Serial killer Ronald Jeffreys was executed for three murders. Three months after his death, the body of a boy is found, killed in the same style as Jeffreys' victims. Is there a copycat killer on the loose? Or is this the real thing?
Sheriff Nick Morrelli isn't equipped to deal with the case, so calls in one of the FBI's best criminal profilers, Maggie O'Dell. Together they start to uncover the gruesome picture of a killer. The picture of someone who has already been executed for his crimes. When another victim is found, the terrible truth begins to come clear.
Was Jeffreys convicted of crimes he didn't commit? Or has a cold-blooded killer been given the chance to perfect his crime?
“Kava’s writing is reminiscent of Patricia Cornwell in her prime. ” — Mystery Ink
About the author
Alex Kava is an international bestselling suspense writer. Her work has been widely praised by critics and fans alike, and her previous novels in the Maggie O’Dell series, A Perfect Evil, Split Second and The Soul Catcher, have spent several weeks on the New York Times extended and USA TODAY bestseller lists. Growing up in the country outside Silver Creek, Nebraska, Alex Kava fantasized about becoming a writer. Her parents, although they understood the value of education, had a tremendous work ethic. Reading was seen as frivolous unless required as schoolwork. As a teenager, Kava wrote short stories on the backs of calendars, sharing them only with her younger brother and hiding them in a shoe box under her bed. / Kava earned an art scholarship to attend college. To pay living expenses, she worked in a nearby hospital’s central supply department collecting and sterilizing all of the basins, instruments and equipment from surgery, pathology and the morgue. In 1982 she graduated magna cum laude from College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska, with a B.A. in art and English. /After graduating, Kava held a variety of jobs, mostly in advertising and marketing. Starting her own graphic design firm, Square One, she designed food packages and logos for national corporations, wrote brochures and newsletters, created a line of greeting cards and directed TV and radio commercials. In 1992 she returned to her alma mater as its director of public relations. /Kava quit her public relations position in the summer of 1996, wanting to dedicate more time to writing fiction and getting published. To pay the bills, she resurrected Square One, refinanced her home, maxed out her credit cards and even took on a newspaper delivery route. /Alex Kava is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Her Web site is located at www.alexkava.com
A serial killer eludes an FBI profiler and a smalltown Nebraska sheriff in Kava's engaging debut, which manages to remain entertaining despite a fairly conventional plot line. As the story opens, recently appointed Sheriff Nick Morelli is as relieved as the rest of the citizens of Platte City that his predecessor, who also happens to be his father, has captured the child killer who plagued the town. But after the killer is executed, another child is discovered dead, and Morelli realizes that the convicted man was in fact a copycat killer, leaving the original criminal still on the prowl. Morelli gets some much-needed help in the investigation from FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell, but the hunt gets complicated when Morelli's sister, a journalist, leaks info to the media. Things become even stickier when O'Dell unearths a couple of unlikely suspects who've been dismissed by the police, and the search takes on a new level of urgency when Morelli's nephew is abducted and appears to be the next victim. Kava keeps her prose simple, but she does a nice job of setting up the chemistry between O'Dell and Morelli while balancing the various family issues Morelli faces in the investigation. She also makes good use of the smalltown milieu, tightening the tension by establishing that the killer is part of the fabric of the community. The result is a well-crafted page-turner involving the reader in the specter of murder in an intimate and disturbing fashion, with a plausible setup for a sequel.