"An edgy, multi-layered thriller.” —RT BOOK REVIEWS, 4.5 STARS

While trying to debunk a controversial neurological research program, illusionist and filmmaker Jevin Banks uncovers a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms.



All of my life I’ve been intrigued by magic, by illusions. When the opportunity came up to do a new series, I decided to base it around an illusionist and escape artist. I consulted with some of the country’s top magicians while writing this book and Singularity (and yes, you’ll find a few secrets revealed in the books—but not too many).

My research for Placebo took me to some unusual places, including delving into quantum mechanics, stepping into the mind of a psychopath who wants to understand love, and meeting with a voodoo high priestess.

Not as dark and graphic as the Bowers novels, Placebo and Singularity include an intriguing cast of characters and some fun twisty storytelling.


Awards and Honors

Christian Retailing Awards Finalist

INSPY Award Finalist


“Gripping and intense, it will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page.”

—Gayle Lynds, NYT bestselling author of The Book of Spies

“A good novel is interesting. A great novel is entertaining. An unforgettable novel is both. Steven James’ Placebo is all that and more.”

—Alton Gansky, novelist

“With every new book, Steven James elevates his game and lifts his readers with him. Placebo is a winner! Highly recommended.”

—Davis Bunn, bestselling author of Lion of Babylon

“Fascinating, gripping, and thrilling—love this book. The Master Storyteller has woven another spell in Placebo, where the lines of science, realiy, and fiction blur into one compelling tale. Intelligent and absolutely unputdownable, you will lose sleep over this one.”

—NYT bestselling author Tosca Lee, author of Demon: A Memoir

“There’s no exaggeration in calling Steven James a master storyteller. Placebo delivers a thrill ride, but also emotional depth and intriguing characters you’ll lock into immediately. I devoured the story.”

—Bestselling author James L. Rubart

“The recipe for this one will be to take the darkness of Poe and the creativity of The Matrix, mix in science, and add a dash of faith/religion.”

—Suspense Magazine

“Placebo is an edgy, multi-layered thriller”

—RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars

“Placebo is fast-paced, interesting, moving. All with James’ signature style and flair.”

—The Suspense Zone

“A thought-provoking and thrilling mystery.”

—New York Journal of Books

“The writing, pacing and plot lines are impeccable.”

—Publishers Weekly