Customer Reviews for

Damaged (Maggie O'Dell Series #8)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted July 8, 2010

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    A good suspense read for the beach.

    Maggie O'Dell can't ever relax. As an FBI profiler for murder cases, she's frequently in the line of fire (and other unpleasant things) when she's trying to do her job. Barely off a case where she's blamed for not predicting the killer would return to his hide-out, she's rushed off to Pensacola, Florida where a cooler full of body parts is found floating in the ocean. It would seem an easy task, if it weren't for the Category 4 hurricane heading her way.

    Damaged is Alex Kava's eighth Maggie O'Dell novel, and though I haven't read the first seven, I would definitely give them a go someday. I didn't feel like I was missing any incredibly important detail from the earlier books, because Kava slips in tidbits when they are needed. The writing is intuitive and natural, the plot is intriguing, and though it isn't hard to figure out who the murderer is, it's fun watching Maggie solve the mystery.

    Damaged is fairly short, only 255 pages of actual text, and some chapters are only a page and a half. I think some of the passages could have been lengthened, gaps filled in with more detail to make the book fully resonate. The ingredients are all there, and they represent a tasty dish, but the heartiness of a home-cooked meal is missing.

    Regardless, Damaged is still an enjoyable read. If you're looking for a quick and easy suspense book for the beach next weekend, pick up a copy when it's released on July 13.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Damaged

    I have to say that I really enjoyed Damaged. It has been awhile since I've read anything in this genre (and by that I mean "FBI-profiler-seeks-serial-killer" stuff) because frankly I think that it's been seriously overdone. While the premise of such a novel is hardly original, I think that Kava does a good job of keeping this story fresh. It is set in the path of a Category 5 hurricane, which adds an element of interest, and has a very smart plot with subplots that are all equally interesting. As I mentioned, this is my first Maggie O'Dell novel, but it will certainly not be my last. Damaged is fast-paced with super-short chapters. a perfect beach read. While prior Maggie O'Dell cases were referenced throughout the book, I never found myself at a loss, though I may have understood some of her personal relationships better if I had read some of the earlier titles. FBI profiler stories have become a dime a dozen over the years, so Kava's ability to create an interesting story line populated with believable (and not over-the-top) characters is a testament to her genuine talent. The great thing about this book is that it essentially takes three separate story lines and gradually intertwines them into one seamless thriller. Damaged is creatively and intelligently written and I look forward to backtracking through the rest of the series to see if they are all also done this well.

    The Bottom Line: A terrific psychological thriller that will restore your faith in the genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Edge of Your Seat Climax

    This thriller is a fast read. Not because it's short, but because it's so hard to put down non-stop action. The short chapters, mostly five to six pages long, move the reader through the book like the hurricane sweeps through the story.
    Hurricane Isaac is heading straight for Pensacola, Florida. It has already hit Jamaica as a category-4 storm, which means its winds were 131 to 155 miles per hour and caused "devastating" damage, killing dozens of people. It soon picks up to a catagory-5 with winds 156 miles per hour or greater and capable of causing "catastrophic" damage.
    Some residents of Pensacola-the ones who rode out the last storm-don't believe it will hit dead on, but most of the area is evacuating. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Bailey, a twenty-seven-year-old Coast Guard rescue swimmer and veteran of Hurricane Katrina, is part of a team who discovers a floating cooler of horror, full of body parts. They're not even all from the same body.
    Meanwhile.Maggie O'Dell, FBI special agent and profiler, returns from a bloody shootout to be sent by her unfriendly boss into the hurricane's path to help investigate the discovery. No time to recover.
    Meanwhile.Colonel Benjamin Platt, an infectious disease expert and a guy Maggie would like to have as more than a friend, is sent to the same area to see if he can figure out what's happening to cause some mysterious deaths among military patients.
    Meanwhile.a funeral director named Scott, who is Elizabeth Bailey's brother-in-law, is getting himself involved in something that he knows should make him a lot of money. He doesn't exactly realize what it is though.
    The threads are woven together expertly against the backdrop of the impending storm, which is picking up power and heading straight for all these characters. The climax will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Reviewed by Kaye George, author of "Choke" for Suspense Magazine

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

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    suspence and great characters

    This book was one of my favorite Maggie tales! The story weaves all the characters into the ending and it is really well written! The characters come to life as the storm takes over! Can't wait for the next one!

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Strong women characters carry the day in this unusual detective thriller

    Damaged is the 8th novel in the series of Maggie O'Dell is an FBI profiler. Maggie has proven herself and become the "go to person" for the complex serial killer cases. In Damaged, O'Dell is mentally and psychologically exhausted from her latest case, but she's tough and unwilling to give an unsympathetic boss leverage over her. Maggie has learned to keep her demons to herself. When a cooler filled with body parts is found floating in Florida, her boss sends her down to assist. Maggie ends up in middle of a hurricane trying to help local officials identify a container of body parts, determine whether the parts come from murder victims - and if so, stop the killer.

    Maggie's dropped in an unfamiliar city with a minimal support system. Part of the book's strength comes from Kava's description of just how Maggie overcomes these difficulties and learns to make alliances. Things don't come easily for Maggie and she appreciates every consideration and kindness that she receives. Not surprisingly, other folks that are similarly situated warm up to Maggie.
    One such character is Liz Bailey. Although she's a secondary character in the novel, Liz stands out. She's a rescue diver which means that she's lowered from a moving chopper into dangerous waters and volatile situations. While her courage, technical expertise, and her fast thinking have saved lives, Liz has been assigned to a new team and must prove herself to them. Like Maggie, Liz faces an unsympathetic and chauvinistic supervisor -- and Liz's handling of him and his pettiness bring a certain something to the story.

    This is my first Alex Kava novel and I particularly liked her strong women characters. One thing that struck me was how Kava delved into the dynamics between Maggie O'Dell and her direct supervisor FBI Assistant Director Raymond Kunze and (2) the pettiness and power tripping demonstrated by Liz Bailey's direct supervisor towards the competent rescue diver. Both women respond the only possible way -- they take it on the chin and win my sympathy. I love that both Maggie and Liz prove themselves through their competence and work ethic. It was those small moments that made the book stand out to me.

    Despite my focus on the work politics that the two lead women face, Damaged is a detective thriller first and foremost. Kava carefully crafts the story so that the action and clues build on each other to give us a fast-paced and complex thriller. If you're looking for a detective or crime thriller with strong characters and an interesting plot line, Damaged will surely satisfy.

    ISBN-10: 0385531990 - Hardcover
    Publisher: Doubleday (July 13, 2010), 272 pages.
    Review copy provided by the publisher.

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