The Queen by Steven James

I like to read books with a Wisconsin connection, and The Queen is a Christian thriller in the Patrick Bowers series that is set in northern Wisconsin. All of the books in the series are named for chess pieces starting with the first book The Pawn. This is a great book to read for those who like suspense and espionage.

 The story opens with a man being forced to reveal the name of a Navy Pentagon official who was crucial in designing the ELF system (extremely low frequency) which was installed in northern Wisconsin and used to communicate with submarines. Alexei Chekov is a professional assassin who is working for the group that wants information about ELF, and they all seem to be taking directions from someone known as Valkyrie. FBI Agent Patrick Bowers grew up in northern Wisconsin. He is on a serial murder case in Merrill with SWAT Agent Torres and Agent Jake Vanderweld when he is told to go to Tomahawk Lake to investigate a possible double murder and suicide of a Navy man. Pat and Jake go to Tomahawk Lake. Pat’s brother Sean and his wife Amber live near there, but the brothers’ relationship has been cool. Meanwhile a big snowstorm is coming in, and Pat’s step-daughter Tessa is driving from the University of Minnesota to meet Pat. Pat’s FBI agent girlfriend Lien-hua is also coming. In a complicated and suspenseful ending, eco-terrorists, Chekov, Pat, and agents in the Middle East are on the brink of a worldwide disaster which involves the ELF system, submarines, Middle East fanatics, and has a connection to the serial murders that Pat was investigating. Although this book is from a Christian fiction publisher and there are discussions about God and forgiveness, this is not for people who like gentle and heartwarming Christian fiction. There are descriptions of violence that are disturbing. However for readers who like thrillers and suspense (with or without the Christian overtones), this is a great book to read with interesting details about law enforcement and multi-dimensional characters. I enjoyed The Queen.


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