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|The Pawn (The Patrick Bowers Files, Book 1) ~ Steven James|
From Publishers Weekly
In this riveting thriller, the first of a planned trilogy, James (Story) introduces FBI agent Patrick Bowers. His professional specialty is environmental criminology, which attempts to track lawbreakers by analyzing the significance of the time and place at which the crime occurred. When corpses of young women start turning up near Asheville, N.C., Bowers is called in. The killer's MO is to tie a yellow ribbon in his victims' hair and leave a chess piece somewhere on the scene. Bowers begins to suspect that the governor of North Carolina, rumored to be the next Republican presidential contender, is somehow connected to the murders, and that a cult with links to Jonestown might also be involved. Making matters trickier, the special agent supervising Bowers turns out to be a longtime colleague with whom Bowers has some bad blood. Bowers, a recent widower with a surly teenage stepdaughter to raise, tries to keep his grief and parental confusion at bay so that he can focus on the case as the killer targets more innocent women. Christian faith makes a subtle appearance in the story and appears to be a theme that will be developed in future installments. A gripping plot and brisk pacing will win James some fans eager for his next offering. (Sept.)
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"...A captivating look at the fine line between good and evil. The Pawn is not to be missed."--Ann Tatlock, author of Every Secret Thing -- Ann Tatlock, author of Every Secret Thing
"Steven James combines 21st-century high-tech law enforcement techniques with 18th-century Sherlockian deduction to craft an exciting, suspense-filled story."--Dr. Kim Rossmo, Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation, Texas State University
|Somewhere to Belong ~ Judith Miller|
When Berta Schumacher’s parents inform her that Main Amana is going to be their new home, she is certain that her life is over. Accustomed to the bright lights of Chicago, Berta doesn’t know if she can adapt to life in the devout village. Johanna Ilg has spent most of her life in Main Amana, but she sometimes wonders what it would be like to live somewhere else. Given the job of instructing Berta on her new duties in the kitchen, Johanna has her hands full with the headstrong newcomer, who is determined to find a way to return to her real home in Chicago. Johanna had always believed her roots were in Main Amana, but after she stumbles across a family secret, she begins to wonder exactly where she does belong. Richly imbued with fascinating details about life in the Amana colonies, the first addition to Miller’s new Daughters of Amana series is a quietly compelling tale of faith and friendship. --John Charles
Johanna Ilg has lived her entire life in Main Amana, one of the seven villages inhabited by devout Christians who believe in cooperative living, a simple lifestyle, and faithful service to God. Although she's always longed to see the outside world, Johanna believes her future is rooted in the community. But when she learns a troubling secret, the world she thought she knew is shattered and she is forced to make difficult choices about a new life and the man she left behind. Berta Schumacher has lived a privileged life in Chicago, and when her parents decide they want a simpler life in Amana, Iowa, she resists. Under the strictures of the Amana villages, Berta's rebellion reaches new heights. Will her heart ever be content among the plain people of Amana?