Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Split Second - Alex Kava

I read A Perfect Evil a while ago at A.'s recommendation and after that I couldn't resist getting the others in the series. While A Perfect Evil had a romance subplot this story is more of a thriller and the romance is really very secondary.

Some say Maggie O’Dell has lost it – lost the professional edge that makes her one of the best criminal profilers, and lost her ability to think clearly. Since capturing Stucky she’s been walking a tightwire, battling nightmares and the guilt over the victims she couldn’t save. Now with the news of his escape, she’s been taken out of the field until he’s caught again. But Maggie knows the truth: only she can see into the twisted mind of this madman. Only she can catch him. Albert Stucky wouldn’t have it any other way.

When it becomes undeniable that Stucky’s trail of victims is leading closer and closer to Maggie, the Bureau puts her back on the case. Under the supervision of Special Agent R. J. Tully, Maggie joins the hunt for a psychopath who continues to stay one bloody step ahead of them. And, once again under the control of a cunning killer, Maggie finds herself pushed to the very edge.

What, ultimately, is Maggie O’Dell capable of? Has her desire to stop Albert Stucky—to make him look into her eyes before she ends the game once and for all—become a matter of personal vengeance? Has she crossed that line in her need to make him suffer as he’s made others suffer? And is this Stucky’s game—to turn Special Agent O’Dell into a monster?

Maggie O'Dell's nemesis, the murderer who almost killed her in the past in back to torment her after having run away and killed two security guards. As before he starts murdering young women and leaving her remains to be found. The twist is that the women he is murdering are all people that Maggie came in contact with recently. Maggie is still very much scarred, physically and psycologically from her last encounter with Stucky and besides being totally determined, some would say obsessed, with finding him she also starts to have doubts about the evil inside her as she plans to kill Stucky. And all this happens when Maggie, newly divorced, moves to a new neighbourhood and starts to live alone so she is even more vulnerable.

I did like the book, it had a suspense atmosphere that I usually enjoy and Kava is wonderful at maintaining the tension but something seemed to be missing, maybe Maggie's lack of family and friends to help her think and reflect on how the case is affecting her. Her Director does make her visit a psychiatrist but that was one character I found very odd. Another secondary character that is introduced in this book is R.J. Tully her new partner. A bit odd at first they seem to have developed some degree of trust by the end of the book so I’m looking forward to see how their investigative talents will develop in the next book.

Maggie finds Nick, her romantic interest from A Perfect Evil but nothing is really resolved by the end of the book so I'm thinking he will show up again in the future. While it wasn’t as good a read as A Perfect Evil it was entertaining and I’ll continue to read the series.

Grade: B-

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