Return to the pulse-pounding world of FBI special agent Maggie O’Dell, in book two of the bestselling series by Alex Cava.
They dubbed him the Collector, so named for his ritual of collecting victims before disposing of them in the most heinous ways possible. FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell tracked him for two years, finally ending their game of cate and mouse. Now Albert Stucky has escaped from prison…and he is setting up a new game for Maggie.
Some say Maggie O’Dell has lost her edge. Since capturing Stucky, she has been walking a tightwire, battling nightmares and guilt over the victims she couldn’t save. Now that Stucky is loose again, she’s been pulled out of the field. But as Stucky’s trail of victims leads closer and closer to Maggie, she is put back on the case under the supervision of Special Agent R. J. Tully. Together they race against the clock to hunt the killer, and Maggie finds herself pushed to the very edge. Has her desire to stop Albert Stucky become a matter of personal vengeance? Has she crossed the line? And has that been Stucky’s goal all along—to make her into a monster?
Originally published in 2001
FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell, star of Kava's first thriller, is back again in her second, but her return is not a happy one. From the very first scene, in which serial killer Albert Stucky escapes from two pitifully inadequate prison guards, through the inevitable and apparently endless escalation of brutality (usually against women), to the predictable ending, this is strictly a blender job: part Thomas Harris and part Patricia Cornwell, with odd bones and scraps tossed in from other similarly grisly and more successful sources. O'Dell, who plays Clarice Starling to Stucky's Hannibal Lecter, is still physically and mentally scarred by the two years she spent on his case and she's fighting to get back on it. She gets her wish. Before she can even unpack the boxes in her new home, one of her neighbors disappears, leaving behind a bloody mess, and another is found dead in a Dumpster. Soon, Stucky strikes even closer to home. The supporting cast is full of cardboard cutouts unsuccessfully masquerading as characters, and since O'Dell herself is so miserable from the start, it's hard to care whether or not she and Stucky ever do make it to their final showdown or, for that matter, which of them survives. Kava's hackneyed prose doesn't help matters: "Dear God! How much longer could she put up with the nightmares?" Probably longer than a lot of readers will put up with this book.
The characters in this story are so evil that it’s shear terror and mystery. It’s hard to believe that anyone can be so evil and have such a long range of terror. But as always happens they finally get caught. Love Alex Kava books. Always good reading.