationship seems far fetched. I did not like the step-daughter or female FBI agent, and felt they added nothing to the storyline.
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goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
Another winner!!! Great characters, great story and very hard to put down. Highly recommend.
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