Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell, #4)” as Want to Read:
At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

At the Stroke of Madness

(Maggie O'Dell #4)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  4,378 ratings  ·  218 reviews
With only an old man afflicted with Alzheimer's as a witness, FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell is on the trail of a serial killer who targets people with physical disabilities, removing each victim's imperfections to keep as a twisted trophy.
Paperback, 331 pages
Published August 2003 by MIRA (first published January 1st 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about At the Stroke of Madness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about At the Stroke of Madness

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,378 ratings  ·  218 reviews

Sort order
Alex is The Romance Fox
AT THE STROKE OF MADNESS is Alex Kava's 4th novel in the Maggie O'Dell Series and continues the life and work of the loner FBI agent.

Maggie receives a telephone call, whilst on vacation, from her best friend and psychologist, Gwen Patterson, asking her to help her find one of her patients who has disappeared, whilst attending her grandmother's funeral.

Maggie travels to Connecticut and begins an unofficial investigation, which soon turns into an official one when the body of a woman is discovered
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
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
To a certain extent, its fair to say this isn't what I'm looking for. I look my murder mysteries to contain a tighter focus on the detective and the mystery, rather than a look at all the people around it. However there's other issues too, like the pacing - it goes nowhere for ages than all of a sudden ends - and I don't care much for all the pop culture references either. Intriguing but I'm not gonna race out to find the others.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jul-15
Great 4th book in the Maggie O'Dell series!
Rowena Hoseason
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
An entirely adequate serial killer / FBI profiler procedural with a female central character.
An interesting scenario and perpetrator; set in a small town with a decent whodunnit mystery wrapped up in CSI-type forensic detail.
It sagged somewhat for me because I wasn't grabbed by the investigator, Maggie. Her troubled private life didn't add anything to the story for me and I was actively irritated by the over-used conflict between her and her superiors (in which she's gone off piste and is gettin
At the Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava
Maggie O’Dell (book #4)
4 stars

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?

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
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love this series.
Aug 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Her books never disappoint.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was like a short story for a weekend but well-written and enjoyable. Loved the end.
Wanda Hartzenberg
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Oh I missed a book in the series but this one still engrossed me.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At The Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava, the 4th in the FBI Profiler Maggie O'Dell Series. I am greatly enjoying this series.
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nancy Ellis
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
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
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is getting better with each book. Maggie is slowly getting better with her decision making, but still messes up a bit here. The story line is an interesting one also. We get to meet Detective Julia Racine's dad, Luc, who is dealing with beginners Alzheimer's. I really liked the character and felt that the author did an excellent job capturing the disease. The unsub in the story is truly a twisted individual, but when you find out the "why" behind his mania you almost feel sorry for h ...more
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Viji  (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.
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, series
This had a much better ratio of suspense to personal problems than the previous book in the series.
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great book in the Maggie O'Dell series. Just what we have come to love. 4 stars
Rolaka Pisarka
Już kolejny raz mam problem z oceną książki. Nie chodzi mi o to, że "Granice Szaleństwa" to zły kryminał czy moja pierwsza przygoda z Alex Kava była nieudana. Po prostu uważam, że przy tym tomie autorka się nie postarała. Przede wszystkim jest on krótki, dlatego wybrałam go na pierwszy rzut (nie wiedziałam, że to cały cykl kryminałów). Podobał mi się, ale miałam wrażenie, ze autorce zabrakło pomysłu, szczególnie że jej inne książki mają grubo ponad 500 str.
Kolejną rzeczą, jaką dostrzegłam w powi
Yolie McLaughlin
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who enjoy suspense!
When I started reading the 4th O'Dell, I was disappointed because Nick seemed to have disappeared. I guess after reading the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd book, I expected him to be a vital part of the series. I wasn't sure if I could imagine him out of Maggie's life, but I continued reading and was not disappointed at all. I don't care to give much about the book because I'm afraid I might accidentally provide a "spoiler" - however, I will say this: Alex Kava will grab you by the throat and keep you spiral ...more
Virginia Flowers
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
An enjoyable and typical Maggie O'Dell book. My favorite part of the book was Luc Racine. Some of the book is told through his point of view and it is very interesting as he as early onset of Alzheimer's. I loved his little dog, Scrapple.

We have the typical tropes that are becoming well known to Maggie O'Dell...hard headed to a fault, running of to dangerous places without telling anyone and getting herself into trouble and the book being wrapped up "off set" and the reader getting filled in at
What a pleasure to immerse myself in this series which is so well written (fluid writing) with always a captivating scenario, endearing characters.

In this tome the Maggie at the request of her psychologist friend is looking for Joan one of the patients of this one, she has disappeared and as decomposing bodies are found in a clearing she is worried. Especially since an organ on each body has been removed. When the murderer is going to feel threatening he will go out of his way.

I recommend this
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, suspense
Kept me guessing throughout the book, pointing fingers at characters through the pages. Alex Kava maintains a consistent writing style and story line book after book. I think in the whole Maggie O'Dell series, I was somewhat lost only once and that may have been when I started reading the series in the middle without realizing it was a series.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. Good characters, nice plot, although maybe just a tad too much information on what goes on during an autopsy. Written in 2003 , the fourth Maggie O'Dell book. In this story Maggie is on vacation, while, looking for a missing woman, as a favor for a friend. A simple search and locate turns into "unofficial" business for FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell.
Althea Mason
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really like these Maggie O'Dell books. Alex Kava goes into great detail about the crime scenes and everything going on. The books so far have all intertwined with each other and I feel like I learned a lot more about Racine, Tully, and Gwen. I wish there had been more about Nick Morreli and Maggie. I am hoping more is to come about those two.
Entertaining enough read about the hunt for a serial killer who is obsessed with collecting trophies from his this case any disabilities they had - nice eh? Maggie O'Dell is a likeable enough character & should anymore in this series come my way I'll be more than happy to read them, can't say fairer than that....

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2-3-4 Challenge: At the Stroke of Madness by Alex Kava (Maggie O'Dell #4) - April 2016 14 16 Apr 23, 2016 09:27AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question C 6 7 Apr 14, 2016 12:20AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question L 5 7 Apr 13, 2016 08:19PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question B 5 8 Apr 13, 2016 08:14PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question M 5 9 Apr 12, 2016 03:15AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question K 7 7 Apr 12, 2016 03:13AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question J 5 8 Apr 12, 2016 03:05AM  
  • Slices of Night (Taylor Jackson; Maggie O'Dell, #9.5; Stacy Killian, #4.5; The Malones, #5.5)
  • Blood Vines
  • The Tunnels (Kelly Jones Mysteries, #1)
  • Edge of Midnight (Chasing Evil, #3)
  • The Dead Room (Darby McCormick #3)
  • Stripped (Jonathan Stride, #2)
  • Scent of a Killer
  • Cutting Edge (FBI Trilogy, #3)
ALEX KAVA IS A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING 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

Other books in the series

Maggie O'Dell (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Before Evil (Maggie O'Dell, #Prequel)
  • 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)
  • Fireproof (Maggie O'Dell, #10)