Most helpful critical review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Something of a return to form for the Maggie O'Dell series.
on April 21, 2006
FBI agent Maggie O'Dell gets another go-around with evil Father Keller in the fifth book of the series. Many characters from previous novels make a reappearance here, and the first half of the book is quite a gripping read.
We have the murders of several priests that is baffling police and the FBI. We have an on-line game that appears to be playing a dangerous game of wish-fulfillment for young people who have been abused by priests. And we have Dr. Gwen Patterson, who is receiving notes that appear to be from a killer who is beheading young women. Whew! How could all this be connected?
This book is probably most highly recommended to those who have read the previous novels and would therefore have more familiarity with the multitude of characters peppering the plot - first-timers might have a little trouble keeping up.
But while the novel is highly exciting for its first half, it begins to drop off as it nears the end, when it should be picking up more speed. Although Father Keller is undoubtedly evil, I didn't find him terribly scary or interesting, so the attempts to present him as Maggie's ultimate "nemesis" were a little underwhelming. His strong presence in the latter half of the novel was a weak point for me. Similarly, the lack of any real climax to the proceedings does damage, as does the predictability of many of the closing plot revelations.
But "A Necessary Evil" demonstrates that Kava could yet be a writing force to be reckoned with. If she had managed to make the second half as exciting and twisty as the first, this would have been a first-rate thriller. As it is, it's still entertaining and definitely not a waste of the reader's time.