Doubleday, Jul 12 2011, $25.95
In the Western Nebraska Sandhills, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell accompanies State Patrol Investigator Donald Fergusson as he shows her mutilated cattle with no blood on rancher leased land in the Nebraska National Forest. However, five miles away in Halsey, teenagers toss a party in which two are electrocuted and a third barely survives; others are also injured or in shock. Fergusson and O’Dell quickly rush to the tragic scene. The survivor Goth loner Dawson Hayes swears he saw a white creature with red eyes as well as a strange light show. However, he was stoned and in shock so his testimony is discounted as drug induced inanity. That is except for the local UFO Network operative Wesley Stotter who stalks aliens.
In Washington, Metro DC Detective Julia Racine picks up her partner's daughter at school when a nasty case of ptomaine poisoning attacks over one hundreds students. Maggie's lover, military Dr. Benjamin Platt, and CDC’s Dr. Roger Bix investigate the food poisoning.
The latest O’Dell police procedural (see Damaged) is an exciting thriller in which the two apparently diverse subplots cleverly merge into a tense suspense. The Nebraska alien invasion and the DC poisoned lunches are intriguing scenarios that grip the readers. Although the villains in spite of their results never ironically seem frighteningly developed to matter, fans will enjoy this fine investigative tale.