Mira, Oct 2008, $24.95
In Quantico, Virginia FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her boss Assistant Director Cunningham receive a note from “God” telling them not to miss a crash at 13949 Elk Grove. They race to the site where they find a dying woman from what appears to be a deadly contagion; also there is a frightened young girl Mary Louise who vomits all over them. They quickly take the pair to the secret U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Ft Detrick. Maggie and Cunningham are quarantined there to insure they were not exposed to hemorrhagic fever virus.
Maggie’s partner, Agent R.J. Tully investigates the case based on the little information the frustrated O’Dell provides while she remains in a secure area. The culprit seems to be working randomly across the United States using the murderous signatures of infamous serial killers, but no pattern has emerged linking the victims even as the body count rises.
This is a terrific entry in the O’Dell FBI cases as the heroine, probably EXPOSED, is forced to help from the sidelines while her partner works the field. The story line is fast-paced but as always character driven from the moment Maggie fears she ate a poisoned donut and never slows down as “God” threatens the children. Although the scenario with taunting bragging serial killers has been done before; merging it with possible biological terrorism refreshes the theme. Alex Kava writes a winning thriller.