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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 16, 2006
I have read all of Alex Kava's books and have enjoyed them. This one was no exception. Kava does a great job building the story and keeping the suspense. While she does not bog the story down with a lot of unnecessary description, she does, however, have her characters offer a little too much personal introspection.

PLEASE NOTE: If you have not read any of Kava's previous books, do not start with this one. I had a hard time remembering some of the incidents that occurred in prior books that tie into this story. Start with A PERFECT EVIL. It will make reading this one that much more enjoyable.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Alex Kava pulls off a nifty shocker with lots of twists in this latest Maggie O'Dell offering. Kava deftly handles two seemingly unrelated serial murders: Maggie is investigating the gruesome decapitations of young women in the DC area when she is called back to Nebraska to profile the serial murderer of Catholic priests. Meanwhile, Maggie's best friend and mentor, Dr. Gwen Patterson, is acting strangely and we find early on that Gwen is receiving notes from the DC killer--a killer who just might be a patient. In Nebraska, Maggie is paired with Omaha PD's Tommy Pacula, and of course she runs into her boyfriend from the first novel, Nick Morelli, who is now engaged to be married. Lo and behold, who else should be involved but Father Michael Keller, the ruthless killer from the first novel who finds himself targeted by the priest killer. There is a possible tie-in with young boys who have started a new game on the Internet, with their leader only known as The Sineater. Maggie works hard to establish the connection before time runs out, and in doing so must make a deal with the devil Keller.

A NECESSARY EVIL is great fun, and Kava effortlessly interweaves these storylines with a good ironic ending.

Fans of the series will rejoice and if you're new, go back and pick up the other O'Dell books--they are very well done.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
#1 HALL OF FAMEon February 1, 2006
In DC and in Nebraska someone is killing men who have abused power with an emphasis on priests. Though the M.O. is similar and the victims all tainted, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell begins to think two different perpetrators are at work with a common bond. That assumption leads her with the help of her mentor Dr. Gwen Patterson and Detective Julia Racine to search for the link between the killers, which she believes, is an Internet role-playing game for those who have suffered abuse at the hands powerful males.

As Maggie worries about her friend Gwen who is acting strange and wants distance from Julia, the case takes a weird spin when the man she hates most in the world, brutal Father Michael Keller, is forced to return based on a package he received while hiding in a remote part of South America, with an offer to help her stop the killings in return for his ability to vanish once again in Venezuela. Maggie debates making a Faustian deal with the child killing devil while vengeance continues.

Alex Kava's latest exhilarating O'Dell thriller showcases the profiler struggling with a complex case made more difficult by the actions of her beloved teacher Gwen, whose fears of field work hampers her ability to help. The fast-paced story line for the most part contains the two subplots that move back and forth between Omaha and DC before tying together in an exciting action-packed tale. Fans of the series will enjoy Maggie's dilemma as to whether to deal with A NECESSARY EVIL or not.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2006
It would seem that Maggie O'Dell has two separate serial killers on her hands. One in New England kills young women, then removes their heads and takes the torso for his trophy. The other attacks Catholic priests who have been implicated in abuse cases. Is there any baffling way that the two could be connected? As she follows the trail, things only become more confusing, and more dangerous.

**** This fascinating thriller will keep your attention from beginning to end. Though at times it might seem confusing as two apparently separate killers terrorize the country, the way they are connected is a stroke of genius on the author's part. Ms. Kava has become famous for leaving readers with an startling end, and she does still, but don't skip ahead to see what it is; you won't get it unless you read the whole thing. ****

Amanda Killgore
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2006
As usual I was not dissapointed with the latest Maggie O'Dell installment. This character has all the ingredients of superstardom. She is as vunerable as she is strong, I love it. I can't wait to see what happens next with her and Nick, her and her half-brother and even with her mother. I love the way each novel slowly shows us a chapter in her life with out a real conclusion, because that's the way life really is, all behind the back drop of hunting serial killers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2006
A good way for authors to gauge their readership is to measure the clamor that is manifested for the return of a minor character --- good or evil --- to a particular series. Alex Kava, whose Maggie O'Dell series has been adding readers exponentially with the subsequent release of each installment, introduced a vile character named Father Michael Keller in A PERFECT EVIL, the first O'Dell book, and let him get away. Fans who've been hoping for Keller's return have finally gotten their wish, thanks to Kava's latest novel, A NECESSARY EVIL.

At the beginning of the book, O'Dell is busily assisting with the investigation of a murderer in the Washington, D.C. area who's beheading young women and leaving their heads in various places. O'Dell is unaware that her mentor, Dr. Gwen Patterson, has been receiving clues about the killings from the murderer. Patterson has been frightened into silence regarding the clues, as the killer has an apparent link to Patterson and will use this information against her if she doesn't cooperate with him.

In the midst of the investigation O'Dell is abruptly transferred to a different assignment in Omaha, Nebraska, where a Catholic priest has been killed. It is soon determined that this murder has similarities to that of another priest and an ex-priest in different locations. However, O'Dell receives the ultimate shock when she gets a telephone call from Father Keller, who is offering his assistance in return not only for immunity from prosecution for his past acts, but also for protection from the murderer, who has targeted Keller as his next victim.

Kava is at top form in A NECESSARY EVIL. There are a number of water cooler moments, the most notable one occurring about halfway through the book. I won't give it away, but it's going to be a while before I can walk into a kitchen without thinking about it. Kava also focuses on events in O'Dell's personal life without allowing the book to stray from the main plot(s), even setting up some plot vehicles for subsequent O'Dell novels. Taken as a whole, A NECESSARY EVIL is a must-read for longtime fans of Kava and for readers looking for a new literary addiction. Recommended.

--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2006
The title says it all. It was to say the least a very enjoyable book in which took me 3 days to finish. I have never heard of Alex Kava before, but i was instantly attracted to the cover of the book. I am in love with books like this one, where there are plots, mysteries and suspense. this one just put it all into a nifty package for me to enjoy on a rainy day.

Maggie O'Dell an FBI agent who was origianlly assigned to the cases where there were young women being decapitated and left "carefully" in places, which really adds to the suspicion to this case because a lot of killers would just toss the decapitated head to the side. This killer carefully places the head, sooner or later a woman would call into the station as an anonymous caller and give the police the location in where the head would be found.

before they can solve the case, Maggie O'Dell gets called off to travel all the way to another state to help profile/solve a mystery that has the county police baffled. The killings of priests. Who is killing these priests? what are there motives? what does it have to do with a strange video game in which certain boys get a special invitation in which they have to submit in a name of a priest they wish were dead.

it was supposed to be a game right? so how in the world as well as who in the world is killing these priests when it was suppsoedly a game? what has these priests done to deserve death?

this book, was simply put. GREAT.

I would recommend this book to my friends but then they are very faithful to the church as well as the priests LOL so there is no way I can tell them to read this book. Its really enjoyable, i hope to see more great books from Alex Kava soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I must agree with several reviewers here who strongly recommend that you do not make this your first book in this series. Read `A Perfect Evil' first and your enjoyment and understanding to this particular work will most certainly be enhanced. I read several of the negative reviews here and (and I am probably wrong) but it would seem to me that several read this one as a stand alone; something that may no work well here...and then there are a couple of those negative reviews where it is quite obvious that the reviewer did not bother reading the book at all....pity.

Priests are being mysteriously killed all over the country. All killed in public places in a similar manner...all are linked, so we find. Back home in the Washington area we have a series of heads being found; all young women. The bodies are missing.

Two mysteries in one. While Maggie O'Dell is off chasing the priest killer, here best friend, Dr. Gwen Patterson is acting strange and has become extremely involved with the D.C. killings.

There are a lot of characters from the previous novel mentioned above...even Nick, one of Maggie's old love interests is involved and is even dumber in this novel than in previous works...I am not sure why the author insists ok Keeping the character Nick around; the guy is simply dumb as a box of rocks!

An old villain (Keller) appears from out of Maggie's past complicating the story in a good way.

I did love the ending of this one...very gratifying.

Overall a good read and a fast read and I am looking forward to more of the same down the road.

This was a library find.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2008
This book kept my attention and was a hard to put down thriller. Scary, yet provocative, it was a fast read.A Necessary Evil (Maggie O'Dell Novels)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 22, 2009
Ah yes, I do see some of the twists coming up, but the author does it in such a way that the alert reader feels smart in catching it, much as a puzzle solver feels good in solving a difficult puzzle.Basically (contradicting one reviewer), the plot has Maggie O'Dell involved in two radically dissimilar cases in which the M. O's are fantastically different, and yet a strange connection suddenly appears. Women in D.C. are being beheaded while Catholic priests guilty of child moletation and in different geographical areas are being killed. There's no way these can be connected until one particularly grisly murder...This is more than a ystery. It's a character study in which a seemingly evil person considers himself "on the side of the angels", and in which the profiler Maggie O'Dell needs to choose between revealing all she discovers on one hand, and allowing true justice to be done on the other hand. Also, we have a character who realizes too late that there would have been fewer murders with a little positive action from that person.This is definitely a rewarding book to read.
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