A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell Series #1)

A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell Series #1)

by Alex Kava


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A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 253 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a harlequin romance masquerading as a psych-thriller. The protagonists spend long moments thrilling to one another's touch while the nephew of one is locked up somewhere by a psycho serial killer from Hell (who's not particularly well written). The two also have moments of teen angst concerning their respective parents. With all this childish emoting going on, it's no surprise that the psycho serial killer gets away!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Just before the state of Nebraska executed him for the heinous murders of three boys, Ronald Jeffrey confesses his sins to Father Francis. Ronald insists that he only killed and raped one of the lads, Bobby Wilson. He swears to God that he never murdered, mutilated, or raped the other two boys. No one including the confessional priest believes Ronald is anything but a serial killing monster.

Three months after the electrocution of Ronald, a new corpse of a young butchered boy is discovered in Platte City. Relatively new Sheriff Nick Morelli has no experience with this type of investigation. He asks the FBI to lend him a top profiler. Maggie O¿Dell is tired to the bone after a particularly nasty case. Her boss gives her a choice of some R&R or helping Nick. With personal demons that reject any notion of rest, Maggie travels to Platte City to assist the local law enforcement team. As they work together to uncover an evil presence who has murdered again, they fall in love, but as Maggie knows, the aftertaste of a case leaves little room for happiness.

A PERFECT EVIL is a near perfect serial killer thriller that will excite fans of the sub-genre and police investigative stories as well. The manhunt story line is fast paced, never slowing down for a moment. However, the plot succeeds because of the depth and understanding of the characters. They seem genuine whether they are police, psychopathic killers, or support cast. Alex Kava has debuted with a winning tale that will leave sub-genre fans anxiously awaiting the obvious sequel that hopefully will close out the few loose ends.

Harriet Klausner

aats More than 1 year ago
I must say that while there was definite potential for this book, I won't be wasting my time on any more of Kava's books. The pace would pick up and then be interupted, mostly with romance scenes. I found it disturbing that the sheriff could be romancing a woman while his newphew was possibly being murdered and mutilated. Also dissapointing was the developement of the killer. And though Maggie O'Dell is supposed to be a profiler, Kava really didn't do a good job of making her seem like one. The end was dissapointing because of the absurdness of the killer helping her old nemesis escape from prison. It might have been more believable had the entire story been written better. Oh, and why do all the main characters have parental issues????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok. I read this book when i was in 7th grade (and many time afterwards as well). I have been completely obsessed with Alex Kava since. Maggie O'Dell is an amazing character and if you like this one continue to read the series. I promise you wont be disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really want to thank Alex Kava. If it wasn't for her then I wouldn't be reading again. I am single mom that has a hard time finding something that keeps my intrest until now. Perfect Evil was such an awesome book that I actually finished it in 2 days. That means a lot cause it usually takes me forever to finish a book, if I ever finish it. So thank you again...and keep it coming. Oh yeah, Nick needs to partner up with O'Dell some more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A perfect evil? Sorry, not in my opinion. From the title and the synopsis, I was expecting a bone-chilling, white-knuckled thriller. Unfortunately, what I read was a dime-store romance thinly disguised as a very predictable mystery. I would have preferred a story with a lot more character and story development and a LOT less about the sexual tension between the two main characters. It was extremely distracting, and because of the lack of character development I found it somewhat offensive. Overall, I liked the idea behind the plot line, but between the lack of originality as far as 'twists' go and the complete absence of any in-depth character development, I must say that I would hesitate before reading another book by the same author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I almost didn't buy this book due to some of the comments in the reviews I read. But the book synopsis just kept sounding so good, that I decided to try it. And boy, am I glad I did! This was an excellent read! I liked the story line and the writing style. I just couldn't put it down. And there is a sequel to it that I am just starting!! This new author is going to be around a while!
Jenrae More than 1 year ago
Without giving anything away let me just say that this book didn't have a typical ending. It left the door wide open for another book. This was my first Kava novel and won't be my last. It was well written and a definite page turner. Kept me on the edge of my seat.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. From the very beginning of the book to the very end it holds you in suspense. I can't wait to read her sequel Second Chance.
joroJR More than 1 year ago
I was into this book from the first page to the last. Kava has the ability to keep the momentum going. I will read many more of her books.
Sansabiel More than 1 year ago
All of these books have that "can't put it down" quality. The characters are very real and the locations in Mid-America are a nice change from the usual LA-New York setting. I also am impressed by the fact that unlike most people, this author has taken the time to learn about the thought processes of dogs. This is so rare as to be almost nonexistent. Bravo! With our dogs being so important to our lives, it's nice to see the occasional human taking enough interest in them to make an effort to understand them.
reetRM More than 1 year ago
I havent read a Maggie O'Dell I didnt love . Cant wait for the next one always.
Bj66BF More than 1 year ago
Totally hooked on this series. I am now reading book #3.
vstarlady More than 1 year ago
I bought everything she has written she keeps you hooked from page one. I would be up till 2-3 am because I could not put her down...Page turner can't wait till she comes out with a new book.
lovingmomAH More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book at our library about a year ago and I was trying to find a new author. This book was so good. Not only is it a great mystery but it also has a lil romance. Great story!!! It is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read, kept me wanting more from the first chapter. Love that this is a series.
janiern More than 1 year ago
Very easy to follow and get involved with. Usually takes me a while to read a book but I breezed right through this one and bought the next book. Love Maggie's character.
Klausp More than 1 year ago
This is my first read of Kava, it won't be my last. One of those books that grabs you from page one and keeps your interest until you are sorry that you find yourself on the last page. Great character development, good research, creates a sense of being there and part of the action.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a little too intense for me. Several scenes describing sexual assaults against children. Having two young boys of my own, it was difficult to stomach. The plot was predictable and cliched. The "love" story in the middle of the madness was a trip. If you need to find "the one," head to a grizzly, slash-em-up child-murder scene and love is sure to blossom.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book, and I was hoping for a better ending. This book statrted out slow, but did pick up. There was so much going on at the end that it was difficult to wrap your brain around it. I plan to continue reading Alex Kava just because I have to see what else happens to the characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Less than a quarter of the way through this book, and I have solved it. It would have been better had the author not given information from the killer's point of view.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I appreciated the premise and the read of the main characters was fairly enjoyable, but it's best if borrowed from the library. The killer is exposed to the reader too early in the story and the chapters very annoying. Just because the characters have a new thought or the writings describe something happening in another room or building during the same timeline doesn't validify creating a new chapter. The bumbling sheriff was humorous and the profiler was practically a carbon copy of Thomas Harris' Agent Starling which got tiresome very quickly. I enjoyed the begining and ending 20 chapters or so, while the middle 80 could've benefited greatly from an editor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When Ms. Kava had sent me the first nine chapters of this novel in an email ms in the spring of '99, I had to admit that I was hooked by page one. It was agonizing for me to have to wait another year and a half to read the rest of my friend's book. However, I had guessed at the killer's identity and Jefferys's relationship to him after reading the first nine chapters. I'm glad (and sorry) to say that I was right.

Kava sets up a compelling, if thread-worn story (the book's crimes are based on an actual series of child-murders in Kava's small Nebraska hometown. Even the date for Jefferys's execution is slavishly cribbed from the original date), using a near-expert POV that threatens to rival Jeffery Deaver's. The book, despite the annoying pseudo-romantic distractions, still maintains a pace like a Mac truck on a steep grade with the brakes out.

The backstory, too, regarding Albert Stucky and FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell is compelling and Kava expertly sets up an immediate demand for the sequel in the last page.

What bothers me about this book, and these points have been brought up time and again by earlier reviewers, is that Ms. Kava knows nothing or next-to-nothing about FBI profiling and protocol, municipal law enforcement procedure and a hundred other topics. There isn't enough actual romance to make the relationship between Nick and Maggie to qualify A PERFECT EVIL as a romance (even though Mira is an imprint of Harlequin). Yet Maggie's pheramonal reaction to the lady-killer sheriff merely subtracts from her already fading credibility as an FBI profiler and an independent, professional woman.

In the end, I have to say that A PERFECT EVIL, while it confirmed my suspicions regarding the killer's identity (which, regardless of the plethora of obligatory red herrings, is easily discernible long before the end), it fell far short of my expectations. Hopefully, Ms. Kava's sequel, SPLIT SECOND, will be a more mature and accomplished effort.

Guest More than 1 year ago
Ms.Kava's first book contains every tired cliche in the mystery genre.There is the kindly old priest,the wicked cleric, the sinister sextant, the slimy deputy, the dominerring father,the sexy secretary(everyone is sexy and horny),children that we don't even get to know.All are forgettable characters, and the children have no charater, just names which is her inadequate substitute for letting us develop a relationship with these tragic victims.But she sure bludgeons us with sexual references. She cannot refrain from mentioning raging hormones for more than two paragraphs.Every glance and motion is an invitation to the sack. Her hero,a misogynist, (who is brilliant, supposedly, Harvard Law, etc. is doltish and non-perceptive at the same time) would fit better on the front of a Romance novel, and the FBI profiler is unbelievable, at best. The ending is predictable;I was glad when I finished the book. She makes little errors, like'coffee with congealed cream and sugar'(that doesn't happen) and 'most hotels showers are lukewarm' Doesn't this priest have any control by his bishop? Most of these people appear rather stupid, especially the men who vary from mediocre to evil. The constant refferal to sex is boring. 'The sensation went from her stomach to her groin area'(or some such blather). Really! What a bore.
TheoClarke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Readable and largely unremarkable murder mystery marred by stereotypical characters.