by Alex Kava – When I discovered I had won book 8 in this series in a Goodreads drawing, my usual inability to read a series kicked in… especially when I realized I had, in fact, already read book 3 in 2006. Yes, by itself and out of order! I don’t know how I did it, or why, but I decided to rectify the situation. Thus, I acquired the entire series (except, strangely, book 3) and started at the beginning. And what a beginning!
Kava’s series features Maggie O’Dell, an 8-year veteran of the FBI when A Perfect Evil starts. She is not the only POV character, but Kava pulls off the multiple POV thing seamlessly. Not many seasoned writers can do this, yet Kava wrote like a pro even in this, her first published novel. I’m so impressed by how much this book does not read like a first book, not just because Kava’s writing is so good (and it is), but also because Maggie is already a fully formed character when we meet her, with a history that has led to psychological, emotional and physical scars that are revealed slowly over the course of the book. And the novel’s ending lets the reader know that Maggie’s past will continue to play a major part in the character’s future and in at least one more book in the series.
Bucking stereotypes of female authors of crime novels, Kava doesn’t shy away from graphic detail or seriously violent scenes. She handles the tough parts of her story with as much skill as the more emotional, “girly” parts.
I’m looking forward to diving into book 2 this very morning, and I strongly recommend you jump right in, too. (finished 6/13/11)