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Stranded (Maggie O'Dell Book 11) [Kindle Edition]

Alex Kava
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava returns with another action-packed thriller featuring special agent Maggie O'Dell, who is on the hunt for a "truck stop" serial killer.

Tired travelers and weary truckers have stopped at rest areas on the nation's highways for decades to refuel, grab a bite, and maybe get some shut-eye, but one man's rest stop is another's hunting ground. For decades the defenseless, the weary, and the stranded have disappeared along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace, but these seemingly unconnected incidents are no coincidence, and a madman stalks the freeways.

When FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again.

As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who's terrorizing the nation's highways, she turns to a former foe for help since he seems to know just what the killer's next move will be. As she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* A serial killer who finds his victims—preferably two at a time—at interstate-highway rest stops takes a shine to FBI Special Agent Maggie O’Dell and starts leaving her clues. A map left in Maggie’s burned-down house in the Washington, D.C., area sends her, with partner R. J. Tully, to a deserted farm in Sioux City, Iowa. Here, with the help of Ryder Creed’s cadaver-hunting dog, they find one of the killer’s prime dumping grounds, as the perpetrator himself watches. Then comes a clue from Manhattan, Kansas, where a college student who survived the killer is terrorized by his memory of his best friend being savagely murdered and threats of what could happen to him. In her eleventh Maggie O’Dell entry, Kava shows mastery in constructing a plot with nonstop action, covering a time span of just over a week, with suspense rising to a nearly unbearable level in a climax in the Florida backwaters. Maggie is indomitable—slogging through mud or water in search of clues and perps, inured to the sight of decapitated or eviserated bodies, cool in facing a canny killer—with a loyal supporting cast and hints of a new romantic interest. Prime escapism for thriller fans with strong stomachs. --Michele Leber


Winner of the Florida Book Award

“A wild ride. . . . Never lets up on the tension.”
The Omaha World-Herald

“Alex Kava has created . . . a winning character in Agent O’Dell.”
The Washington Post Book World

“A plot with nonstop action. . . . Prime escapism.”
Booklist (starred review)  

“Hair-raising…. Kava adds a human touch to the heart-thumping chase.”
Publishers Weekly

“You’ll never feel comfortable about stopping at a rest area or truck stop again.”
The Pensacola News Journal

“Maggie O'Dell is a brilliant and complicated heroine—at once witty, smart, and detailed, but always highly entertaining.”
—Steve Berry

“Kava’s . . . cliffhanger endings are spot on.”
The Boston Globe

“O’Dell could be Reacher’s long-lost twin.”
—Lee Child 

Product Details

  • File Size: 1575 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (July 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B3GMI2I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,561 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very authentic mystery June 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Many times while traveling the nations highways, I have enjoyed the rest areas and truck stops for their vibrant air of America on the move. Travel these same roads alone and in the dark of night and your perspective changes dramatically. This is when I prefer to have a large dog and a handgun with me. The victims of what the FBI called the "truck stop killer" did not have the sense of danger and lost their lives. The book opens with Maggie O'Dell and her partner checking an obvious burial site for this killer. As the body count on the site behind the rest stop increases, Maggie and her fellow profilers and friends find that this killer has a strange fascination with Maggie and has already torched her home. The killer's identity is a mystery although they know much about him. A cadaver dog handler piques dog lover Maggie's interest and admiration. New bodies linked to the killer keep Maggie moving though Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa as well as the East Coast. Is she pursuing or being lured to the killer? The final confrontation is as unexpected as it is dangerous to Maggie and those she cares for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best mystery I've read in a while! June 9, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
FBI Agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner Tully are part of a task force looking at how serial killers may, in fact, be using the US highway system to aid in their killing sprees. What the find is more than they bargained for as they find a vicious and prolific killer who is smart and evil, and who taunts them with clues to lure them into a trap. I really don't want to spoil anything by revealing too much because this book really did have me at the edge of my seat. A couple nit-picks. Like many series, if you haven't read earlier books in the series there are a lot of references that only make a little sense, and it was hard to remember all of the relationships between characters. I also felt the ending could have been a little better (it seemed rather abrupt after holding me on edge for so long), but I can really say "I didn't see that one coming". If you like mysteries, you really will enjoy "Stranded".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hang onto your hats, this is one wild ride! July 7, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've read other Alex Kava thrillers and knew what to expect and wasn't the least bit disappointed.
FBI special agent, Maggie O'Dell and her partner are drawn into the web created by a serial killer who is leaving bodies near open highways. The victims are not similar excepting the fact that they were in a vulnerable situation. It isn't long before Maggie realizes the killer has formed a connection with her. As to be expected, Maggie begins to figure out what is going on, but ends up finding herself in a life-threatening situation, not only for herself but also for her partner. I found it impossible to put down until I reached the end. And one added intriguing element is introduced in the possibility of a new romance for Maggie, making anxious for the next book in the series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Since 2008, I have read many Alex Kava's thrillers in her FBI Agent Maggie O'Dell series. For me, each becomes increasingly addictive. This captivating 320-page suspense thriller, "Stranded" is my favorite to date.

Kava holds the readers' focus through believable, memorable characters, smooth transitions, perfect pace, intriguing subplots, vividly descriptive writing and choice of words that are not x-rated.

In this case, an evil, mysterious, insidious serial killer crisscrosses American highways seeking unsuspecting victims at rest stops to terrorize and murder. The author uses short chapters and converging stories beginning with grisly scenes just off interstate 70 outside Manhattan, Kansas and another just off interstate 29 outside Sioux City Iowa to develop this spellbinding plot.

While this is a standalone novel, I would recommend reading some of the earlier novels in this series to appreciate the intricate background and careful development of the most prominent returning characters in the series.

Margaret "Maggie" O'Dell and R J Tully are seasoned Virginia based FBI agents. Their boss, Assistant Director Raymond Kunze assigned them to the FBI's Serial Killing Initiative that started years earlier with the creation of a database of murder victims found along United States Highways and interstates, now numbering over 500. The database was created to allow local law enforcement officers a source to check whether murders in their jurisdiction might be related to victims in other states.

Up to this point, the psychopathic killer meticulously planned and gave careful forethought implementing his sick game without a pattern or trail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting serial killer thriller June 3, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
FBI Special Agents Maggie O'Dell and R.J. Tully are tired of the road but stumbled upon the deaths of seasoned travelers Dobson and Lester while working a serial arson case (see Fireproof). They suggested to their supervisor Assistant Director Kunze that an experienced serial killer used someone else's blazes to conceal murder. He agreed with their assertion and assigned the pair to the FBI Serial killer Highway Initiative; formed due to the dire need to profile predators working the vulnerable rest stops.

The clever psychopath, who used arson to hide bodies like that of Dobson, appears to realize the Feds know of his vocation. Unable to resist, the culprit leaves clues for Maggie to find as to the next rest stop. Though frightened of being assaulted again by a prisoner, Maggie's BFF Dr. Gwen Patterson interviews a convict who insists he chatted with someone a year ago over disposing corpses.

Rotating viewpoints, the latest O'Dell FBI police procedural (see Hotwire) is an exciting serial killer thriller that emphasizes how dangerous, especially at night, the Interstate rest stops can be. Although the premise of a killer leaving clues to the cop targeted as the end game has been used too frequently, fans will relish Maggie (and to a lesser degree Tully) playing cat and mouse with a lethal psychopath in an enjoyable above the speed limit storyline.

Harriet Klausner
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but same.
Spoiler alert!! This was another case of a serial killer going after Maggie. Been there, done that, but other than that it was good.
Published 5 days ago by Heather Morneau
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Alex Kava never ceases to amaze me with her stories !
Published 10 days ago by Kristin M. Lasky
4.0 out of 5 stars No disappointment in this book
Haven't read an Alex Kava novel in a while but as at the first page, I knew this was going to be good. Read more
Published 12 days ago by bt
5.0 out of 5 stars As usual Alex Kava has written an excellent story!
As usual Alex Kava has written an excellent story!! I love that you don't ever really know who it is until the end, makes me just want to read it until it is done without putting... Read more
Published 18 days ago by alice926
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book !!
This was my 5th Alex Kava Maggie O ' Dell book I've read and I can't decide if this one or Split Second was the best but nevertheless this book was a real page turner ( read it in... Read more
Published 26 days ago by roger bradford
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
What a wonderful story. It was exciting and the people realistic - t was easy identify with them and their feelings. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Machigua
5.0 out of 5 stars No more rest area for me!
Another Maggie O'Dell that I couldn't put down. Constant motion. Twists, turns. Chilling. I myself have stopped numerous times at rest areas. Never again. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Victoria Daniels
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
i loved it, right from the start. it was pretty intense all the way thru.
Published 1 month ago by Jim Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
All of Alex Kava's books are great reads. This one included.
Published 1 month ago by Marialice Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This was the book written after "Fireproof" that we had listened to. You need to listen to them in order to completely understand the story in "Stranded". Read more
Published 1 month ago by Billie S. McMillan
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