This is one positively convoluted story. James concocts threads of the investigation through multiple points-of-view. I love Bowers' internal wrestling with issues both professional and personal. The villain POVs were appropriately wicked and hauntingly familiar. The battle of wits between investigator and criminal was compelling from start to finish. There's a solid supporting cast around Bowers too. James writes those intense encounters between good and evil like I do: He simultaneously intercuts between several scenes that ratcheted up the tension.
Thrillers need intelligent writing from their creators and James displays that in spades in The Pawn. Hold on for a white-knuckle ride that won't stop until the last page or does it? I think The Rook is next, right?