The Rook - Steven James
Firstly, I must say that because of this series, Steven James has just become one of my favourite authors. There is currently no better crime fiction/mystery author in my opinion.

The Rook is the second installment in a series of crime fiction/thriller/mysteries where FBI Criminologist, Patric Bowers, tracks down serial murderers (or should I say they track him down?) It follows The Pawn, and precedes The Knight and the upcoming The Bishop.

This book is slowish (but not tedious) for the first half... but for good reason. The plot is complex (and the twists thick and fast towards the climax), and a good portion of the story needed to be used for laying the foundation. I totally forgive James for this, and actually appreciate the anticipation it conjured.

Whereas portions of Book 1: The Pawn were very disturbing (read review here), it seems as though the violence, and grizzly descriptions are intentionally toned down in this sequel. Non-squeamish readers beware though... I'm currently reading book 3: The Knight and I have to say that The Rook only serves to lull it's readers into false sense of security ;-)

Anyway, back to The Rook. James' timing at unfolding the story is masterly. I will not divulge any more of the plot than the above synopsis does (which is practically nothing), but if you do read this book, read carefully, because, being a mystery and all, the author gives just enough clues to point the intrepid reader in the right direction, but keeps the shocking finale totally illusive till the very end. One thing I will say... everything is not as it seems, and think outside the square.

Although the series is loosely linked to each other, reading it in order is not necessary, (but recommended).

One last comment... Readers, please don't jump into this series expecting the spiritual depth of The Shack. It's simply not that kind of book. I liken it to CSI meets Sherlock Holmes meets 24, written by a very talented author who is a Christian.