Friday, July 18, 2008

A Necessary Evil - Alex Kava

As the killing spree continues unabated, it becomes clear to Maggie O'Dell—the FBI profiler assigned to the case—that more than one perpetrator is responsible. As she begins to drill down into the facts, Maggie discovers a disturbing Internet role-playing game for youths who have been victims of male authority figures—including Catholic priests.

With the first real lead in the investigation, Maggie wonders if this group has turned cyberspace justice into reality by dispensing their own brand of vengeance. As the ritualistic killings leave America's heartland reeling, Maggie gets a second lead—one that leaves her stunned.

For the past four years she has been driven by blind determination to find Father Michael Keller, the human monster whose acts of brutality continue to haunt her to this day. Sick and twisted, the priest seems to have vanished without a trace. But with an irony that only life can offer, now he has become a target.

When Keller offers to help Maggie solve the crimes in exchange for protection, she has no choice but to ally herself with the elusive child killer—the person she despises with a conviction that's almost religious in its fervor. Maggie must cross a dangerous line into a world of malevolence and evil from which she may not return unscathed. Maggie knows the bargain is a necessary evil…one that may be made in blood...

Alex Kava seems back in top form with her latest Maggie O'Dell novel. I'ts weird but here she brings back a lot of characters and some of the themes of her first book which had been my favorite - Nick Morrelli is back and so is Father Michael Keller. Child abuse is the main theme of the story and what motivates a series of murders of priests in several states.

Maggie is already involved in a case about young women being murdered when she is called to a case of a murdered bishop about which Nick Morreli's best friend may know something. Maggie and the police have a hard time discovering what is going on till her old nemesis Father Keller contacts her with the offer of giving her evidence if she will get him an antidote for the poison he has been given.

Unbeknownst to the detectives an online game computer played by invitation only has been made known to several people who suffered abuse at the hads of priest and who are invited to kill online the person who abused them but the truth is that those nominated start to die, killed by The Sin Eater.

There´s more suspense in the story than is previous books. The murderer is forever contacting Maggie's good friend Gwen (btw where's Tully) and leaving her clues about what was going to happen. Also soon it seems obvious that not all the murders can have been commited by the same person.

Much against her personal beliefs Maggie is forced to accept the deal with Father Keller but in the end was that a necessary evil? And can some murders be considered that one wonders from the ending presented...

Grade: B+

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