On long trips I really enjoy listening to books. I prefer thrillers because they keep me awake, especially during night time driving.
The opening scene of this book gripped me and I found myself a little nauseated. I’m not sure if it was due to the lack of food in my stomach and some motion sickness or if it was the details of what was being read out loud. I think it was a little of both.
This book is dark. Thankfully it is not sexually dark though. The characters are also very well developed. Towards the middle of the book, I thought I had figured everything out, but found that I was way off. I love it when I am wrong in murder mystery thrillers! I really think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I had read the book myself instead of listening to it on audio. I didn’t like the voice of the reader and Agent Bowers sounded a little whiny for my taste, but I really think it was the voice of the reader that didn’t help me like this character. The nasally voice given to the villain also didn’t help in making him sound particularly chilling. I think I would have used a better voice for both characters using my own imagination, and probably would have been more scared.
This being said, the twists at the end were great! I actually gasped when it was all figured out! I had no clue! The author, Mr. Steven James, did an excellent job in leading me exactly where he wanted. I usually try to avoid being led when I read a mystery, but rest assured I was led and I enjoyed every minute of it!
Recommendation: I recommend this book to the mystery and thriller readers. If you like series, this would be a good one to start. I read that that there are 7 books in all, and each book has a title of a chess piece. The series ends with the book titled “Checkmate”.
To the Christian: I was pleasantly surprised to hear that this book was written by a professed Christian. I believe that Christians should be good at whatever secular work they do. There is a quote that was attributed to Martin Luther, but may not have been him after all, but either way it is good nonetheless that says: “The Christian shoemaker does his Christian duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” In other words, whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord (Col. 3:23). The book does not contain any cuss words and neither is it overtly sexual. There is a lot left to the imagination, and that is what I think makes for a good book or even a good movie. The mind can conjure up so much if it is allowed to. It is an art to lead the reader/watcher through a scene and then turn off the “lights” leaving them to imagine the unimaginable all on their own. Mr. James does this superbly. There is a roughneck character that cusses every other word, but Mr. James does not write down a single word. There are sex scenes, but Mr. James describes not a single one. He writes very well and I believe does not violate his conscience even though he writes about some horrifying villains. Because of the violence, I would only allow my adult children to read this book.