BOOK OF THE DAY

Every Wicked Man
Every Wicked Man
By Steven James
Berkley
$9.99
ISBN 978-1101991596
Publication Date: September 2018

Every Wicked Man

Review by G. Robert Frazier

There’s so much going on in Steven James’s new Patrick Bowers thriller, Every Wicked Man, you may need a cheat sheet to keep track. From the mysterious, live-streamed suicide of a senator’s son to the threat of a new designer drug on the market to a twisted novelist-turned-serial killer, James’s novel is loaded with intrigue and suspense. 

Bowers is initially presented with looking into the suicide of a senator’s son, which takes an unexpected turn when the shadow of a person is seen on video tape observing the suicide. Evidence that the victim may have used a possible new designer drug opens a deeper investigation into the distribution of the drug. And when a longtime criminal rival’s henchman is spotted at the scene of the victim’s suicide, the investigation takes another unexpected turn.

Even as all of these plot threads unravel and, ultimately, intersect, Bowers struggles to connect to his new stepdaughter, who has a knack for getting into trouble (she’s a fan of our aforementioned serial killer novelist), and wife, who has secretly learned that she has cancer. 

James has explained in a recent interview how he approaches his characters from three avenues: the external, internal, and interpersonal. The external issue revolves around solving the crime at hand, the internal focuses on how he’ll get to that solution and what he’ll do to get there, and the interpersonal keys in on the relationships in his life while everything else is happening. The result is a richly layered, character-oriented novel full of emotional highs and lows to keep readers fully engrossed.

Touted as his final Patrick Bowers novel, Every Wicked Man is actually the third in the 11-book series from a chronological standpoint. It’s not necessary to read the others in the series, but after reading Every Wicked Man you may find yourself hunting them down.

 

Robert Frazier is a freelance writer and former reporter and editor at several Middle Tennessee newspapers. He also reviews books for BookPage and BloggingforBooks and has served as a script reader for both the Austin Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival screenwriting competitions.