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A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  11,724 ratings  ·  412 reviews
On July 17, convicted serial killer Ronald Jeffreys was executed for three heinous murders. He went to his grave with a terrible truth no one would listen to.

Three months later, another body is found, killed in the same style as Jeffreys' victims.

Is there a copycat killer on the loose? Or is this the real thing?

Sheriff Nick Morrelli isn't equipped to deal with this case th
Paperback, 389 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Mira Books (first published June 17th 2000)
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I discovered Alex Kava back in 2007 when my husband bought it randomly as a birthday gift. I was always into mystery and suspense novels so I knew I would probably like it, but I had no idea I was going to love it this much.

Maggie is an FBI agent - a profiler - who's on the hunt for a serial killer. It sounds like your average murder mystery I know, but no it's really awesome! This is the first book in the Maggie O'Dell series, but it doesn't read like one. The writing is great and the characte
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 E
Absolutely, truly enjoyed this book. Captivating, twists and twisted, difficult subject matter, very well written, really likeable characters, and a cliff hanger to boot!

Alex Kava knows how to write a book and keep your attention - the killer wasn't always that obvious, she makes you think and second guess yourself - love it!

A bit of romance, just enough and not over done - like that about this book. I don't need graphic sex in my reading - that is what your imagination is for if it is that much
I love a book that keeps me up late reading and gets me out of bed early to grab just a few more pages before I start my day. Kava has done a stellar job building characters and settings and her Maggie O'Dell is my kind of strong if tortured protagonist.

I liked the fast pace of this thriller. If the sign of a great book is that you feel like you are scrambling along a cold muddy river bank running and hiding for your life along side the victims and hunters then this is a great book. There are th
Karyn Niedert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"A perfect Evil" started out really good but tetered out pretty fast. Overall it was okay, but it's still nowhere near a very good thriller.

The story is pretty predictable --- even though there are several suspects thrown in throughout the story I daresay that anyone with half a brain will know after just a few chapters who the killer is.

The characters are okay (nothing special, though). One thing that I found kinda strange is that even though the book is called "A Perfect Evil - A Maggie O'Dell
This books was truly terrible. I wanted to quit by the 10th chapter, but I usually finish a book once it's started. In this case it's a decision I deeply regret. Time in my life that I could have spent reading something good, is now gone forever.

None of the characters are at all likable and they are all downright stupid. The author had cops destroying evidence and bumbling around like fools. She somehow even made the poor little 10 year old victims stupid. Two children have been kidnapped and ki
D.B. Reynolds
The first book in the Maggie O'Dell series of romantic suspense ... although there really isn't much romance. I've read the first four books in the series, and so far Maggie has met, been attracted to, and deflected at least two very handsome and charming men. I like these books because the suspense is quite well done, and the mysteries are intriguing. Maggie's self-destructive behavior in the first three books was less attractive, but, aside from her serious issues with personal relationships, ...more
Michelle Maas
Ugh, I quit at page 127. By then Kava has given away the murderer's identity, his motive, his next victim, the love interest. The next 200 pages would reveal how the good guys finally (if ever) catch the bad guy, along with, I assume, more detailed descriptions of child sexual assault, misogynist torture, bludgeonings, drugging, strangling, stabbings, desecrations of corpses. Not my idea of a relaxing summer night's read. I wanted to read it because it was a writer setting her action in Nebraska ...more
The North Wall
It's hard to know where to start with this one. I thought I was on the verge of kicking off a new, smart female-centric series that I could get my teeth into. What I ended up with was a sub-par, not very thrilling thriller with a ridiculous Mills & Boon-esque romance simmering, panting, and almost but never quite cavorting in the background.

I was surprised to find alleged series lead Maggie O'Dell relegated to one of many POVs, with the bulk of the initial plot being driven by blander-than-
Dec 27, 2013 Muthulakshmi rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Muthulakshmi by: Nobody
I finished 5 chapters. Then I said profane things for a while because I am disappointed that yet another book with good reviews, turned out to be such a cop out. Where do I even begin?

Oh yes, the beginning. There we are, getting introduced to a man who raped and killed a little boy and is about to be put to death. Kids, do you know what time it is??

It is confession to Jesus time!!

Dialogue(he strangled the boy): "I waited until he was dead before I cut him. He didn't feel a thing"

Dead people
on the one hand, this book had kept me on the edge of my seat while reading it. and O'delle was great- with her fears, her problems, her past and her professionalism.

then, what's the problem? i didn't take me long to realize who the murderer is. and i took me a long time to finish that book. it was(!) a good book, but at some point i felt like the end wasn't going to come. because it dragged.

i'll be the first to admit, when deciding whether i love a book or not it is a question of:
1. the char
Black Butterfly
Apr 10, 2013 Black Butterfly rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ADULTS
Recommended to Black Butterfly by: AMAZON
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
I've just discoved the show "Criminal Minds" and it's become one of my very favorites. So when I picked up this book featuring Maggie O'Dell and she is a criminal profiler for the FBI I just jumped for joy.
I'd have to say "A Perfect Evil", by Alex Kava had to be one of the superior suspense thrillers that I've read in a long time. Starting with the first page the story had me sucked it. Very difficult to put down, this one is a shining star. Throughout the book I kept thinking I knew who killer was, but didn't see ending coming. Some very well developed characters added to the suspense throughout book. I found myself rooting for the protagonist Maggie O'Dell. Maggie seems broken in her personal li ...more
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Rating: 4*

Cover: Yay

Review: This book was a really hard one to rate and review because it was a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand it was a real page turner and I couldn't stop reading it but on the other hand it was obvious who the killer was before we'd even got halfway through ..... so why did it manage to keep my interest?!

Then there's the fact that I loved the main characters of Maggie/Nick but then most of the other characters were chauvinistic pigs that I wanted to slap.

I think this boo
Een hele spannende thriller. Echt wel leuk alleen wel een beetje bouquet reeks achtig, zo nu en dan, wat ik weer niet zo heel erg leuk vind. Gelukkig was dat maar minimaal dus daar heb ik maar zo’n beetje overheen gelezen.
Wow I loved this book. I am now a die hard Alex Kava fan after only reading the first in the Maggie O'Dell series.
Convicted killer Ronald Jeffreys is executed for the murder and desecration of three little boys. He wholeheartedly admits his guilt to one of the three, but goes to his grave professing his innocence for the other two murders. In three short months after the execution, another body of a young boy is found killed in a similar manner. Small town sheriff Nick Morrelli realizes he’s in over his head and lacks the resources to deal with an investigation of such a scale. He enlists the help of Maggie ...more
(3.5 stars). I thought it was a bit long. I thought that the character of Nick was written as incompetent. And as though he didn't have a clue how to do his job. I realize that this is a small town with only minor crimes. It's just that I really liked the character and wanted him to be portrayed as though he, at least, had an idea of how to do his job. The investigation was written in a sloppy way. Kind of all over the place. It didn't seem like they followed the clues or one clue led to another ...more
Gina Barlean
Over all a decent book. Not the stellar writing I was expecting, but I did like the characters and plot line. I liked the ending.
I'm not a fan of books that jump around with sub-plots. I'm sure I'm not the norm regarding that opinion, though. It seemed to drag on. I would have like it to get to the point quicker...probably because I knew who the killer was so early. I kept wondering if there would be a surprise ending and the Ray line kind of led me that direction.
I liked Nick as the flawed ma
Narrated by Richard Rowan

10 hrs and 45 mins

Some of the story felt like a Harlequin romance book. It was ok, but the writing was disappointing.

Publisher's Summary

The brutal murders of three young boys paralyze the citizens of Platte City, Nebraska. What's worse is the grim realization that the man recently executed for the crimes was a copycat. When Sheriff Nick Morrelli is called to the scene of another grisly murder, it becomes clear that the real predator is still at large, waiting to kill aga
Een Alex Kava-thriller, het woordje thriller had meteen mijn aandacht! Het genre waar ik zo hard van kan genieten. Vol overgave stortte ik mij dan ook op de beginpagina's. Reuze-spannend, tot op een bepaalde bladzijde waar ze letterlijk weggeven wie de dader is en je gewoon verder leest omdat je meer te weten wil komen over de relatie tussen bepaalde personages (maar ook daar ligt het er dik bovenop hoe het gaat verlopen!!) . Teleurgesteld blijf je toch doorlezen, omdat je het motief wil kennen ...more
This was an interesting, although cliche book. As the first book in a series I can give it the benefit of the doubt that Alex Kava is just honing her craft and there are bound to be some things that will be improved upon during the run of the series.

Her heroine is a jaded FBI agent with 8 years of experience and a chip on her shoulder from the last case she worked on. She stumbles onto a case in Nebraska dealing with small town mentalities, the church, and little boys being kidnapped. This nove
Dwayne Keller
Good story; took me longer to read than it should have; but enjoyable all the same. The basic story is somebody is kidnapping, sodomizing, and killing little boys. Maggie O'Dell is called in to profile the killer. Along the way you learn about her worthless self-centerd husband, and her mother. You disover some history on her last case that causes her nightmares. There is the day today involvement of the small town, nosey reports and such; you find out a previous murderer may have been credited ...more
Laura Pilcher
Another late night.....don't start this book unless you have 4 hours to read it all in one go!

A small town breathes a sigh of relief after a murderer of three little boys is executed. That sigh doesn't last long when another body turns up. The Sheriff is in over his head and asks for assistance from the FBI in the "Page 3" form of Maggie O'Dell. A talk no nonsense FBI agent who has horrors in her recent past she is still trying to deal with. A Town in Shock, A Murderer on a Mission, A fight ag
This is the first book in Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series. I was introduced to Kava’s books through one of my book clubs and not only enjoyed her writing style, but also the creepy excitement that she brought to the story. A Perfect Evil was no different, and being the first book in the series, Kava told more about Maggie’s background as she profiled the suspect in murders of young boys in Nebraska. The character development was very well done, the story and mystery is laid out well, and finall ...more
I bought this book when it first came out over a decade ago, and left it at my grandmother's house. I picked it up again when I was there this summer and, remembering how much I loved it, decided to re-read it -- particularly since I noticed that there are now 8 books in the series. It didn't grab me nearly the same way this time. Perhaps it's because I remembered the ending from the very start of the book, and because I realized that the writing wasn't particularly good. There were a lot of cli ...more
Love, love, loved it. I found this book very Koontz-like before Koontz took a weird turn in his writing. The character developement throughout was fantastic, and the plot was suspenseful. Once I started, I found it hard to put down. Maggie O'dell's character is very relatable to all women that are trying to be taken seriously in a very male dominated career. I loved that her character, although slightly broken herself, tries to get into the minds of some very disturbed predators. I am actually a ...more
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Who do you like more? 14 83 Jan 26, 2015 08:48PM  
USA Geography Cha...: A Perfect Evil by Alex Kava 1 3 Dec 29, 2014 06:17AM  
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ALEX KAVA IS A NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR of the critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series and a new series featuring former Marine, Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs. Her stand-alone novel, One False Move, was the 2006 One Book One Nebraska. Published in over thirty countries, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. Her novel Stranded ...more
More about Alex Kava...

Other Books in the Series

Maggie O'Dell (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Split Second (Maggie O'Dell, #2)
  • The Soul Catcher (Maggie O'Dell, #3)
  • At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell, #4)
  • A Necessary Evil (Maggie O'Dell #5)
  • Exposed (Maggie O'Dell, #6)
  • Black Friday (Maggie O'Dell, #7)
  • Damaged (Maggie O'Dell, #8)
  • Hotwire (Maggie O'Dell, #9)
  • Slices of Night
  • Fireproof (Maggie O'Dell, #10)
A Necessary Evil (Maggie O'Dell #5) Split Second (Maggie O'Dell, #2) The Soul Catcher (Maggie O'Dell, #3) Exposed (Maggie O'Dell, #6) At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell, #4)

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