A Perfect Evil by Alex Kava, 2000, Trade Paperback from Library, 461p.
A Perfect Evil is the first novel in the Maggie O’Dell series, and a very interesting serial killer story. I decided to start reading this series because I read Breaking Creed, a spin off from the Maggie O’Dell series, and loved Maggie O’Dell and Ryder Creed in that book. Although A Perfect Evil doesn’t feature Ryder (I believe he comes into the series later on) it does feature Nick Morrelli, who was interesting – a confident professor who becomes a not so confident sheriff, who invites Maggie to Platte City when he stumbles into a young boy’s mutilated body.
Usually, as soon as a book features a kidnapping, or follows a serial killer who targets children I put it straight down, because I find these to be VERY cliche in the genre. Because it is the big scary – having your children raped/murdered – so many authors use this trope to cover up poor writing and a lack of characterisation. The only reason I decided to read this book was because I know Kava is a decent writer and has amazing characters. And I was right, there was the creepy murderer’s POV which made me shiver, and the next chapter would be O’Dell and Morrelli trying to deny their undeniable chemistry – it was like mood whiplash – which is so effective in these sorts of novels.
I really liked the setting of Platte City – I’m finding so many of my favourite American books are set in small towns, and I dislike many set in large cities. Probably because I could never see myself living in a big American city – Adelaide is sometimes too large for me, and I just want to go back to the country. I’m wondering if Platte City will feature in the next O’Dell Novel, and if Nick Morrelli will be involved, I really do hope so. I have the next book waiting for me on my bookcase, and once I’m caught up with Andy McNab’s Tom Buckingham series I plan on whipping my way through the O’Dells.