The Rook

“An adrenaline-laced page-turner.” —SHELF-AWARENESS REVIEW

While investigating a series of arsons, Agent Bowers uncovers a group that’s testing an assassination weapon on homeless immigrants. Clues lead into a twisting world where nothing, not even the evidence, is what it appears to be.



One night, I was reading a book on sharks to my eight-year-old daughter. We discovered that sharks have a scientifically-proven sixth sense. They actually have an additional sensory organ called the ampullae of Lorenzini in their snout. This allows them to identify prey even if the fish is buried in the sand. I still remember sitting on the couch, reading her this shark book, as the premise for The Rook took root in my mind.

The entire story grew out of this encounter, and then a trip to the world’s number-one aquarium (Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN), where an aquarist took me on a behind-the-scenes tour. There, I saw the acclimation tank, which became the scene of the climax of the novel.

As you read this story, think of me reading to my daughter. Because of that moment, this is one of the most special books in the series to me.

This novel ends with a triple twist that I had no idea would happen when I began writing the story. Don’t peek at the last page.


Awards and Honors

Winner of the Christy Award in Suspense

Winner of The Suspense Zone Reviewer’s Choice Award


“James weaves a tangled story that tantalizes readers.”

—Author’s Choice Reviews

“It’s a wild ride with a shocking conclusion.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An adrenaline-laced page-turner.”

—Shelf-Awareness Review

“Steven James has mastered the thriller.”

—The Suspense Zone

“Readers will be on the edge of their seats.”

—RT Book Reviews, top pick

“The Rook is a riveting nail-biter that takes the reader on a wild ride of suspense, thrill, and danger.”

—John Thurman, radio personality

“James ratchets up the thrills and chills, the twists and turns.”

—Eric Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

“The Rook is suspense thriller writing at its highest level with complex storylines, unpredictable plot twists and characters who engage the reader in many different ways.”


“Steven James has certainly done his homework. His level of detail and knowledge in the area of the military characters is superb. I could not put this one down!”

—Lt Robert Bess, U.S. Naval Special Warfare/Naval Special Operations

“James’s ability to use modern, up-to-date investigative techniques to solve his criminal mysteries places him at the forefront of current mystery writers.”

—E. Cleon Glaze, retired FBI agent