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At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell #4)

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3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,263 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell learns that the body of an unidentified woman has been found buried in a 55-gallon drum in an abandoned rock quarry in Connecticut. Maggie heads there on unofficial business, and realizes this case is more twisted than anyone imagines.
Paperback, 379 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Mira Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Phrynne
Number 4 in the series and at last Maggie has started to demonstrate some of her supposed skills and abilities in solving crimes. Plus she spends a lot less time bemoaning her own fate. I really enjoyed large parts of this book. The murders were suitable gripping and horrific, there were some new and interesting characters and the murderer himself was not totally obvious. Kava introduced several red herrings and once or twice I was not sure I had selected the real culprit but in the end I found ...more
Jonetta
Maggie O'Dell is finally taking a long-deserved vacation. Just as she's ready to pack it in, her friend Gwen Patterson calls for her help with one of her patients who she thinks is in trouble. All roads lead to New Haven County, Connecticut where Joan Begley was last seen...and the site of a serial killer's dumping ground.

This by far is the best book in the series to date. We find a mentally healthier Maggie and get to see her in action as a profiler. The case is extremely interesting, if not r
...more
Robin
Apr 09, 2016 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense, 2016
Maggie O'Dell is asked by her friend, Psychologist Gwen Patterson, to look into the disappearance of one of Gwen's patients. Joan Begley took a trip to Connecticut for a funeral, but hasn't been heard from for a few days. Maggie is on a much needed vacation from her job as an FBI profiler, but decides to check on Joan while she is in the area. What she finds has her concerned. A woman's body has been found in an abandoned quarry. As the local authorities investigate, they find more bodies in the ...more
❆ Crystal ❆
Well the series is getting better. Maggie was actually a competent FBI agent in this book (up to a point). I really enjoyed the book and thought it was well done until I got to the last 10%... then it just reverted back to the problems I had with the previous books in this series. My hope is that the next book will be good all the way through. The ending was just really rushed and there a couple of really lame events that just didn't make much sense to me... reminding me of a B rated horror movi ...more
Bigd_041555
Nov 24, 2013 Bigd_041555 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alexa Kava keeps getting better and better! Nothing typical about this book. Starts out on a lovely mountain top to the tune of a chainsaw!

As "Elvan" says, lots of red herrings - which I love in a book, keeps my brain working!

Poor Maggie O'Dell always gets herself in some sort of bind, plus she has a habit of marching to her own tune,and as good as those intentions are, they most often lead to trouble.

A new character introduced in this book - I'm assuming this character will show up in future bo
...more
Elvan
Dec 07, 2013 Elvan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was fun! Nothing says serial killer like a guy going through the grocery store choosing jars of pickles and mayo so he has the proper containers to display his "trophies".
I enjoyed this edition of the Maggie o'Dell series. I would have liked to see more O'Dell time but the creative nature of this particular serial killer was well worth the read.

The book lost a star when O'Dell ventured in to catch the killer leaving her dead cell phone in the hands of a victim of Alzheimer's. :p

When w
...more
Wendy
Jul 31, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jul-15
Great 4th book in the Maggie O'Dell series!
Kris - My Novelesque Life
4 STARS

"In the tomblike silence of an abandoned rock quarry, someone is trying to hide their dirty little secret. A secret that reveals the depths of human depravity. A secret that is about to be discovered. When FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell receives a call from Sheriff Henry Watermeier of New Haven County, Connecticut, she assumes it's a routine tip. She's working on the case of a missing D.C.-area woman, and it seems her body had been found. But Maggie's about to learn this is just the tip
...more
Lauren
At the Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
Maggie O’Dell (book #4)
4 stars

Synopsis:
Maggie is asked by her friend, Dr. Gwen Patterson, to look into the disappearance of a patient. At the same time, several bodies are found stuffed into barrels in a quarry near the patient’s last known location. Is she one of the corpses? Who killed them and why?

Review:
The plot is enjoyable and well-paced. The new characters are easy to like, and the killer's motivation is unique as far as serial killer’s go. The pro
...more
Nancy Ellis
Feb 21, 2015 Nancy Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the way this author develops her characters. She really lets you get to know them and shows that she really cares about them. It's a personal experience reading one of her books. Not only do we get to know the victims and survivors, but she also takes us into the mind and circumstances of the murderer, in this case a particularly disturbed and disturbing one. The one character I'll never forget, though, is Luc Racine, the aging father of another detective. He is in the early stages ...more
Sonja
Nov 01, 2014 Sonja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her books never disappoint.
Sheila
Sep 02, 2013 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love this series.
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Read this one in one sitting, with a couple of tea breaks of course, but it is slightly shorter than the others, so I got through it pretty quickly. A good story, however, I have a little nit-picking to do here. Poor Nick Morelli waited patiently for Maggie's divorce to come through, 2 years, and in that time, they have had little or no contact. Not very realistic. However, Nick seems to have moved on, because Maggie called him on the phone, at last, and another woman answered and said he was in ...more
Ana T.
In the tomblike silence of an abandoned rock quarry someone is trying to hide their dirty little secret. A secret that reveals the depths of human depravity. A secret that is about to be discovered.

FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell is just starting a hard-earned vacation when she gets a call from her friend, psychologist Dr. Gwen Patterson. One of Gwen's patients is missing on a trip to Connecticut. Can Maggie look into Joan Begley's disappearance?

At first Maggie dismisses Gwen's concern. But whe
...more
Dorothea Müller
FBI-Agentin Maggie O'Dell hat eigentlich Urlaub, dann bekommt sie einen Anruf von einer Freundin. Ihre Patientin ist nicht zum Termin aufgetaucht und sie hat ihr eine Nachricht auf dem Anrufbeantworter hinterlassen, das sie sich mit einem Mann trifft. Zur gleichen Zeit wird in einem Steinbruch mehrere Tonnen gefunden die mit zerstückelten Leichen voll sind. Ist die Patientin der Freundin einer der Leichen?

Band 4 der Reihe und wieder habe ich eine Reihe angefangen ohne es zu merken. Man kann das
...more
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
An average one. The worst part is the ending,it seemed so sudden. The novel moves at a snail's pace till the end,and at the end it's like 'fast and furious'. If he was going to create a serial killer,he could've created a better one. And then there is the it's-not-the-end-of-the-story line.. I saw a praise on the cover comparing him to Patricia Cornwell at her prime.. I can't understand since when did they change the meaning of prime to worst.
Janine
Nov 22, 2015 Janine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, series
This had a much better ratio of suspense to personal problems than the previous book in the series.
Sherry
Nov 18, 2013 Sherry rated it really liked it
The best one so far. Maggie is in search of not only a missing woman but a serial killer who mutilates bodies. Men, women, children. But, why? I liked it mostly because all the baggage that Maggie carried in the first three books was gone. m Problems resolved so that we could delve into a good story.
Nancy
Apr 04, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this Maggie O'Dell series out of order - depends on what the public library has on its shelves. This is one of the earliest, but events in it are mentioned in the much later books that I have read. FBI profiler and special agent O'Dell repurposes her vacation to helping to hunt for the missing psychotherapy patient of her friend, Dr. Gwen Patterson, in the woods, homes and businesses of Meriden, CT. Interesting local characters including the funeral home owner, Jacob Marley (!), barr ...more
Veronica Pettersson
As all of Alex Kava (well, the four I've read) the books keep your interest through the whole book. Summer is the perfect time for criminal novels and these have became some of my favourites. The cases are exciting, not completely predictable and the behind stuff is also a part of what makes you want to keep on reading the rest of the series (bit of a spoiler!: I am however quite disappointed in the fact that there have not been any more follow up on the romance between Maggie and Nick Morelli). ...more
Louise
Apr 06, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read!

From back cover:

"In the tomblike silence of an abandoned rock quarry someone is trying to hide their dirty little secret. A secret that is about to be discovered.

FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell is just starting a vacation when she gets a call from her friend, psychologist Dr. Gwen Patterson. One of Gwen's patients is missing on a trip to Connecticut. Can Maggie look into Joan Begley's disappearance?

At first Maggie dismissed Gwen's concern. But when the body of a woman is discovered in
...more
Al
Apr 12, 2013 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

When FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell receives a call from Sheriff Henry Watermeier of New Haven County, Connecticut, she assumes it's a routine tip. She's working on the case of a missing D.C.-area woman, and it seems her body had been found. But Maggie's about to learn this is just the tip of the iceberg in what will be one of the most bizarre, cold-blooded and confounding cases of her career a a criminal profiler.

During a cleanup excavation in the deserted quarry, a fifty-five-gallon drum wa

...more
Gea
Jul 13, 2015 Gea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Na te zijn begonnen in het derde deel van Maggie O’Dell, Verloren zielen, ben ik hier al vlot mee gestopt. Ik heb het niet op sektes en sekteleiders dus als mensen daar bij gaan is dat op eigen risico en aangezien ik sowieso al vind dat sekteleiders volledig gestoord zijn kijk ik er totaal niet van op dat het ook psychopaten kunnen zijn. Dus maar verder gegaan in het vierde deel, Blinde razernij, wat weer een heerlijke spannende thriller is. Heerlijk vlot geschreven en weer een verrassend plot.
Brenda
Jan 11, 2014 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was impossible to put down, it took my two days to start and finish it. I spent most of the book thinking one guy was guilty, well he wasn't, well he was, but not of the murders...I wish Maggie O'Dell did more profiling, she gets caught too often looking the wrong way sort of speak. I really like this series, but I wish it was just stronger and Maggie came off as more genius than lucky...I rarely compare a book to TV, but when I think of FBI profilers I think of Criminal Minds and of t ...more
Megalion
Apr 01, 2016 Megalion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy this series which can be a good palate cleanser yet satisfying thriller read. The main characters are interesting even if at times it feels like previous characters are returned shoehorned back into the story.

A consistent 4 star read. For reference Sue Grafton's books are 4 stars too. Jeffrey Deaver's rate as 5 star.

Copying this as I had a mini marathon through about 4-5 books and to say much more about any of them would end up giving away part of the story. That's what the summary/syn
...more
Deborah
Alex Kava proves a master of character development. Loved Racine's dad, Luc (what a dearheart),who battles with the beginning stages of
Alzheimer's and his little coward of a Jack Russell terrier, Scrapple. Hope to see more of these characters in future novels. Also the developing chemistry between O'Dell's best friend and mentor, Gwen and O'Dell's partner, Tully, will be a hoot to follow. Hey it can't be all blood, guts, and fffffava beans...and this author gets it.
Sheree
A good, quick read; perfect for holiday reading but a bit of a no-brainer. I guess that sounds a little condescending but it really was a thoroughly enjoyable, involving read with very little strain on the old grey matter.
At the Stroke of Madness is the fourth novel featuring FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell. Alex Kava adeptly portrays a good, strong female lead and continues the understated development of this character. In true Alex Kava fashion, forensic descriptions are well done & roman
...more
Karen
Jan 15, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars! This was hard to put down. It was also so heartbreaking to read of Racine's father's battle with Alzheimers. The only negative here was when our hero made a totally "rookie mistake" and went after the suspected killer on her own, and conveniently for the story her cell phone had just died. However, sometimes I choose to turn a blind eye to these types of things, because they do make the story move along! Besides, these are just human mistakes our book characters are making~!
Ed
#4 in the Maggie O'Dell series.

Special Agent Maggie O'Dell, FBI profiler, is asked by Gwen Patterson to look for a patient missing in Wallingford, CT. Maggie finds that bodies are being discovered in a quarry next to where DC detective Julia Racine's father lives. Clues point to several people but all eventually gets sorted out. Maggie does not contact Sam Morelli in Boston, but does meet her newly discovered half brother.
Darcy
This one was creepy on so many levels. We have the obvious part, where pieces of people are showing up, then how the "bad guy" covets these pieces and finally how one old man, Luc had insider's knowledge of the crimes in his head, but couldn't communicate the info because he had Alzheimer's. What makes it worse is that Luc knew his mind was going and often would have the thought right there but couldn't make the connect.

Maggie's part in this one had me laughing at times. Her vacation went by the
...more
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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 13 books)
  • A Perfect Evil (Maggie O'Dell, #1)
  • Split Second (Maggie O'Dell, #2)
  • The Soul Catcher (Maggie O'Dell, #3)
  • 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)

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