Opening Moves was very hard for me to read. I enjoyed the other books in James' Patrick Bowers series, but this prequel has content that made me put the book down so often simply because the villains are beyond the epitome of evil.
Before Patrick Bowers joined the FBI he was a detective for the Milwaukee PD. In this story, there's a copycat from notorious killers (think Jeffery Dahmer and other vicious serial killers) and Bowers is tasked with finding the killer while preventing the next murder.
Typical to James' writing, this book is full of adrenaline-laced plotting and a who-dun-it climax.
In the introduction Steven James explains that he's not trying to glamorize evil but to explain the evil in our world and why good is so important. But I had to convince myself throughout reading this book that he wasn't glamorizing evil. The events he chose to detail were disturbing to the max for me. I wasn't sure if I even wanted to finish reading it. What made it worse was these details were based on real-life people and events. James, himself, is personally connected to two of the "baddies".
Some people get thrills from reading about the brutality of serial killers, child molesters and kidnappers but I am absolutely not one of them. I enjoy reading thrillers while attempting to solve it before the detectives (and James excels in this storytelling) but I almost couldn't stomach the villain's deeds. But here's the thing - I'm pretty sure the other books involved villains just as brutal.
I'm sure there are implications from this book that will come to play in the next Patrick Bowers' book, The King. I can't wait to pick that novel up and dive into it.
This is a great book for Steven James fans as well as serial killer enthusiasts. You may not enjoy it if you don't enjoy reading about sadistic killers.