The Bishop by Steven James

by | Aug 5, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 1 comment

Warning – this book might lead to inability to sleep, paranoia, and intense nervousness.

Whew…and you won’t be able to put it down. Seriously. I finished the book in one day. We went on vacation, and while I sat at the pool, sat with the kids while they watched a movie, and even while I cooked supper, I was reading.

And then, I expected to go to sleep? Not happening!

Steven James’ newest Patrick Bowers novel, The Bishop, is more intense and, I think, more complex than the previous ones. His ability to bring the characters to life is dynamic – and the bad guys? Well, you are inside their heads, and it’s a scary place to be.

There were more twists and turns in this book than the best roller coaster, and the action barely paused for a breath. I won’t give away any of the big clues, but I will tell you that I had a great time trying to guess who the murderers were, and solving other little mysteries throughout the book.

I’m serious when I say, this book is NOT for the faint of heart. If you’ve never read a thriller, do NOT start with this book unless you enjoy watching shows like Criminal Minds or CSI. In fact, I think it’s even more intense than either one of those shows.

You are planning the murders along with the villains, and rushing to the rescue with Patrick Bowers. The characterization is clear and the raw emotion palpable.

Steven James also brings out some fabulous theology in the middle of all the thrill. Such as, the truth that within us all is the ability for evil, even the good guys. The thought that apart from divine intervention, any of us could have followed the darker path.

Whew…my heart starts pumping faster just writing this review.

Now, Steven, I’m a  BIG-TIME Cheyenne fan. Just so you know. Even moreso after reading this book. So PLEASE don’t kill her off. Please.

Okay – since I’m writing about how to show instead of ‘tell’ emotions like ANGER – Let’s see an example from The Bishop – chapter 2

Steven James uses internal monologue, dialogue, and physical descripts to ‘show’ Patrick Bowers anger toward a man who was released from prison (and who Patrick believes is guilty)


I edged closer, lowered my voice to a whisper. “I’m going to be watching you, Richard. I know you killed those women. I’m going to find Patricia, and if she’s not the key, I’ll find whatever else I need. Don’t get too comfortable on the outside. You’re going back to your cage.”

He watched me quietly, no doubt hoping to rattle me. I denied him the satisfaction, just studied him with stone eyes.

“Prison is only a state of mind,” he said, playing the role of the unaffected. “But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Coming from him, the words sounded like a mockery of both freedom and God.

A cold and final option occurred to me as I stood here beside him in the secluded corner of the lobby.

                Right now, right now. Take him down. You could end it forever.

Despite myself I felt my hands tightening into fists.

Basque seemed to read my thoughts. “You can feel it, can’t you?” His tongue flicked across the corner of his lips. “I didn’t used to think you were capable of it but now—”

“You have no idea what I’m capable of.”

Something passed across his face. A flicker of fear. And it felt good to see it.

A few seconds is all you need


Available July 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

1 Comment

  1. Jason

    Steven’s writing is so good it actually discourages me in my own writing. I don’t know if I could ever tell a story as well as he does!


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