The Bishop (Patrick Bowers Files Series #4)

The Bishop (Patrick Bowers Files Series #4)

by Steven James


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FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers's cutting-edge 21st-century geospatial investigative techniques and impeccable logic have helped him track some of the country's most grisly killers. But those skills are pushed to the limit in this new installment of the highly-acclaimed, award-winning The Bowers Files series.

This time it's a congressman's daughter who is found dead even as her killers launch a spree of perfect murders in the Northeast. With nothing to link the crimes to each other, Agent Bowers faces his most difficult case yet—even as his personal life begins to crumble around him.

Known for his intricately woven, masterfully plotted novels of high-octane action and spine-tingling suspense, Steven James delivers once again. The Bishop is a gripping, adrenaline-laced story for readers who are tired of timid thrillers. Strap on your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride. The game is on.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800733025
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2010
Series: Patrick Bowers Files Series , #4
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 258,964
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2010 Steven James
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8007-3302-5

Chapter One

Two weeks later

Saturday, May 31 St. Ambrose Church Chicago, Illinois 6:36 p.m.

Dr. Calvin Werjonic's body lay grim and still in a lonely casket at the front of the church. I stood in line, nine people away from him, waiting for my chance to pay my last respects to my friend.

The air in the church tasted of dust and dead hymns.

Having spent six years as a homicide detective and the last nine as an FBI criminologist, I've investigated hundreds of homicides, but I've never been able to look at corpses with clinical objectivity. Every time I see one, I think of the fragility of life. The thin line that separates the living from the dead-the flux of a moment, the breadth of eternity contained in the single delicate beat of a heart.

And I remember the times I've had to tell family members that we'd found their loved ones, but that "their condition had proved to be fatal," that "we'd arrived too late to save them," or that "we'd done all we could but they didn't make it." Carefully worded platitudes to dull the blow.

Platitudes that don't work.

On all too many prime-time crime shows when investigators arrive at a scene and observe the body, they crack jokes about it, prod at it like a piece of meat. Cut to commercial.

But that's not the way it is in real life.

The line eased forward.

Death isn't trite because life isn't, and the day I stop believing that is the day I'll no longer be any good at my job.

Another person stepped away from the casket, and I realized I could see part of Calvin's face, wrinkled and drawn and tired with the years. His skin was colored artificial-Caucasian-white with makeup that was meant to help him look alive again but only served to make him look like a mannequin, a pale replica of the man I'd known.

At seventy-two he'd been twice my age, but that hadn't gotten in the way of our friendship. When we first met, he was my criminology professor; eventually he became my advisor, and by the time I graduated with my doctorate in geospatial investigation, he was one of my closest friends.

He died two days ago after spending ten days in a coma.

A coma he shouldn't have been in.

Though not officially consulting on the case, Calvin had independently started tracking a brutal killer I was looking for in Denver. The man, who called himself Giovanni, had gotten to Calvin, attacked him, drugged him. And after Giovanni was caught-managing to kill two SWAT officers during his apprehension-he refused to tell us what drug he'd used.

Despite the best efforts of the Denver Police and the FBI, we weren't able to extract the information or identify the drug, and since Calvin was already weak from a losing battle with congestive heart failure, he'd passed away.

His condition had proved to be fatal.

We'd arrived too late to save him.

We'd done all we could but he didn't make it.


That don't work.

Three people in front of me.

The line was moving slower than I'd expected, and I glanced at my watch. My seventeen-year-old stepdaughter Tessa was waiting for me in the car. Ever since her mother's funeral last year, death has troubled her deeply, overwhelmed her. So even though she knew Calvin and had wanted to come in, she told me she couldn't. I understood.

We had less than an hour to get to our 7:34 p.m. flight from O'Hare. It would be tight.

Just one person in line.

Before slipping into the coma, Calvin had uncovered a clue that was apparently related to the Giovanni case but also touched on the most famous case of my career-the murder and cannibalism of sixteen women more than a decade ago in the Midwest. The clue: H814b Patricia E.

A psychopath named Richard Devin Basque had originally been convicted of the crimes but had recently been retried right here in Chicago in the light of new DNA analysis, and found not guilty. And now he was free.

I arrived at the casket.

It's a cliché to say that the dead look like they're asleep. It's a way to romanticize death, an attempt to take some of the sting away. If you talk to any law enforcement officer, medical examiner, or forensic scientist they won't talk like that because they know the truth.

The dead don't look like they're sleeping; they look dead. Their bodies stiffening in twisted, blood-soaked ways. Their skin pasty and gray, sloughing off the corpse, or clinging to it in rotting, reeking patches. Sometimes their skin is twitching and moving because of a thick undercurrent of squirming insects inside the body.

There's no mistaking death for sleep.

So now, I saw Calvin's forever-closed lips. His quiet eyes. The makeup that's meant to hide the wrinkles and the evidence of his deterioration.

The truth of life is so harsh, so brutal, that we do everything we can to ignore it: we are born, we struggle, we endure, we die, and there's nothing left to show we were ever here but a few ripples, a few possessions that the people left behind squabble over, and then everyone moves on.

Dust to dust.

Ashes to ashes.

The grim poetry of existence.

I placed a hand on the cool, smooth wood of the casket.

Earlier, I'd promised myself that I wouldn't cry, but as I thought of Calvin's life and all that it had meant to so many people, I felt my eyes burning.

I stepped away.

Aiming for the lobby, I eased past the other mourners, nodding to some of them, laying a gentle hand on an elbow or shoulder to comfort family members or friends as I headed toward the door.

As I passed through the door I found that the lights in the lobby had been dimmed and it appeared vacant, but as I neared the exit I heard a man call my name.

He was standing half hidden in the shadows, lingering near the roped-off steps to the balcony. His face was shrouded, but I recognized the voice and felt a surge of anger as I realized who he was-the man I'd found thirteen years ago with the scalpel in his hand, bent over his final victim, the man a Chicago jury had acquitted last month.

Richard Devin Basque.


Excerpted from THE BISHOP by STEVEN JAMES Copyright © 2010 by Steven James. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Bishop: The Bowers Files 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 237 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of CSI or 24, then this book series is a definite must! I received Steven James' first book "The Pawn" free from Barnes & Noble on my Nook...not knowing what it was. As soon as I read the first few pages I was hooked! Fast paced, great story lines, detail and intrigue, and always a surprise ending, this is suspense/mystery writing at it's best. I will say the only negative comment I have is that the vocabulary in these books can really stretch a person. Many times when he is talking about strategies, or philosophy, or research based materials, it could get hard to follow. I understood the general idea, but there was a lot of "big" words used...especially in this last book. However, it did not take away from the story and James was careful not to stay in those moments too long. I did learn quite a bit about the world of criminology and how so many different agencies play parts in solving crimes. The story lines are great... the relationships are so real and down to earth...easy to relate to. I appreciate the author keeping his books clear of 'X' rated materials and just letting us feel the tension, passion between two people. It makes this book more appealing to a wider audience and I can genuinely recommend it to all my friends without worrying about if it will offend someone. I look forward to the next one coming this summer!
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I was blown away last year when I read THE KNIGHT by Steven James and have been looking forward this book since then. Of course by the time I started reading it I had read over 200 other books so I was a little hazy on the details. Not to worry, Steven does a great job of bringing it all right back and more. I suddenly remembered why I loved the THE KNIGHT so much - Steven James is a brilliant writer! His characters explode off the page while his storylines are unbelievably believable and the suspense and tension in the books are amazingly gripping. I settled in for this really long book to take me all weekend - I finished it in a 24 hour time frame, I couldn't put it down. His books are not for the faint hearted, there is a distinct Ted Dekker feel to some of the more descriptive scenes, while his subject matter can be very intellectual, in this book there is a lot on primate research and stuff like that. I was thoroughly engrossed in this book from start to finish and was sorry to see it finish. The good news, there will be more Patrick Bowers. The bad news, not until 2011.
Suspensemag More than 1 year ago
A literary chameleon, Steven James cannot be confined to one sub-genre within the thriller world. With his latest installment to the extremely popular Patrick Bowers series, "The Bishop", James instantly captures the attention and imagination of his fans as this segment takes an unexpected political turn. FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers has returned to Quantico and a full summer schedule of teaching. Settling in with his stepdaughter Tessa is relatively uncomplicated and his hope of a quiet summer initially appears to be a reachable goal. Unfortunately, the criminal mind never rests and when the body of a prominent congressman's daughter is discovered in a revolting setting, Bowers is compelled to ride this unexpected journey through as he struggles to fit the surprising clues together. When his stepdaughter's father returns to the scene with more than a long distance relationship in mind, Bowers needs to make a choice between focusing on his fragile personal life or career. As each intricate layer is shed, readers won't be able to put this smartly-written thriller down. Bowers and each startling turn are mentally stimulating. Reviewed by Shannon Raab with Suspense Magazine
neisy alvernia More than 1 year ago
I was hooked from the very begining. Read all 4. Cant wait for the queen #5
Kitcatbar More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I read from the series, and was still able to follow it very well. The plot is exceptionally well-written, and thorough. The beginning and end, however, I felt, was choppy and not as great as I had expected, and the end was a bit anti-climatic. All in all, though, I would recommend this to anyone who likes psychological thrillers.
Lindacat More than 1 year ago
I don't know how I missed this series but after reading THE BISHOP I will be quickly getting up to date. Steven James can certainly tell a story and hardly a page goes by that is not riveting. Another attribute I like is that he has written a series much as the tv series CRIMINAL MINDS but includes along the way very interesting items on the motivation and the psychology behind criminal behavior as well as what lies within everyone. Intelligent thriller that keeps steaming even at more than 500 pages. Would have been even better had I started at the beginning of the Patrick Bowers series. Great on it's own but much is carried over from earlier novels. Starting # 1, THE PAWN next will be my next read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series gets better with each book!
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
The Bishop by Steven James is the fourth book in the Patrick Bowers series. FBI agent and geospatial specialist Patrick Bowers returns with stepdaughter Tessa to track down a new killer who is framing innocent people for his crimes. Tessa's biological father makes a play for custody and Patrick finds that working with former girlfriend Lien-hua makes this case even more fraught with danger. James is an incredibly intelligent author who creates terrifyingly demented antagonists who Patrick has to stay one step ahead of in order to keep those he loves safe. Some old characters pop up, stretching Patrick to his limits. James also makes insightful commentary on contemporary issues through his characters. In another author's hands, these could weigh the book down or slow the action, but James keeps the action thrilling and the story moving. There's something for every fan of police procedurals: inter-agency conflict, terrifying villains, complex crimes, a romantic triangle, and family drama. I don't think 500 pages have ever flown by so quickly.
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
I waited and waited and waited for the release of Stephen James' next novel and The Bishop did not disappoint. This is the perfect book for people who like a gritty, forensic serial killer type of book. The one caveat I have to put on it is that if you can't handle gruesome murder scenes, either skip those pages or the book. But Patrick Bowers and many characters are back from earlier books with all the many layers to the book that involves. Finding the killers is still the driving force of the book, but there is so much else going on the book has a richness I love. It also moves quickly through the 500+ pages -- I finished it in 24 hours. And even though I anticipated a couple of the twists, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Steven James is a master of taking a basic plot and twisting it up with so many knots and layers that as a reader I am compelled to keep reading. I can't wait for the next book because I see a large confrontation looming. So if you like books like Lisa Gardner's FBI forensic series, you will thoroughly enjoy this book and series.
LisaLickel0 More than 1 year ago
Move over, ghost of Robert Ludlum! Meet Steven James, who has published a number of novels which are new to me. In The Bishop, fourth in the Bowers files series, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called upon to use his keen wit to unravel a serial killer's path of morbid and unusually cruel murders. Seemingly unrelated, Bowers and his team, which includes not one but two love interests, must put all the puzzle pieces together to reveal the pattern of death and stop the killers. In a horrifyingly depraved game, killers who met by random on an Internet virtual game site meet in real life and embark upon a crazed lifestyle that has both the reader and the partners guessing who is truly controlling the stakes. Throughout the case, the mess of innumerable investigative agencies collect evidence in an attempt to outdo each other and solve the case of the senator's brutally murdered daughter; a senator who proposed cutting the budgets and reducing the numbers of federal, overlapping investigative agencies. If Bowers, widowed less than a year, hasn't enough on his plate with this case and a messed-up personal life to deal with, his seventeen-year-old exceptionally wise step-daughter learned the truth about her parentage and demanded to meet her father who now sues Bowers for custody. Family or Crucial Work? Bowers manages his choices with aplomb. There can be a fine line to cross in inspirational suspense. How to make fans of gripping reality thriller cop fiction accept a faith-based work can be almost impossible. Indeed, the only professing Christian in this book was a side character, but she made her case, and the crime was an ethical one, which had everybody questioning morality. While the murders and by-play were brutal and occasionally described graphically, James never went overboard into the truly gross and managed to tell a rocking-good story without resorting to vile language or scenes. Excellent research without mind-numbing detail. James explains his motivation for his style in his blog. Although this is the fourth of the series, and it does stand alone, enough teasers about earlier books has led me to add the others to my "buy" list and permanent shelves. WARNING: This book contains violence and graphic descriptions of disturbing crime scenes. It takes the reader inside the minds of psychopathic killers. Lisa Lickel author of Meander Scar: a novel
VicG More than 1 year ago
Steven James in his new book, "The Bishop" Book Four in the Patrick Bowers series published by Revell brings us to Washington, D.C. for this installment of serial killer rampage. While this is fourth in the series it can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone with no knowledge of what has come before. Agent Lien-hua Jiang, the love interest from books one and two is back and so is Detective Cheyenne Warren, the love interest from book three and they are both working together with Patrick on this case. Tessa, Patrick's stepdaughter, doesn't seem to be so annoying anymore; either I am getting used to her or she is maturing. Things do heat up in Washington as they have to deal with Paul Lansing, Tessa's biological father. Before this sounds like a soap opera I should mention that there are a pair of serial killers on the loose and, once again, Patrick Bowers seems to be in the bulls eye. Once again these individuals are not who they really are and the game is to try to find their real identities before they are revealed. Good luck with that. Steven James loads his high octane thriller with so much misinformation and deceit that it takes a lot of concentration just to keep your head above water. The book races along at lightening speed and all the characters are put their paces trying to solve this homicide spree and catch this murderous couple. Mr. James does just not write about evil to magnify it; no, he writes about evil to show how it can be fought, contained and triumphed over. He writes about the beauty of relationships and the rewards that come from true, real ones. He writes about a God who saw the need of humanity and came down and rescued us from our own mess. This, along with serial killers, is what you get with a Steven James Patrick Bowers mystery. I am glad I found him and look forward to next years offering of The Queen. To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." "Available August 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
GiovanniG More than 1 year ago
I really don't know where to start with my thoughts on this novel. The Bishop is my first Steven James novel but it certainly will not be my last. I was totally stunned by his creativity and his ability to weave elements of Christianity into his plotlines and characters' thought process. The novel has more twists and turns than a double helix recumbent DNA molecule. I think I got that right, don't hold me to it; you get my drift. There is a lot of science in the novel; I was just trying to go with the flow. Oh yeah, I was trying to explain my inability to have a cohesive thought process about my enjoyment of this novel. Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group, has a very nice stable of authors penning material that is both relevant and thought provoking. Steven James is an incredible storyteller, and for me, pegging this novel as a thriller doesn't place it in a proper light. The plotlines are real and engrossing. The characters are crafted in a manner that helps us develop an attachment to them. His humor is on point and timely, and James doesn't stray too far either way in his opinions and beliefs. The messages and underlining themes are strong and empowering. To bring all this off is a testament to his skill and ability. I am a believer, and you can bank on The Bishop being in my top ten for the summer period. FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers is a fantastic character and his compadres are a great supporting cast. All kidding aside, if you are looking for a novel that is going to take you on a ride, think a little bit and enjoy it, be challenged and just flat out go for a nice rollercoaster ride, then The Bishop is for you. Mundane, ordinary, unimaginative are not words I think anyone can use to describe this novel. What is your favorite Steven James novel in this series? There is also The Pawn, The Rook & The Knight. What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, Book Blogs, and also look for our posts on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and the Bucks County Library System. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati's Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; we will see you tomorrow. Have a great day.
AAR More than 1 year ago
THE BISHOP by Steven James is a thriller/suspense. It is a Patrick Bowers Thriller. The Bower's files series, but can be read as a stand alone. It is set in modern day Washington, DC and Chicago, Illinois. It has criminology, FBI, diabolical murder, mayhem, betrayal, suspense, action packed, twists and turns and family conflicts. It is a thriller ride from beginning to end. The characters are engaging, intelligent, manipulative, and some all around diabolical and pure evil. Patrick Bowers is a cutting edge, best in the field of criminology, FBI Special Agent. He is called in to investigate a brutal murder of a women in Washington, DC. He soon learns there is much more to this than meets the eye. There are a hole whole host of characters each with stories of their own including the killer(s). This is a to be continued but is an in engaging thriller. As one story comes to an end another one is just beginning. I would recommend if you enjoy murder, suspense, and thriller. This book was received for review and details can be found at Revell and My Book Addiction and More.
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Bishop was the first book I had read by Steven James, although it is the fourth book in the Patrick Bowers thriller series.Although previous cases and players are mentioned in the beginning, I was able to easily 'catch up'. The book opens with a pair of killers committing a horrific crime. They have a detailed plan to continue their 'game.' FBI Special Agent Bowers and his team are called in.Bowes' speciality is fascinating - he consults with the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for the FBI. "Using the locations related to serial offenses and sttudying the timing, location, and progression of the crimes, we can work backward to find the most likely location of the offender's home base." The degree to which this was used was intriguing.I liked Bowers as a character. He's introspective, intelligent, confident yet fallible. He is the sole guardian of his step daughter Tessa. Their relationship is a work in progress. Tessa herself is just as interesting as Bowers. She's highly intelligent and it is some of her reveries that spur truly thought provoking. philosophical conversations between many of the characters. Good vs evil, what separates man from beast, is evil predetermined, pre emptive justice and more. James has produced some incredible chilling characters in the killers. The main plot is intelligent and carefully crafted, drawing on cutting edge technology and news. Read carefully though as there are twists and turns just when you think you know where the story is going. There are many sub plots playing out at the same time - political machinations and Bowers' love life. Lots of foreshadowing had me reading 'just one more chapter' and I found myself sneaking a peak a few pages ahead more than once.The Bishop is put out by a publisher that focuses mainly on Christian books and authors. The plot of The Bishop is not for the faint at heart. It is violent and would be disturbing to many readers. How can these two jibe? From the author:'In my books I want people to look honestly at what our world is like, both the good and the evil. The evil in my books is not senseless; people¿s lives are treated as precious and I want my readers to hurt when an innocent life is taken. The only way to do that is to let them see it on the page and then reflect on its meaning.I think that an effective way of dissuading someone from doing something is to make them see it as deeply disturbing. And the only way to make people disturbed by evil is to show it to them as what it really is. I believe that including graphic material within the broader context of a redemptive story, just as the Bible does, is appropriate when trying to reveal the truth about human nature and our relationship with the Divine. I believe that the Bible includes graphic material to show how far we as a race can fall, and how far God came to rescue us from ourselves. That's what I hope to do in my novels as well."All in all, a great thriller. Following a chess theme, The Queen, the next in the series is due out in the summer of 2011. I'll be picking it up.
ReviewsbyMolly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm going to start this review off with a small complaint: this is book 4 and now I want all the others in the Patrick Bowers series! Other than small minor complaint, I LOVED this suspense novel. Steven James' writing style is astronomical! I was instantly captured and reminded of James Patterson thrills with Alex Cross mystery. WOW! From the start I was pulling into the twists and turns of amazing crime solving suspense. It was a feeling of HAVING and NEEDING to know RIGHT NOW what happens next. This was by far THE BEST suspense novel I've read. Patrick Bowers was a wonderful character full of depth and intensity. His love for his job and his stepdaughter was phenomenal! The spiritual messages are are strong through out the intense story. The differences between good and evil are portrayed perfectly through the characters and the plot. Patrick Bowers is most definitely the Alex Cross of the Christian genre! It takes the best of the best to top suspense king James Patterson in any genre and that's exactly what Steven James did by ten million percent! So, I'm sure by my review you can guess that I want to give this 5 star book so many more stars than simply 5! The intensity of edge-of-your-seat emotions is worthy of recommendation-hands down-to everyone! I can't wait for 2011 and the release of book 5-The Queen!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
luvbooks15 More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable series, once you start to read about Patrick Bowers, you can't wait to get the next book!
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Sully52 More than 1 year ago
Each book gets better and better!!!! What will the ending HOLD????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Iwrite05 More than 1 year ago
Wow - amazing book! The constant twists and turns really kept my attention! The backdrop of what the FBI goes through with these types of cases was eye-opening and very educational! Didn't want to put it down.  I have purchased his whole series and am now reading The Pawn.  IwriteO5