The Pawn - Steven James
The Pawn by Steven James has finally ended my 'When am I going to read a book that I can't put down?' drought. This review in 3 words: Exciting, compelling and disturbing (possibly the most disturbing book I have ever read). Okay... that's 13 words.

(From the back jacket:) Special Agent Patrick Bowers never met a killer he couldn't catch. Until now. Called to North Carolina to consult on the case of an area serial killer, Bowers finds himself caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he's about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers's instincts and training to stop the man who calls himself the Illusionist.

If I could judge Steven James' authorship based on this book alone, he would easily make it into my top five favourite author's list. His writing is fast-paced, his plot-crafting is very intelligent and unpredictable, and his ability to create a vivid scene in the reader's mind is masterly. So much so, that before you rush out to find a copy of The Pawn to read, I must give a warning...

This book is definitely not for the squeamish. In some places it is extremely disturbing. The Pawn's plot revolves around a sadistic serial murderer, and quite frankly too much detail is given at times. I was going to say that nothing is left to the imagination... but in this case, my imagination was given plenty, resulting in some not-so-pleasant dreams about serial murders (not surprisingly). Needless to say, this book will play with your mind long after you've turned out the light.

The Pawn leaves me in a conundrum. I agree with Dekker's reasoning: that to really understand how great the light is, one must understand how great the evil is, but... When it comes to depictions of violence in Christian fiction, where is the line drawn? Especially with novels, that aren't overtly Christian such as this one?

Definitely something to think about while I track down book 2 in this series, entitled The Rook ;-)