Saturday, April 18, 2009

Exposed - Alex Kava

Agent Maggie O'Dell and Assistant Director Cunningham believe they're responding to a threat made at Quantico. Instead they walk into a trap. Before they realize it, they've both been exposed to a killer who can strike at anyone, at any time, and no one can predict who might be next.until it's too late. The killer's tactics suggest he's an aficionado of criminal minds. He uses bits and pieces from those he admires: a phrase from the Beltway Snipers, a clue from the Unabomber, a delivery method similar to the Anthrax Killer. His weapon is a deadly virus, virtually invisible and totally unexpected. His victims appear to be random but, in fact, they are chosen with a revengeful precision. The vaccine is limited and untested.Maggie knows dangerous minds - from hauntingly perverse child predators to cunningly twisted serial killers. Now she faces a new opponent from inside an isolation ward at a biosafety containment hospital.
Maggie must help Agent R. J. Tully find clues to catch the killer - while waiting to see if the deadly strain is already multiplying in her body. With every new exposure there's the potential for an epidemic. And Maggie knows she and Cunningham may not live long enough to discover who is the deadliest, most intelligent killer they've ever profiled.

I have been following Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series from book 1 and I am happy to say that this sixth installment is one of the best I read.

Maggie and her boss receive an anonymous letter that leads them to a house where a woman if dying with a contagious disease. They all have to be quarantined and soon the virus threatening them has a name: Ebola Zaire. One of the deadliest viruses around.

Not only that but also several people across the country are receiving money packages infected with the virus. While some of the top officials are worried about keeping the disease a secret, others are trying to discover who is behind this horrifying attack. Maggie O’Dell is closed up in her quarantine room waiting for the symptoms to appear, or not, and the only thing she can do is a web search trying to make some sense of what clues they have.

Kava is very good at keeping the suspense, not only we are curious to know who the bad guy is but we are waiting to see who else is going to be infected and if Maggie and the little girl are doomed too. In fact, she writes it in a way that new characters are constantly appearing as possible victims. What we don’t know is why so seemingly unrelated people are all being targeted. The book is very fast paced and an absolute page-turner.

Taking center stage beside O’Dell, Kava introduces another interesting character who may, or may not, be a love interest. In addition, for anyone who is curious we do have a glimpse of Nick Morrelli in this one.

I really enjoyed the book and found it very refreshing because it was so different to have the main character closed in a room for most of the action. And I liked the idea of the bioterrorism threat as a plot device.

Grade: 5/5

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