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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Heart of Gold

by J.R. Ward, writing as Jessica Bird (Signet) ISBN 9780451237583 

J.R Ward is well known for sexy paranormal and police thrillers, but as Jessica Bird she writes contemporary romances set against authentically American backgrounds.  

In Heart of Gold, she delivers an exhilarating romantic adventure, lashed with humour, raunchiness and good old-fashioned fun. 

Carter is a female Indiana Jones, an archaeologist searching for hidden gold in the majestic Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. She runs into Nick Farrell, a jaw-droppingly handsome alpha male financier who doesn’t take to her trespassing on his family land. Together, they are swept up into an adventure—a Romancing the Stone kind of escapist story told in a Mills and Boon paint-by-numbers fashion. 

While the reader may want to see the subplots fleshed out and a few less clichés, the ending packs a punch. Heart of Gold is a well-written, entertaining and fun romance. Perfect for the beach. 

Anthony Ehlers

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