Author: Alex Kava
Series: Maggie O’Dell (Book #6)
Next in series: Black Friday
Previous in series: A Necessary Evil
My rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: An act of terrorism or a personal vendetta…
On a seemingly routine morning at the FBI behavioral sciences unit, agent Maggie O’Dell and her superior find a threat hidden in the doughnut box and are subsequently exposed to a deadly virus. Is this the work of a fanatic or someone with a grudge? How many will die before Maggie and her partner uncover the truth?
Review: A thrilling premise delivered with style. A little different from the other books in the series, Exposure is more of a medical thriller than a serial killer novel. The plot is reminiscent of the 1995 film “Outbreak” with Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo in which a diseased monkey is smuggled into the US and ends up infecting a small town.
Characterization is definitely Kava's strong suit and she doesn't disappoint with the revelations about Tully's past. Maggie, on the other hand, is still a strong and intelligent heroine but does not seem able to learn from her mistakes either personally or professionally. The secondary characters are also well-developed and clever hints are included in the details so that the careful reader can work out the nature of the threat and the identity of the villain, whose motivation turns out to be very intriguing.
In general, the book is well written and I particularly enjoyed the true crime trivia interspersed throughout. Nevertheless, there are moments, particularly in the first half, where the plot lags and the suspense is lacking; it ultimately picks up and progresses rapidly in the second half and from then on becomes “unputdownable”. It must be noted that the story relies heavily on information provided in earlier installments and as such this is not the book to read if you are new to the Maggie O’Dell series.
The surprises in this book should make the next one even more interesting.