The brutal murders of three young boys paralyze the citizens of Platte City, Nebraska. What's worse is the grim realization that the man recently executed for the crimes was a copycat. When Sheriff Nick Morrelli is called to the scene of another grisly murder, it becomes clear that the real predator is still at large, waiting to kill again. Morrelli understands the urgency of the case terrorizing his community, but it's the experienced eye of FBI criminal profiler Maggie O'Dell that pinpoints the true nature of the evil behind the killings—a revelation made all the more horrific when Morrelli's own nephew goes missing. Maggie understands something else: the killer is enjoying himself, relishing his ability to stay one step ahead of her, making this case more personal by the hour. Because out there, watching, is a killer with a heart of pure and perfect evil. Amazon.com Review Nick Morrelli is the Platte City, Nebraska, sheriff who must be smarter than he appears, since there's a framed Harvard law degree hanging on his wall. Not that appearances don't count. The reader is treated to a number of descriptions of his sexy, lady-killer looks and his charismatic effect on even the most hard-bitten woman character in this somewhat muddled, serial-killer thriller. Nick is investigating the kidnap-murders of two young Platte City boys when FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell shows up and all but takes over the investigation. Several years earlier, the former sheriff--Nick's father--capped his own career with the arrest of the last serial killer in the neighborhood, who abducted and tortured three boys in an eerily similar crime spree. When Antonio Morrelli returns from retirement to meddle in the investigation, and when Nick's own sister uses her connections to advance his career, Nick hardly raises an objection. And that's the central weakness of what would otherwise be a good, first effort. --Jane Adams From Publishers Weekly A serial killer eludes an FBI profiler and a smalltown Nebraska sheriff in Kava's engaging debut, which manages to remain entertaining despite a fairly conventional plot line. As the story opens, recently appointed Sheriff Nick Morelli is as relieved as the rest of the citizens of Platte City that his predecessor, who also happens to be his father, has captured the child killer who plagued the town. But after the killer is executed, another child is discovered dead, and Morelli realizes that the convicted man was in fact a copycat killer, leaving the original criminal still on the prowl. Morelli gets some much-needed help in the investigation from FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell, but the hunt gets complicated when Morelli's sister, a journalist, leaks info to the media. Things become even stickier when O'Dell unearths a couple of unlikely suspects who've been dismissed by the police, and the search takes on a new level of urgency when Morelli's nephew is abducted and appears to be the next victim. Kava keeps her prose simple, but she does a nice job of setting up the chemistry between O'Dell and Morelli while balancing the various family issues Morelli faces in the investigation. She also makes good use of the smalltown milieu, tightening the tension by establishing that the killer is part of the fabric of the community. The result is a well-crafted page-turner involving the reader in the specter of murder in an intimate and disturbing fashion, with a plausible setup for a sequel. Agent, Philip Spitzer. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Bestseller Kava takes a break from her Maggie O'Dell FBI profiler series (A Necessary Evil, etc.) with a fine topical thriller involving terrorism, government coverups and toxic waste. Sabrina Galloway, a young Chicago professor, becomes a hands-on scientist in Florida with EcoEnergy, a company that specializes in TCP—a process that converts refuse and other waste material into oil. EcoEnergy's CEO is angling for a $140 million military government contract, but after Sabrina's boss mysteriously disappears and Sabrina discovers a reactor processing something it shouldn't, her life becomes as endangered as Florida's waterways. She hits the road in a '47 Studebaker with Miss Sadie, a gutsy 81-year-old African-American neighbor, to find help, while Middle Eastern terrorists plot a nasty surprise for an upcoming energy summit. Engaging supporting characters include Leon, a funky hit man losing his touch but not his heart, and covert operative Natalie Richards, "a black Emma Peel." Kava lightens the seriousness with some deft touches of humor. Genre fans weary of serial-killer fare will find this a refreshing read.
Lawyer Max Kramer bribes an eyewitness to recant testimony so that a homicidal conviction is overturned, freeing Jared Barnett. Detective Tommy Pakula and attorney Grace Wenninghoff know that Jared is a serial killer. Jared visits his sister Melody and his seventeen year old nephew Charlie. While Melody is unhappy to see her brother, Charlie worships his uncle. Jared informs his two relatives that they will rob a bank. Jared and Charlie enter the bank and shots are fired. The two men race out with Charlie having blood all over his clothing. Tommy receives a call that a bank robbery turned violent. He calls Grace to tell her there are five dead at the bank. A sheriff and a police copter chase the criminals, but a storm halts their efforts. Melody crashes the car, but the trio walks to the nearby state park cabins where Jared shoots Andrew Kane grazing his head. While the police give chase, Jared begins a murder spree with Andrew held hostage.
New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava returns with another action-packed thriller featuring special agent Maggie O'Dell, who is on the hunt for a "truck stop" serial killer. Tired travelers and weary truckers have stopped at rest areas on the nation's highways for decades to refuel, grab a bite, and maybe get some shut-eye, but one man's rest stop is another's hunting ground. For decades the defenseless, the weary, and the stranded have disappeared along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace, but these seemingly unconnected incidents are no coincidence, and a madman stalks the freeways. When FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again. As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who's terrorizing the nation's highways, she turns to a former foe for help since he seems to know just what the killer's next move will be. As she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target. Review "In her eleventh Maggie O’Dell entry, Kava shows mastery in constructing a plot with nonstop action, covering a time span of just over a week, with suspense rising to a nearly unbearable level in a climax in the Florida backwaters. Maggie is indomitable – slogging through mud or water in search of clues and perps, inured to the sight of decapitated or eviscerated bodies, cool in facing a canny killer – with a loyal supporting cast and hints of a new romantic interest. Prime escapism for thriller fans with strong stomachs.” -Booklist, Starred Review About the Author Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series. Her thirteen books, including two stand-alone novels, have been published in more than twenty countries, appearing on bestseller lists in Britain, Australia, Poland, Germany, and Italy. She is the recipient of the Mari Sandoz Award and a member of International Thriller Writers. She divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Pensacola, Florida.
In a secluded cabin six young men stage a deadly standoff with FBI agents. In a wooded area near the FDR Memorial in Washington, the body of a senator's daughter is discovered. For FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell, there is nothing routine about being called in to work these two cases. As an expert criminal profiler, Maggie provides psychological insight on cases that involve suspected serial killers. She can't understand, then, why she has been assigned to two seemingly unrelated crimes. But as Maggie and her partner, Special Agent R. J. Tully, delve deeper into the cases, they discover there is a connection: Reverend Joseph Everett, the charismatic leader of a high-profile religious sect. The men holed up in the cabin were members of Everett's church, and the murder of the young woman took place following one of Everett's rallies. Is Everett a psychotic madman who uses his power to perform heinous crimes? Or is he merely the scapegoat for a killer more cunning than he? Maggie realizes the only way to find out is by using her own mother, a member of Everett's church, as a pawn in a deadly trap. Amazon.com Review When a senator's daughter is murdered at a religious revival in Washington, FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell, a criminal profiler, and R.J. Tully, her partner, suspect that it's the work of a serial killer. They soon discover that the girl's murder is connected to the suicides of five young men during a Waco-like standoff in a rural Massachusetts cabin--even if they're not sure how. But then Maggie learns that the minister who seems to have turned her alcoholic mother's life around and Revered Joseph Everett, the charismatic sect leader whose followers died in the standoff, are the same person, and he may have drawn her into his deadly web to get at Maggie herself. Is the serial killer one of Everett's acolytes--and will Tully's daughter and Maggie be his next victims? Kava's third thriller (after Split Second and A Perfect Evil) showcases her gifts of pacing, plotting, and characterization; Maggie O'Dell is a smart, likable protagonist. She and Tully deserve a return engagement. --Jane Adams From Publishers Weekly Kava dives headfirst into the headline-grabbing worlds of cult religions and FBI standoffs in this third novel to feature Special Agent Maggie ODell, whose profiler talents were first showcased in A Perfect Evil and Split Second. When a Massachusetts standoff results in the deaths of five out of six young cult members holed up in a backwoods cabin, things are bad enough. But when a U.S. senator's daughter is found murdered in Washington, D.C., and her death seems to be related to the cult and its charismatic leader, Rev. Joseph Everett, the situation really heats up for Maggie and her partner, R.J. Tully. The case hits particularly close to both partners homes, since Maggie's former alcoholic mother has joined Everett's church and Tully's daughter was with the senator's daughter on the night she was killed. Will Maggie be able to solve the case without endangering her own mother? From the Ruby Ridge-like standoff to the inability of some spiritual leaders to sexually practice what they preach, the novel manages to humanize both the seemingly impersonal institution of the FBI and cultists who are normally just labeled as wacko. Kava uses a strong supporting cast to provide Scarpetta-like authenticity and the psychological insights of Alex Delaware, and gross-out levels are high enough to satisfy the Fear Factor contingent. Add to that a clever surprise ending, and this one is sure to be spotted all over the beach by summers end. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
When a monsignor is found knifed to death in a Nebraska airport restroom, FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell is called in to profile the ritualistic murder of a priest, the latest in a series of killings. Maggie soon discovers a disturbing Internet game that's popular among victims of abuse by Catholic priests. With this first real lead in the investigation, she wonders if the group has turned cyberspace justice into reality. Then Maggie gets a second lead—one that leaves her stunned. For the past four years she has been obsessed with finding Father Michael Keller, whose brutal acts against children continue to haunt her. Now, it seems, he has become a target. When Keller offers to help Maggie solve the ritual killings in exchange for protection, she decides to ally herself with the elusive child killer, stepping into a world of malevolence from which she may not return unscathed. Maggie knows the bargain is a necessary evil…one that may be made in blood…. From Publishers Weekly In bestseller Kava's derivative fifth thriller to feature Maggie O'Dell (after 2003's At the Stroke of Madness), the beautiful FBI profiler and recovering alcoholic suspects that more than one killer is involved in a spate of nationwide murders of Catholic priests. When Father Michael Keller, himself a serial killer, becomes a target, he tries to strike a bargain with Maggie in order to save his life. Their relationship will remind many of that between Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter, just as Maggie's drinking problems sound a lot like those of the better realized heroes of James Lee Burke or Lawrence Block. The book's most original concept is an online computer game run by a not-so-mysterious figure called the Sin Eater that allows young victims to "kill" the priests who abused them. Heavy-handed clues, a tacked-on love interest and characters who behave less than credibly won't deter Kava's fans, who'll find the usual graphic gore, from the requisite maggots to autopsy details like "that sucking sound when the brain is pulled out after the top of the skull is sawed off." Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Review "Alex Kava has created a suspenseful novel and created a winning character in Agent O'Dell." -- Washington Post Book World on A Perfect Evil "Kava uses a strong supporting cast to provide Scarpetta-like authenticity and the psychological insights of Alex Delaware." -- Publishers Weekly on The Soul Catcher "Kava's tight writing and superb timing create suspense throughout Madness." -- Omaha World Herald on At the Stroke of Madness "Maggie is gutsy and appealing as an FBI agent facing constant danger." -- Library Journal on A Perfect Evil "That Kava writes well cannot be denied. Her prose is crisp and her dialogue is sharp and realistic." -- Mystery News on Split Second
New York Times– and internationally bestselling author Alex Kava’s thrilling new series introducing Ryder Creed, ex-marine turned K9 search-and-rescue dog trainer as he teams up with fan-favorite FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell. Ryder Creed and his dogs have been making national headlines. They’ve intercepted several major drug stashes being smuggled through Atlanta’s airport. But their newfound celebrity has also garnered some unwanted attention. When Creed and one of his dogs are called in to search a commercial fishing vessel, they discover a secret compartment. But the Colombian cartels’ latest shipment isn’t drugs. This time, its cargo is human. To make matters worse, Creed helps one of the cartel’s drug mules escape—a fourteen-year-old girl who reminds him of his younger sister who disappeared fifteen years ago. Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell is investigating a series of murders—the victims tortured, killed, and dumped in the Potomac River. She suspects it’s the work of a cunning and brutal assassin, but her politically motivated boss has been putting up roadblocks. By the time she uncovers a hit list with Creed’s name on it, it might be too late. The cartel has already sent someone to destroy Creed and everyone close to him. But Creed and his dogs have a few surprises in store on their compound in Florida. Will it be enough to stop a ruthless cartel determined to remove the thorn in its side once and for all?From the Hardcover edition.
New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava joins the Doubleday list with her best novel yet. On Pensacola Beach, the Coast Guard prepares for a Category 5 hurricane that has entered the Gulf of Mexico. When the air crew patrols the waterways, they spot a huge fishing cooler about a mile offshore. Drug traffickers have been known to dump coolers with smuggled product to avoid detection and pay fishermen to retrieve them. But when the crew open this cooler, they’re shocked by what they find: body parts tightly wrapped in plastic. Though she is putting herself in the projected path of the hurricane, Special Agent Maggie O’Dell is sent to investigate. Eventually, she’s able to trace the torso in the cooler back to a man who mysteriously disappeared weeks earlier after a hurricane hit Port St. Lucie, Florida. Only Port St. Lucie is on the Atlantic side. How did his body end up six hundred miles away in the Gulf of Mexico? Cliffhanger chapters, behind-the-scenes forensic details, colorful characters, and satisfying twists have become the trademarks of Kava’s psychological thrillers. In Damaged, she ratchets up the suspense a notch by sending Maggie into the eye of an impending monster hurricane to track down a killer. From the Hardcover edition. Amazon.com Review Steve Berry Reviews *Damaged* Steve Berry is the author of six thrillers in the bestselling Cotton Malone series (The Templar Legacy, The Alexandria Link, The Venetian Betrayal, The The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Paris Vendetta, and The Emperor's Tomb), and three stand-alone thrillers (The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Third Secret). Read his guest review of Damaged: Alex Kava is a master. Her heroine, Special Agent Maggie O'Dell, is one of the classic characters of the thriller genre. Maggie's adventures have taken her to small-town America, and into the Catholic Church, bringing her face-to-face with some sick individuals. But that's her job. She's a criminal profiler. And good at it. Now, in Damaged, Maggie is thrust into the eye of an impending monster hurricane to track down another killer. Alex Kava has a knack for the macabre. This time she hooks the reader when a fishing cooler is found floating in the Gulf of Mexico filled with a human torso, one foot, and three hands, all tightly wrapped in plastic. Despite the fact that a Category 5 hurricane is just off shore, and headed her way, Maggie is sent to investigate. Resources are limited. All law enforcement is focused on evacuation and emergency preparations. It's Maggie's job to find out what's going on, but when she discovers that the remains belong to a man who mysteriously disappeared weeks earlier, after another hurricane hit on Florida’s Atlantic Ocean side, the real trouble begins. There's a ton more to this story, but I don't want to give away too much. Let's just say that it's unexpected. Once again Alex Kava has concocted a tale similar to speeding at a hundred miles an hour down a giant slalom course, with all its associated twists and turns. The whole thing starts fast and gets faster. Maggie O'Dell is a brilliant and complicated heroine--at once witty, smart, and detailed, but always highly entertaining. Damaged is a book from a writer who knows how to deliver exactly what readers want. Alex Kava is in the top echelon of suspense masters and this one is not to be missed. Questions for Alex Kava on *Damaged* Q: Where did the inspiration for Damaged come from? Why did you decide to send Maggie O’Dell into the path of a deadly hurricane? A: In spring of 2004 I bought a house on the bay just outside of Pensacola. Six months later Hurricane Ivan hit. Nine months after that, it was Dennis. I’ve lived most of my life in tornado country so I thought I was prepared for hurricanes. The anxiety and anticipation is excruciating. And nothing prepares you for the aftermath. It’s hard to explain. It may sound a bit clichéd but there’s a transformation that takes place when you experience something like that, especially as a community. I’ve been wanting to throw Maggie into the path of a hurricane ever since. Q: You write in great detail about FBI processes and forensic investigations. How did you do research in these areas? A: Real experts are still the best sources of information. I've been very fortunate to have contacts in a variety of law enforcement and forensic fields, people I can call or email with questions. Some have become close friends who share details of their cases with me over dinner. I’ve also had the privilege of visiting Quantico, and was able to spend some time down in the Behavioral Science Unit talking to special agents who do every day what I only write about. What I don’t know, I read, constantly. I now have an extensive library of my own and anyone who checked my laptop’s cache would probably be shocked to see the types of websites I surf on a regular basis. Q: In Damaged, you write about the black market for human organs. Where did that idea come from and how did you research? A: Several years ago I read a special report in USA Today about the illegal body parts business. It mentioned a case in Brooklyn involving a body broker and several funeral homes that were stealing tissue and bone from corpses, in some instances, replacing the bones with PVC piping and hiding the theft by sewing the bodies back up. Sometimes entire bodies were stolen instead of being sent to the crematory. The indictment charged that as many as 1,000 bodies may have stolen by this one group. It fascinated me how greed could literally eviscerate a solemn practice that we take for granted and expect to be treated with dignity and respect. From then on I started searching for and saving anything I could find on the subject. I read several books including Annie Cheney’s Body Brokers and Kathy Braidhill’s Chop Shop. Q: Tell us about Maggie O’Dell. Where did the inspiration for her character come from, and is she based on a real life person? A: I never intended for Maggie to be a series character, so she’s had to evolve and reveal herself to me with each novel. In the beginning with A Perfect Evil Maggie was a tough, young FBI agent driven much more by impulse and passion. She’s matured a bit, though still driven to do the right thing. I think Maggie’s a lot more accepting of who she is and less apologetic of how she goes about doing her job. She’s not, however, based on any one person and although she and I share some personality traits--our unintentional abuse of fine leather shoes and our love of college football--Maggie’s certainly not my alter ego. For one thing she’s much braver than I am. Q: Critics and fans alike have found your heroine, Special Agent Maggie O’Dell, very appealing. What is it about her that readers can’t get enough of? A: I have to admit I’m not sure what it is, because sometimes Maggie drives me crazy. What I hear from readers is they like that Maggie’s not a superhero. They can relate to her. Yes, she might be an excellent profiler but she failed at her marriage and struggles with her personal relationships. She has flaws. She makes mistakes. But the bottom line is that Maggie does the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing, even when it gets her in trouble or puts her in danger. I think readers admire that about her. Q: What’s next? Can you give us a preview of your next novel, and will we see more of Maggie O’Dell? A: Maggie will be back in Hotwire. Her boss sends her to the Midwest to investigate cattle mutilations in the area and Maggie stumbles upon a bizarre triple murder of some local teenagers. (Alex Kava Photo © Deborah Groh Carlin) From Publishers Weekly At the start of Kava's exciting, if grisly, eighth Maggie O'Dell novel (after Black Friday), Liz Bailey, a 27-year-old Coast Guard rescue swimmer, retrieves a stainless steel cooler from Florida's Pensacola Bay. Inside are human body parts. FBI special agent Maggie and Charlie Wurth, the Department of Homeland Security's deputy director, once again team to investigate. Meanwhile, Maggie's hunky new boyfriend, Col. Benjamin Platt, comes to Florida in search of monstrous bacteria killing too many soldiers. The two cases connect through a body-parts broker who calls himself Joe Black. Black may be as charming as Brad Pitt, who played Death in the film Meet Joe Black, but he's a cold-blooded murderer who uses natural disasters and shady funeral directors, like Liz's brother-in-law, to stock his business. Maggie must venture into the eye of Hurricane Isaac as this intense thriller builds to an eye-popping revelation that will leave fans eager for the sequel. 6-city author tour. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava returns in a blaze of glory with a gripping, action-packed thriller featuring special agent Maggie O'Dell,who is leading the search for a serial arsonist whose crimes threaten Maggie dangerously close to home. When a building bursts into flames on a cold winter night in D.C., investigators see a resemblance to a string of recent fires in the area. There is one difference, however: This one has a human casualty. The local team insists they're looking for a young white male, suffering from an uncontrollable impulse to act out his anger or sexual aggression. But when special agent Maggie O'Dell is called in, everything she sees leads her to believe that this is the work of a calculating and controlled criminal. Jeffery Cole, a reporter looking for his big break, is also at the scene of the crime and decides to make Maggie part of his news piece, digging up aspects of her past that she would rather forget. Maggie's brother Patrick is also back in DC where he is working for a private firefighting company and is frequently called in as these fires continue to light up around the city. As the acts of arson become more brazen, Maggie's professional and personal worlds begin to collide dangerously. The killer may be closer than she imagines. Review Praise for *Fireproof "A serial arsonist is torching empty warehouses in areas of Washington, D.C...in bestseller Kava’s strong 10th Maggie O’Dell novel (after 2011’s Hotwire)...Amid a barrel full of red herrings...the suspenseful plot builds to a finale that offers an irresistible lure to Maggie’s next outing." - *Publishers Weekly* Praise for* Hotwire * "A sizzling plot, achingly real characters, and government officials working their backsides off to save their backsides, all strike as lethally as lightening." —Starred Review*, Publishers Weekly* "The question of how such wildly disparate outrages might be connected is ingenious." *—Kirkus Reviews "The ninth in the Maggie O'Dell series is a strong entry that's just plausible enough to leave readers wondering about the line between truth and fiction." —Booklist * About the Author Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series. Her twelve books, including?two stand-alone novels, have been published in more than twenty countries, appearing on bestseller lists in Britain, Australia, Poland, Germany, and Italy. She is the recipient of the Mari Sandoz Award and a member of International Thriller Writers. She divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Pensacola, Florida.
Review EARLY PRAISE FOR HOTWIRE: “O’Dell could be Reacher’s long-lost twin.” —Lee Child "Outstanding . . . A sizzling plot, achingly real characters, and government officials working their backsides off to save their backsides, all strike as lethally as lightning." —Publishers Weekly, starred review “Kava spins a plot with significant political ramifications, combining nonstop action and lethal danger with developing the personal relationahip between Maggie and Ben. The seventh in the Maggie O’Dell series is a strong entry that’s just plausible enough to leave readers wondering about the line between truth and fiction.” —Booklist “The question of how such wildly disparate outrages might be connected is ingenious.” —* Kirkus Reviews* "Twisted plots, shocking characters, breakneck pacing. Guaranteed to keep you up all night!" —Lisa Gardner, author of *Love You More "Hotwire has it all: solid storytelling that propels you right along, intriguing mysteries, memorable and believable characters, and ripped-from-the-news storylines . . . Don't miss Hotwire, a perfect book for the middays of summer." —Bookreporter.com "Kava has given readers a tightly written, ambitiously plotted mystery involving secret government research programs and devious goings-on in the rural Sand Hills...I couldn't out it down..Kava seems to get better with every book." --*Omaha World-Herald "Kava demonstrates the thriller chops that have earned her a place on The New York Times best-seller list. Kava charges through the action and builds towards an electric ending." - -Lincoln Star Journal PRAISE FOR DAMAGED: "Rip-roaring action that only builds in intensity with every page, Damaged kept me so riveted during a long plane ride that I completely forgot where I was -- the mark of a true thriller!" --Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of Ice Cold “Damaged moves and rides and thrills right along from page to page...The perfect book to take along on vacation -- for some many frightening, twisted reasons.” *—Bookreporter.com * “This intense thriller builds to an eye-popping revelation that will leave fans eager for the sequel." —Publishers Weekly From the Hardcover edition. About the Author ALEX KAVA’s two stand-alone novels and eight novels featuring FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell have been published in more than twenty countries, appearing on bestseller lists in Britain, Australia, Poland, Germany, and Italy. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Alex divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Pensacola, Florida. From the Hardcover edition.