If you like Patricia Cornwell and have a strong constitution, then this book will certainly give you food for thought. The pawn is a gritty ride into the mind of a fictional serial killer and the criminal profiler who’s hunting him down. It’s not for the faint-hearted, with gore that could churn the steeliest of stomachs. It’s unclear what makes this a ‘Christian’ book, as while it’s grippingly well written and deals with some weighty issues, Steven James does not say anything about morality that couldn’t be found in any other average crime paperback. The ending suggests a sequel is imminent, so perhaps stronger Christian themes will emerge there.

If you like crime fiction and prefer it without sexual content and bad language, then you will find this an enjoyable read.

HIGH: A gripping plot, which, despite the dark themes, made it difficult to put down.

LOW: The book gives food for thought – but I wonder if it will feed your soul.