Book Review - Opening Moves

by Steven James (Signet) ISBN 9780451237767


This prequel is the sixth installment in the Bower Files series. We meet Special Agent Patrick Bowers ten years ago, when he was a Milwaukee homicide detective, still doing his post-graduate studies. A series of strangely familiar incidents occur on his watch, and Bowers is concerned that he may be dealing with a copy-cat serial killer. Someone who is paying homage to some of the most notorious criminals in American history, such as Jeffrey Dahmer who had only been arrested a few years previously.  

With the help of his new FBI friend, Ralph, and Bowers’ killer instincts, they attempt to track down the villain using facts from past grisly crimes such as those committed by Gein, Gacy etc.  A truly chilling and unyielding ride. While the book is macabre, I enjoyed James’ combination of fact and fiction to create a very real and thrilling journey.  Not only do you get to delve deeper into some of the crimes that shocked a nation, but you are astounded by the skills that Bowers employs in a bid to outsmart the individual who is intent on making a statement with his barbaric acts of torture.  

The only disappointment is that James jumps from third person to first person when dealing with Bowers as a character. This slowed down the pace of the story for me as I had to ‘acclimatise’ to the alternating styles with each chapter. A well-written book with an unexpected twist to the plot and enough of a fear factor to get the heart racing. 

Ashleigh Seton-Rogers3/5

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