Read Checkmate by Steven James Online


In "Checkmate," critically acclaimed novelist Steven James offers the final, chilling chapter in his bestselling series, The Bowers Files. When a clandestine FBI facility is attacked, Special Agent Patrick Bowers is drawn into the vicious, ruthless story that a killer from his past is bent on telling the world. Clues lead to long forgotten secrets buried deep beneath uptIn "Checkmate," critically acclaimed novelist Steven James offers the final, chilling chapter in his bestselling series, The Bowers Files. When a clandestine FBI facility is attacked, Special Agent Patrick Bowers is drawn into the vicious, ruthless story that a killer from his past is bent on telling the world. Clues lead to long forgotten secrets buried deep beneath uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Now, Bowers is caught up in trying to stop one of the most deadly attacks ever planned on American soil. Smart, tense and full of mind-bending twists and turns, "Checkmate" explodes onto the scene, bringing The Bowers Files to a climactic and unforgettable conclusion....

Title : Checkmate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451467348
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 544 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Checkmate Reviews

  • Linda Strong
    2018-09-15 02:52

    The Patrick Bowers books have been among my very favorite series. It's been a fun adventure, not only figuring out all the bad guys, but the sheer pleasure of watching the relationship of Patrick and Tessa expand and change over the course of this series.For those who haven't read this one ... go get it now and read it! It's exciting, it's dangerous, it's provocative and well worth reading.Just a couple of things I've learned .... 1. Envenomation is the process by which venom is injected into some animal by the bite (or sting) of a venomous animal.2. We haven't seen the end of Patrick Bowers! This is only on kindle and will be out sometime later this year.Every Crooked Path (Bowers Files) by Steven James (amazon)FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers returns, plunging into the Dark Web with his team to save innocent children from a dangerous ring of online predators in the new novel from the author of Checkmate.

  • J.S. Bailey
    2018-08-31 20:47

    Steven James scares me.But in a good way, I guess.[shivers]

  • Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
    2018-09-13 23:39

    Well, that was disappointing. This is no spoiler as it happens in the first chapter of the book. So this sets the stage for disappointment.Why would FBI agents congregate outside after getting a text from a low level agent. They are just sitting ducks. None of them bother to ask why the others are there and determine something is fishy. They are FBI for goodness sakes. It was so ridiculous I couldn’t believe this author would write something so amateurish.Let’s not talk about a agent leaving his cell phone on silent with a sleeping patient who has a hospital phone. Seriously? Why would the sleeping patient who has a hospital phone needs the agent’s phone, leaving him with nothing. It’s a plot agent that implausible for a seasoned agent who is in the middle of an investigation.There are other problems with this book and it’s sad. This author is more capable.

  • Melanie
    2018-08-23 01:43

    Review on Amazon: on my blog (to be posted 1/6): was so good! The entire story was filled with intense action/suspense -- from the beginning scene to that final, crazy ending. I was near tears for the last 50-100 pages, and that just tells you how much I love these characters because I was afraid about what was going to happen to them!The plot for Checkmate was fantastic! Even though there were clues about what was going to happen next, I had the hardest time trying to figure out what it was -- and I loved that! There was enough info to where it was possible to guess correctly, but you'd have to be really, really good at picking up on clues. ;)I don't think it's possible for me to pick a favorite character from this book, because as the series has progressed, I've grown to love them all -- even Margaret. I'm so glad this book isn't the end to Patrick Bowers, just the end to the "Chess" series. I'm not ready to say goodbye and I can't wait to see what awaits these characters in the next book(s)!Overall, I recommend Checkmate! If you're a fan of intense thrillers, you definitely need to read this series - as long as you aren't squeamish. A fantastic series from beginning to end!*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

  • Robert Roush
    2018-08-26 19:51

    I remember when I picked up my first book from Steven James. It seemed like everywhere I went, the cover of the book Pawn--bright yellow with a tipped over pawn from the game of chess--jumped out at me from the bookshelf. Eventually, I had to pick up the book and give it a read. Pawn was released back in 2007 and I can't believe that eight years and eight books later, I'm writing a review of the final book in "The Bowers Files" series.In my opinion, Steven James is an excellent example that you can create a fast-paced, edgy, real-to-life crime drama without the need for excess profanity or gore. That said, I certainly wouldn't suggest these books for younger readers. In fact, I didn't allow my children to read them prior to adulthood, assuming that happens at 18. Steven deals with some very real challenges that face both adults and teenagers.Aside from the disappointment that the series is really done, Checkmate will in no way disappoint readers of the prior books in the series. With twists, misdirection, and clues galore Checkmate, and the rest of the series, will appeal to both mystery and thriller fans alike. Steven exhibits a mastery of the ability to create believable characters, including frighteningly realistic psychotic antagonists. As an author, I find at times I'm intimidated to reveal the truth of the darkness that a creative mind is capable of dreaming up for stories such as these. I can only imagine Steven must feel this at times as well.Along these lines, I loved the struggle Patrick Bowers, the protagonist of the series, deals with as he faces his own demons while hunting down some of the worst criminals imaginable. What is justice when dealing with serial killers? How different are these psychopaths from the rest of us? How close to the line does one dare go before the pull of darkness drags them across?Perhaps, my favorite line in the series appears near the end of the last book:You strive for justice, you move toward the light when you can, and you shake off the darkness that clings to you from living on this fractured planet of lost dreams and sharp heartache.This is a great illustration of the phrase in John 1:5, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." We all should remember that if it weren't for the grace of God, we all would find ourselves on the short end of being able to control the darkness that permeates our souls. Only the true light of Christ is capable of driving out the darkness and giving us an opportunity to pursue righteousness. Not our own, but that of Christ.Thanks you Steven James for this intense, yet insightful series.

  • Karla
    2018-09-20 01:52

    Another James book I couldn't put downCan't get enough of these characters, and am so sad this series is over. Such a perfect combination of suspense, and humor, and very thought-provoking. The story itself was seamless and I enjoyed the history lessons about Charlotte. Any book by Steven James is worth reading. Highly recommend to anyone looking for not only entertainment, but makes you think.

  • Kate
    2018-09-05 23:36

    Fast paced story of FBI Agent Pat Bowers, walking into a mystery that brings two of his nemesis together to create murder and mayhem, the targets being fellow agents and a major home grown terrorist attack.This is one of a series of Bower Tales, and as always is heavily plot driven, yet manages to create characters that you actually care about and can identify with...rare in fast paced detective mysteries.Hard to put down and definitely very readable drawing the reader into a strange world.

  • Krista Gaddis
    2018-09-18 22:31

    Soooooooo great! I am so sad that this series is over! Im going to miss Patrick and his great attention to detail and coffee-snobbishness. Great last book and a satisfying ending! I wish there would be a ton of more books in the series so i can keep reading them but i understand everything has to end and this was great. One of my favorite book series by far!

  • Tim
    2018-09-14 02:47

    The family involvement except for one situation detracts and is unnecessary. Had the author only stuck with the one, the story would have been more captivating throughout and better focused. 3 of 10 stars

  • Tamara Tharpe
    2018-08-24 19:44

    Steven James never disappointsThe way he can author a story in a book and make it seems like you are watching it on the big screen is truly amazing. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough.

  • Kathy
    2018-09-21 19:42

    Exciting from start to finish. Love the characters...

  • Tracy
    2018-08-21 18:40

    Loved this book. Loved the Patrick Bowers series, I am sorry to see it end. Lots of stuff going on, some relationship stuff, good suspense till the end.

  • Sherry Ledet
    2018-09-16 20:50

    The last of this Steven James series and a great wrap up. Can't wait to see what he writes next. He has become one of my favorite authors of suspense.

  • Mir
    2018-09-20 23:44

    pretty amazing as always!

  • Neil
    2018-08-22 01:51

    It is funny, but I both loved [most of] this book and hated [parts of] this book. There are parts that drive me crazy with frustration, but, after having finished it, I think it reveals the skill and 'genius' of the author [genius might be too strong of a word, but that's okay] in telling the story. It moves at a fast pace, although it did get a bit long in the tooth by the end. It is kind of funny, but I figured out part of the ending about one hundred pages before the end of the book; I figured out the other part of the ending [target might be a better word] before Bowers did, but I had no idea how the book would end and who would be spared. That is not to say the author did a poor job telling the story; that is merely to say I got lucky with my guess[es]. I wish I could write half as good as the author writes; he does a phenomenal job telling his stories.The author does an incredible job of alternating between first-person POV [from Bowers' viewpoint] and third-person POV [everybody else]. The majority of the authors I have read who have tried this seem to get the POVs mixed up at some point in the story, or it all starts to sound like the same character telling the story. Mr. James is able to keep each 'voice', each narrative, quite clear as to what is going on when he tells the story. It helps make these stories enjoyable to read.My local Christian book store sells this series, so I would loosely call it 'Christian fiction' in that there are Christians in the book and some Christian themes are woven into the narrative. However, it is not a 'preachy'-kind of book; it is not 'in your face' for a non-Christian to read. If I had not seen it in the Christian fiction section of most bookstores prior to reading the series, I would never have guessed it was sold as 'Christian fiction', and that is okay with me. I think the author does a good job asking questions everybody has and showing the struggle with coming up with answers [or the lack of 'good' answers].It was a hard story to read at times, because my frustrating level got so high. It seemed like Bowers never learns from his prior experiences and makes the 'same mistakes' [albeit with the best intentions] from story to story. This one was no exception. I guess that makes the character more 'real' because people do that - never seem to learn and keep making the same mistakes over and over. This book was not nearly as graphic as previous novels, for which I was grateful. Still, though, the amount of deaths in the story is frustrating to read about, especially to 'innocent' people who either happen to be in the way and are discarded as a means to an end. Despite not being nearly as graphic in the descriptions, there is still quite a bit of darkness in the narrative. It makes for an interesting conundrum when, as a Christian, one considers Romans 16:19 ["Be excellent at what is good and stay innocent of evil"]: how does a Christian justify writing about such darkness in light of this verse? At the same time, how does a Christian justify reading such a novel in light of this verse! hahahah That's probably a better question. So, yeah, I have mixed emotions reading these novels. I love them, but they also bother me deeply while reading them. I guess it is more correct to say I love parts of them instead of all of them; the darkness in them bothers me deeply, and I do not care for the darkness. I love Tessa's character, because she is so unlike any character I have read in any other book. I think she really sets the tone for the stories because she looks at the world so differently than most of us do. For example, she is complimented on how beautiful a piece of jewelry is that she is wearing. Instead of saying, "Thank you", she instead agrees that the jewelry is indeed beautiful. When queried as to why she agreed it was beautiful instead of saying 'Thank you' for the compliment, she points out that she did not make the piece herself, so why should she accept a compliment that is really meant for the person who made it? On the one hand, she is correct. On the other hand, some people wear things they should not be wearing [regardless of how nice the article of attire in question might be] because it is not complimentary to them. So she could have accepted the compliment in terms of her taste and ability to put together outfits that 'look good' together. But that is minor quibbling over a small point. She is smart, quick-thinking, alert, and strong while broken. She is an interesting character. Despite being broken and getting ready to go into college, she does not fall into the 'trap' of other 'young adult characters' and getting all angsty and whiny like teenagers tend to do in other stories.The ending was crazy. Mason and Basque (view spoiler)[ - sad to say, but so happy they were finally! killed off at the end of the story. They(hide spoiler)] were disturbing, disgusting characters throughout the course of the series, and (view spoiler)[they make their appearance in this novel as well. Before I started reading this novel,(hide spoiler)] I found myself wondering if they would make an appearance in this novel.The author does an excellent job at looking at good and evil, what makes a person such. I think that is part of what makes the book so hard to read, because it would be 'easy' to cross over moral lines because of various justifications. I think the book also does a good job of showing how there can be no true justice if there is no afterlife. There are a several internal discussions about justice and whether or not truly exists throughout the book.I always find Bowers' take on motive as being irrelevant to why a crime occurred fascinating. The author makes a great point that often times 'we' ourselves do not even fully understand why we do what we do when we do it, so how can we truly 'know' what the motive was for a criminal as to why he or she acted the way he or she did? I cannot say motive should be completely irrelevant when trying somebody for a crime; a husband killing a would-be rapist in the midst of attacking a family member should not be tried for murder. But I do understand and 'get' what the author is saying through Bowers, and I think for the most part I agree with him. For instance, on page 207, Patrick is discussing acts that could be considered 'hate crimes' and how such a distinction can influence the severity of a sentence. If a person is caught scribbling racist graffiti, he [or she] can get anywhere from one to seven years in prison. But if the members of the court decide it was a 'hate crime,' then the offender could get anywhere from ten to thirty years in prison. This begs the question: how does either the judge or jury know that the offender was motivated by hate? It is speculation on their part, pure and simple. They do not know this for a fact; they merely believe it to be true. Yet people are sentenced for decades based upon speculation and not fact. Patrick [and the author] point out that this is not justice. It is a great point to consider. That, and his point on page 208, about how you can never confirm somebody's motive; you can only speculate on it. If that is the case, how can a person receive justice?I enjoyed the shout-out to his other series (view spoiler)[about the escape artist who died due to cobra venom in the Philippines (hide spoiler)]. I thought it was a nice touch, and it was woven into the narrative at a good spot. I liked the banter between Ralph and Patrick throughout the entire book. It helped make them seem like 'real' people and not just characters in a book. It made them more relatable, more believable (view spoiler)[such as when Ralph mercilessly teased Patrick for his last name being misspelled as 'Powers' instead of 'Bowers', or when Ralph told the receptionist at a museum that Patrick was a profiler. This set Patrick up for some unwelcome but hilarious comments from a woman educated by TV's interpretation of profilers as opposed to reality. Patrick did get Ralph back, though, by posting a picture of Ralph wearing dainty, little white 'booty' gloves before Ralph picked up his newborn baby girl (hide spoiler)]. It was obvious they were great friends, and it made me wonder if the author had interpreted the characters' relationship through the lens of a personal relationship he had with somebody else. Beck was a wonderful addition to the cast of characters. I enjoyed his interactions with Tessa. (view spoiler)[I was equally happy that he was not killed in the course of the narrative. Based on the prior novels, I kept expecting him to either die a horrible, hideous death or die quickly and impersonally. I was quite happy this was not the case. I also enjoyed Patrick's response to Beck kissing Tessa at the end of the story. It was as funny as it was unexpected. (hide spoiler)] He seemed to be the 'perfect' foil for Tessa, keeping her on her toes with his humor as well as keeping up with her intelligence, her interests, and her conversations.It is a well-crafted book, and the author has written an incredible narrative. I would love to see the characters of the Bowers series working in tandem with the characters in his Jevin Banks series; I think that would be a phenomenal story or series. I am glad I read this book [and the series].

  • Julie Graves
    2018-09-12 18:50

    Wow! Talk about edge-of-your-seat suspense! This one kept me totally engaged and totally freaked out! Patrick has two serial killers on the loose that he is trying to track down. Not sure that Basque survived his dunk in the river at the end of the last book, Patrick has his eyes open for more attacks against his family. Then another killer that Basque helped escape from prison makes an appearance. Which one is behind the attack on the FBI? Once again Tessa has agents keeping an eye on her, which doesn't thrill her until she meets one of them. Beck is all business, but there is something that clicks between them. With threats against Pat's co-workers, and friends Checkmate moves along at a fast and exciting clip. If you are into thriller-type stories then Steven James doesn't disappoint. I happen to love these types of stories so I highly recommend them!

  • Felicia
    2018-08-26 20:50

    Once again, not overly impressed with the conclusion to this series. For me, it was lacking the thrills of the rest of the series. Once again, there was nothing to figure out. We knew who the perpetrators were and if you didn't, it's more than likely because you haven't read the rest of the series. There was one minor role that the reader was able to try to figure out but it was so minor that I didn't realize there was anything to figure out. The ending was my favorite part of this book, as it wraps things up quite nicely; however I am left wondering about Beck & Tessa. I guess that's a story for another time though...

  • Tonya
    2018-09-16 22:41

    What a way to wrap up the Patrick Bowers series! Although, it wrapped things up a little too neatly, it still kept me reading until the end. All the characters were back, but I felt like there was not enough character growth in this one compared to the other books.

  • Calvin
    2018-08-30 23:38


  • Jan
    2018-09-12 00:58

    A great ending to the series and one of the most enjoyable books.

  • Charles
    2018-09-03 00:31

    Probably the best book in the Bowers series. Lots of closure.

  • Salsadancer
    2018-09-07 21:59

    7th and last Patrick Bowles series, published in 2014, in which Pat Bowers encounters and subdues both his nemeses, Richard Basque and Kurt Mason.

  • Cassie
    2018-08-24 19:33

    Such an excellent way to end the series! I found myself yelling out loud to the characters during the high points of action. Sad to see it end but it was a fitting conclusion to the series.

  • Chris Blackwell
    2018-08-22 23:36

    Great read!

  • Louise E.
    2018-09-07 23:56

    Dark story. A lot of death. Not my taste in story lines. I will be glad to finish this series.

  • Deb Haggerty
    2018-09-01 22:59

    Deb’s Dozen – Pawn to Knight to Bishop to Queen to King – Checkmate – I Win!The game ends now … those words saddened me as did the title, Checkmate. Why? Because those words spell the end of Steven James’ most excellent Patrick Bowers series. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and been intrigued, horrified, and thrilled by every book in the series.I love the way Patrick plays out his love for Lien-hua, “Sometimes the most eloquent things are shared wihen you’re not saying anything, and now she put her hand on mine and we sat together in silence, the unspoken language of the moment enveloping us.” And when she makes him promise never to lie to her, “I wondered if I would really be able to offer only the truth if it came to the place where I could offer her hope instead.”We’ve learned so many lessons in relationships from Patrick’s interactions with those close to him. He opines, “Tragedy can either send us spiraling of into our own private oblivion or it can draw us closer to other people.” Tragedy drew him closer to Tessa, to Lien-hua, to Ralph—even to Margaret Wellington, his boss.About his work, Patrick recalls, “my mentor once told me that every dead end shows you more clearly the pattern of the labyrinth, that each one you encounter gives you one more piece of information that’ll help you as you methodically fail your way to success.” What successes might we have if we kept that as our viewpoint?We’ve watched Tessa grow up—once an angry, hurting young teen who inflicted pain on her own body by cutting to lessen the pain in her heart from her mom’s death from cancer. Now Tessa, eighteen, is on the verge of coming into her own as a woman. “A soul is only set free when it becomes constrained by the bonds of love … Intimacy is the license that you give to someone else to hurt you the most. And also to set you the most free.”Summing up his philosophy, Patrick muses, “You strive for justice, you move toward the light when you can, and you shake off the darkness that clings to you from living on this fractured planet of lost dreams and sharp heartache. Because it’s also a place that hope calls home. Justice wrestles with the darkness and we are, each of us, caught up in the fight. We strive for the first, but have a weakness for the second and between them is a chasm that spans all of our souls.”And so, in my heart, and in the hearts of millions of fans, Patrick Bowers will continue to fight evil and make our world just a little bit better. Thanks, Steven, for following your gifts and giving us The Bowers Files. I’ve loved the ride!You’ll want to read Checkmate to see the finish of the games and what happens to Patrick, Tessa, Ralph, Margaret, and the villains we’ve loved to hate—Basque and Kurt Mason. A five-star book and series!“After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.” —Italian proverb.Penguin Books gave me a copy ofCheckmate for my candid review.

  • Ruth
    2018-08-24 02:50

    Wonderfully told, this book captivates your attention by its action but also how people can do the right thing and follow God even in difficult situations.

  • David
    2018-08-21 18:37

    "Justice wrestles with the darkness and we are, each of us, caught up in the fight."The Bower Files series is one of my top three book series of all time. There is an element of sadness that this is the final book, but rest assured that the book won't disappoint or deviate from the rich and engaging storytelling that the rest of the series is.It was really neat to have the story more or less centered in Charlotte, which has been my home for the last decade or so. Learning some of the history was cool. It also is really fun being able to clearly see in my mind locations, such as Independence Square and the statues that were described. This was a great bonus treat.This story brings some finality to several of the cases and individuals that have been key members of the other books. One could read, and enjoy, this book without having read the others, but as with most series, the experience is much richer when you have the history, time and space, and understandings that come from seeing the entire story.I'll leave the plot and storyline to the blurbs on the jacket cover and other posts. What I really want to mention is the genius writing by Steven James as he explores one of the darker sides of "humanity". Richard Basque and Kurt Mason have been wonderful characters. I often wonder what it is like to write and be so intimately familiar with a serial killer, cannibal or not. As a reader, it is impossible not to connect with these characters on some level. While I find their acts horrific and most certainly against the moral code I try to uphold, James is able to show that these demons in the world are people. The conflict between "good and evil" on a personal basis is a major theme through the series. Humans have a darker side, but what allows us to survive, particularly as a society, is our ability to suppress the dark and work for the good of the whole by conforming to sets of morals and rules.In addition to rich characters, on both sides of the law, this story (across all books) is engaging and gripping. They are hard to set aside once you embark on the journey. The suspense and the flow of the story are superb. I am hard pressed to think of sections of the book that don't keep things moving across time and space. There isn't superfluous content, but neither is the reader shortchanged by gaps to the story.If you are looking for a suspenseful thriller series, then this is definitely an excellent option. Given the sheer enjoyment I have had with the Bower Files, I can't wait to venture into other works by James.

  • Berryparfait
    2018-09-08 23:57

    Finally a Christian author that can write suspense!! Style is similar action to James Patterson, and a great story.

  • Jessica Higgins
    2018-09-11 01:47

    The epic conclusion to the Bowers files. Steven James brings everything full circle and as always keeps us on the edge of our seats until the very end.A bomb goes off at a secret FBI facility where Special Agent Patrick Bowers is working. He survives and finds himself dragged deep into a ruthless story that someone from his past is been on telling the world. The story winds deep into Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina with secrets buried deep beneath the surface. Bowers finds himself in the middle of one of the deadliest attacks planned on American soil. While trying to keep the plans from unfolding he finds obstacles thrown his way from every direction. Not only is the killer trying to keep him from away but things at the FBI become complicated with his partner, Ralph, gone to be with his wife for the birth of the new baby, and as always, Margaret Wellington can be a thorn in Bowers side if he isn’t careful. It is a sad thing when you turn to the first page of the last book in what has become one of the best series I have ever read. As soon as I started the first book in the Bowers Files I knew I had found an author worth keeping a close eye on. Every book in the series has kept me guessing and turning the page far faster than almost any other author has ever been able to do. Checkmate is no exception. It did start a little slower than some of the previous in the series but it didn’t take long for the action to pick up and take the story all the way to the epic conclusion. Even if you haven’t read any of the other books in the series there is no reason to set this aside. The backstory given throughout is enough to give even a first time James reader what the need to understand and follow the story. That is probably one of the things that slowed the story for me. I knew everything that was being explained. The story would drag at these points for me, unusual for a Steven James novel. James never disappoints. He has become my favorite author hands down. I know I can pick up anything he has written and not be disappointed. I hate to say that Checkmate is not my favorite of the series but it surpasses almost all the other books I have read this year. If you have never read a Steven James book I would make it a New Year’s resolution to pick one or all of them up and make for the best reading year you could possible have.