Monday, July 7, 2014

REVIEW: A PERFECT EVIL (Maggie O’ Dell, #1) by Alex Kava

Title: A Perfect Evil
Series: Maggie O’ Dell, #1
Author: Alex Kava
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: September 17, 2012
Genres: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 5/5


A killer is watching . . .

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.

Morreli 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.


This book was recommended and gifted to me by a friend. Without reading the book synopsis first – something I usually don’t do anyway – I delved right in and instantly got absorbed in a world where little boys are abducted and murdered as a means to be saved. It sounds bizarre, but from the killer’s point of view it made perfect sense.

This is the very first book I’ve read by Alex Kava, but definitely won’t be the last. It has all the elements readers of suspense novels would hope for, including an unconventional ending which takes us right to the next book in the Maggie O’ Dell series. It is fast-paced, but without glossing over any important details. Both protagonists are three-dimensional and each has their own history as well as psychological, physical, and emotional scars; all the essentials for strong, yet flawed, intriguing characters. 

The most important aspect of this novel is that it keeps you in suspense the whole time. I wasn’t sure who the murderer is, and whether he/she had a helper or not. The entire plot is unpredictable, but the author gives the reader enough clues as to who the guilty party might be. It’s just a matter of whether you believe her, or whether you think she’s trying to mislead you to get you off the trail of the real villain. Either way, you’ll be left guessing until the end when it’s time for the big reveal. 

Overall: this was a terrific read, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series. It also has a good dollop of romance for those who enjoy their thrillers with a side-order of something a little less intense. Unfortunately this won’t be going on my Top Ten Reads of 2014 list, but it is still a must-read for fans of the thriller / suspense genre. I’m absolutely positive you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

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Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, eleven of them in the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series. Her stand-alone novel, One False Move, was chosen for the 2006 One Book One Nebraska and her political thriller, Whitewash, made January Magazine’s best thriller of the year list for 2007. Published in over twenty-five countries, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Italy and Poland. She is the recipient of the Mari Sandoz Award presented by the Nebraska Library Association. Kava divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida. She is a member of International Thriller Writers.

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