Every Crooked Path
The Bowers Files
By Steven James
Author Steven James is more than a master of the craft of writing. He is a true virtuoso of storytelling. He mesmerizes and twists the reader’s heart strings that you have to keep turning the page to find relief. In Every Crooked Path he brings to light a subject so dark and gruesome, yet he handles it with the utmost care and delicacy.
The reader has no control once they read the opening pages and are pulled into the story world of FBI agent Patrick Bowers. Investigating a murder, Bowers ends up trying to stop a suicide that leads him down a very dark rabbit hole.
The chase begins as the string of criminals widen into the dark recesses of the World Wide Web. Shadowed Corners where only the adept at computers and those trying to hide their nefarious actions congregate to scheme.
This particular plan involves abducting children, sexually exploiting them then murdering them when they are no longer of use to their captors.
An organization called The International Child Safety Consortium ICSC tries to stop child pornography, child molestation and human trafficking across international borders by scouring the web via algorithms in order to categorize their findings. Everything is turned over to the FBI and other authorities to locate and save the children and bring to justice the perpetrators that harmed them.
Agent Bowers finds himself chasing an organization with secret identity members that are so well connected, he fears who he can trust even in his own agency. He and his partner, Jodie Fleming work with Detective Tobin Cavanaugh of the NYPD Special Victims Unit. He formerly worked for the Vice Enforcement Sexual Exploitation of Children Unit making him an invaluable expert. Even his own personal search for justice brings the 8 year old case when his daughter was abducted and murdered comes full circle into the current case.
They find they are up against adversaries that will kill their own to retain their secrecy. It all wraps into a figurative ticking time bomb, as they rush to save the missing children and prevent a catastrophic computer virus that would forever alter the effectiveness of the ICSC’s work.
Bowers has to make detrimental decisions that may harm someone close to him, in order to save many. When he tries to infiltrate the organization by going undercover, he finds he has to go against his moral values to get close enough to solve the case.
Author Steven James knows precisely how to manipulate the pacing that the reader isn’t aware of the extra adrenaline pumping as they follow along the harrowing investigation. The reader can’t help but become emotionally involved in the outcome as James deftly leaves the reader clues to figure out as Bowers does. Brilliantly crafted!
Every Crooked Path is so much more than a typical police procedural suspense thriller. Yes, it has all if those descriptions but it goes beyond their limitations with a social message that is the nightmare of every caring parent and caregiver.
Author Steven James prefaces his novel with a message of how difficult it was to research and write about the atrocities against children. However, it is through his writing that he can reach out to make readers aware and what can be done to stop the violence against our young. This story is a notice waving in front of the reader’s face to let them know there are predators lurking online waiting for the opportunity to pounce.
During his research, James came across an organization called the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children http://www.missingkids.com
It is dedicated in rescuing children and bringing to justice those who harm them.
NCMEC is a non profit organization dependent on private donations. Read Every Crooked Path and consider giving a donation to help our young keep their innocence.
Be sure to check out the series The Bower Files with Opening Moves which takes place before Every Crooked Path which leads to The Pawn and other Steven James fiction and non fiction by visiting http://www.stevenjames.net
FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by Penguin Random House and Steven James for review purposes only, no other compensation was awarded.