DAMAGED by Alex Kava


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As Hurricane Isaac bears down on Florida, a grisly discovery off the Gulf Coast plunges FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell into a mystery with far-reaching implications.

Dispatched to check out a capsized boat in the roiling Gulf Waters, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Elizabeth Bailey gets two nasty surprises. First, the tiny craft is nothing more than a watertight storage container. Second, the container, which Liz retrieves at some peril, holds a severed human foot. Thanks to the miracles of modern forensics and databases, the foot will eventually be identified as that of Vince Coffland, who disappeared from Port St. Lucie, 600 nautical miles away, during a hurricane. Long before then, however, Kava’s frantic cross-cutting—at one point she interrupts another thrilling sea-rescue sequence for a discussion of what sort of infection has killed an Afghan War vet back in a Pensacola hospital—will have tangled her cast in a complicated web. Readers are invited to connect the dots among profiler Maggie O’Dell; her physician lover, Col. Benjamin Platt, who’s investigating a baffling outbreak of infections among service veterans; Liz’s father, Navy veteran Walter Bailey; his son-in-law, funeral director Scott Larsen; and Joe Black, the mysterious Death Salesman who’s paying Scott serious money to store corpses he’s farming for body parts. Maggie (Black Friday, 2009, etc.) gets upstaged at every step by the hurricane, but at least it provides her the occasion for an all-too-brief confrontation with the villain who’s pulling the strings.

A faster-paced version of those disaster movies from the ’70s.

Pub Date: July 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-53199-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2010


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