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4.6 out of 5 stars19
4.6 out of 5 stars
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If you've read the previous Maggie O'Dell novels, you're in for a real treat in A Necessary Evil, as Alex Kava finally returns to the elusive killer of the first book in the series.

Someone is killing priests across America, and FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell becomes involved in the hunt for the murderer. Meanwhile someone is killing women, and Maggie's friend Dr Gwen Patterson is clearly hiding something from her.

There are several strands to this story, including the return of Maggie's ex-lover Nick Morelli and his sister Christine, the introduction of Detective Tommy Pakula, and the Necessary Evil of the title - Father Keller's return and his pact with Maggie to help her track down the priest killer. Alex Kava is expert at holding the reader's attention to all the strands, with relatively short chapters. It soon becomes apparent that everything is going to weave together, and the skill with which this is done is outstanding.

Above all, A Necessary Evil is a real page-turner and a thrilling tale. One proviso: if you haven't read the previous Maggie O'Dell novels, you'd be advised to do so first, starting with A Perfect Evil. Full knowledge of the characters' backgrounds is a great advantage, if not a prerequisite. But that said, this is another superb addition to the series and I can't wait for the next. Alex Kava deserves to be recognised in the premier league of crime writers.
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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2008
Contrary to what other reviewers have stated her on Amazon this is actually Alex Kavas 5th Maggie O'Dell novel. The first four being; A Perfect Evil, Split Second, The Soul Catcher, and At the Stroke of Madness, respectively. This sees the return of 'A Perfect Evil's' elusive killer; Father Keller and also includes all the other leading characters of the series except R.J Tully who is away on vacation. Because of this I advise you to read the first four books in the series to really get the most out of this book.
I went into this book with a few doubts as I was less than impressed with the last book in the series 'At the Stroke of Madness' and was beginning to lose hope in the O'Dell series. I thought this book started of a bit slow and I found it a bit hard to get into however after the first couple of hundred pages it really starts to get goin and the tension builds and it turns out to be another enjoyable read from Kava, however not enough to fully regain my hope in the O'Dell series.
I'd definately recommend this book but only if you have read the others in the series first and I'd also recommend Kava's latest standalone 'Whitewash' as I found it much more enjoyable than the reason efforts involvind Maggie O'Dell. I can only hope that Alex Kava regains some of the pace and tension of the series with her latest Maggie O'Dell book out in October titled 'Exposed'.
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on 26 March 2012
This was my first read of Alex Kava's thrillers - I was looking for something of similar quality to Lee Child and Michael Connelly; I think this author comes fairly close - I'll definitely try reading the rest of her books.

The plot was well thought out and revealed at a steady enough rate to hold the readers interest; The main characters were likeable and believable - I'd have liked to know more about them, but perhaps reading the books in the correct order will provide more background.

I did think the short kidnapping episode near the end was somewhat unrealistic - would a villain take a potential victim to his hotel room whilst aware that the FBI investigator is staying in the same hotel; knows his history and his room number? I think not... Nevertheless it didn't detract from the main investigation and I did like some of the details included - the literal and figuritive breadcrumbs at the crime scenes and their significance was interesting - I'll say no more...
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on 4 August 2013
Great reading, this was a real page turner, i recommend it for any avid readers of suspense/thrill novels guarantee you will want more!
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on 20 June 2015
I read a later book in the series and I enjoyed it so much I just had to buy book 1. I now have read 5 books in a row and am loving the main characters. The plots are excellent and builds the tension, fantastic film material.Really looking forward to starting the next. I am adding Alex Kava to my favorite author list that includes; Michael Connoly, Stuart McBride and Simon Kernick.
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on 17 July 2014
Another great book in the Maggie O'Dell series. Maggie is investigating a serial killer who appears to be killing women and priests and leaving their head to be discovered. Her friend Gwen seems to be distracted by something.
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on 19 July 2015
Another gripping story, cleverly taking the reader through the challenges faced by Maggie and the people she interacts with, leading down different paths and then revealing a rather clever outcome.
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on 17 March 2014
This series of books is very good. sometimes a little slow for me but that's because they are so good can't wait to get to the conclusion.
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2007
This is the third in the series of the Maggie O'Dell books by Alex Kava (A Perfect Evil and Split Second are the previous books, which I recommend you read first).

Someone is killing catholic priests and FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell is called in to investigage the killing spree. Other murders are also happening, several women are murdered but all that is found are the decapitated heads and no bodies! The book also sees the return of Father Keller, the elusive child killer from A Perfect Evil.

Overall, A Necessary Evil is a great read but I found the first half of the book a bit slow. The second half was much better and more of a page-turner. I would recommend reading this if you have read the first two books in the series. Definitely read A Perfect Evil, it is brilliant!
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on 22 April 2016
what can I say brilliant book by a brilliant writer thank you
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