STRANDED by Alex Kava


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The FBI’s Maggie O’Dell (Fireproof, 2012, etc.) battles a serial killer who ranges freely along the nation’s superhighways.

Whoever murdered Gloria Dobson and Zach Lester on their way to a sales meeting is one arrogant killer. Not only did he deliberately seek out two potential victims who were traveling together, but after mutilating their bodies, he arranged for Maggie to receive a bare-bones road map that sent her and her partner, R.J. Tully, scurrying from the nation’s capital to the nation’s heartland—Sioux City, Iowa—where he’d left another victim and teasing hints of still more. As the powers that be back in Washington convene a Highway Serial Killings Task Force, whose members include Maggie’s friend Detective Julia Racine of the D.C. Metro Police and her even closer friend Dr. Gwen Patterson, the psychiatrist of choice to Beltway politicos, Maggie and Tully feel as if they’re being fed clues in a scavenger hunt. Serial firebug Otis P. Dodd announces from his prison cell that he’s met a guy named Jack who shared detailed information about his killings. College student Noah Waters emerges from the Kansas countryside, a potential victim who somehow managed to escape from Jack even though he’s too traumatized to describe the man who killed his buddy Ethan Ames. Just when Maggie thinks she can put a proper name and a face to Jack, the rug is pulled out from under her in a way that’s probably more surprising to her than to readers.

In Kava’s hands, the echoes of several familiar serial-killer yarns are just as breathless but a lot less original or compelling.

Pub Date: July 16th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-385-53554-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013


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