PRAISE for the MAGGIE O’DELL SERIES

PRAISE for the MAGGIE O’DELL SERIES PRAISE for the MAGGIE O’DELL SERIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Deb Carlin
Prairie Wind Publishing  
(402) 968-1344
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

“Kava adds a human touch to the HEART-THUMPING CHASE.” – Publishers Weekly

“The Maggie O’Dell thrillers KEEP GETTING BETTER with each installment.” — The Omaha World Herald

“Tension, suspense, MASTERFUL TWISTS . . . Alex Kava’s writing has it all.” – Crimespace

“A pro, Kava writes as coolly and adroitly as O'Dell profiles. SUPREMELY PACED.” – The Lincoln Journal Star

“The writing is taut and polished, and the plot is well-woven. The forensic background is METICULOUSLY RESEARCHED.” – Crime Fiction Lover (UK)

“Maggie is GUTSY AND APPEALING as an FBI agent facing constant danger.” – Library Journal

“Kava does her FORENSIC HOMEWORK.” – Bookreporter.com

“When somebody with the reputation of Lee Child refers to your protagonist as ‘Reacher’s long-lost twin,’ you MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT.” — BookPage

BEFORE EVIL
a novel by Alex Kava

International bestseller Alex Kava delivers a stunning prequel to her critically acclaimed Maggie O’Dell series.

Alex Kava is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen previous thrillers published in thirty-four countries around the world. She has garnered legions of fans and wide critical acclaim —"haunting and complex" (Orlando Sentinel). "winning" (Washington Post Book World), and "shrewd" (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Now her seventeenth thriller, BEFORE EVIL (Prairie Wind Publishing; publication date: August 10, 2017: $27.00; hardcover), featuring her fan favorite, FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell, which debuted with A Perfect Evil seventeen years ago is garnering major attention.

From her small Quantico office, Special Agent Maggie O'Dell has profiled serial killers using Polaroids, faxed copies and scraps of evidence provided by homicide detectives from across the country. She's gained a reputation for successfully profiling killers and solving crimes without ever stepping foot at a real crime scene. 

Then comes Albert Stucky, and nothing will ever be the same.

Stucky is a sadistic madman who enjoys his twisted games as much as he enjoys the kill. Pieces of victims start showing up in takeout containers, strategically left for unsuspecting bystanders to find. Sometimes the body is dumped nearby. Others are never found. 

Maggie is tasked with profiling the murders. Despite all her skills and talents nothing has prepared for this. For the first time in her career she’s seeing the gruesome crime scenes firsthand, because this madman has chosen the backwoods of Virginia as his killing grounds.

When Stucky discovers an attractive female FBI agent is part of the task force to stop him, he begins to taunt Maggie. He leaves notes and bits and pieces as if they were clues for a morbid scavenger hunt. Each step of the way he’s daring Maggie to catch him if she can, all the while planning to make her his next prey.

Let the chase begin.

Readers will delight in Kava's complex and intriguing characters and her skillful buildup of suspense as she delves into Maggie’s beginning in the FBI by creating “thoroughly AUTHENTIC, three-dimensional personalities.” – The Boston Globe     

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ALEX KAVA is a New York Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of seventeen novels including the award winning Maggie O’Dell series and the critically acclaimed Ryder Creed K9 series. Her novel Stranded was awarded both a Florida Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award. One False Move was chosen for the 2006 One Book One Nebraska and her political thriller, Whitewash, was one of January Magazine’s best thrillers of the year. Published in over thirty-four countries, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida. Visit her online at www.alexkava.com, Twitter: @alexkava_author, Facebook:/AlexKava.books and Instagram: /AlexKava_Author.

BEFORE EVIL by Alex Kava
Prairie Wind Publishing, 978-0-997-389746/ August10, 2017 / $27.00 Hardcover / $9.99 eBook

What is it that fascinates us about serial killers?
By Alex Kava

I posed this question to my readers on Facebook a few weeks ago, because my latest novel, Before Evil, deals with one of my own famous serial killers, Albert Stucky. Dubbed “the Collector,” Stucky slices trophies from his victims — a toe, a finger, a lung — then puts the item in a takeout container and leaves it for an unsuspecting passerby to find. He was referenced in my debut novel, A Perfect Evil and appeared in my second, Split Second. Both of those novels were published over fifteen years ago, and yet, Stucky is the one villain my readers named as the most memorable. It’s one of the reasons I wrote Before Evil, which is the prequel and introduces the Collector.

So what is it that fascinates us about serial killers?

Here are some of the things my Facebook readers mentioned—and by the way, if you’re one of those who contributed a comment, thank you.

What drives a killer to commit such cruel and shocking murders not just once, but again and again?

Is there a trigger? Some event in their life?

Are their minds defected? Or are they simply evil?

However, the most mentioned was that serial killers have the frightening ability to “appear normal” and “fit into society so easily.”

In her book, The Stranger Beside Me, Ann Rule talks about how she met Ted Bundy. It was 1971, at a suicide crisis hotline in Seattle. Bundy sat next to Rule while they tended the phones.

“I liked him immediately,” Rule shares in the book.

But Ann Rule wasn’t the only one who mentioned how charming and likeable Bundy was. He knew how to play the part of a normal, everyday guy. Several times he wore a sling on his arm and potential victims even helped him with the books or bags he was struggling to carry.

Ted Bundy is believed to have killed at least thirty women.

Jeffrey Dahmer was so convincing he talked Milwaukee police officers into bringing back one of his victims. The fourteen-year-old boy was reported by neighbors when he was seen running from Dahmer’s apartment. Despite being naked and bleeding, Dahmer convinced the officers that the boy was actually an adult and was his partner. Later, Dahmer confessed to strangling the boy as soon as the officers left. He also admitted that another victim’s dead body was in a bedroom at the time of the officers’ visit.

Jeffrey Dahmer is believed to have killed seventeen men.

Dr. Helen Morrison is one of the leading experts on serial killers. She’s spent over four hundred hours alone talking to murderers and digging into their psyches. Yet, in her book, My Life Among the Serial Killers, she said of Ed Gein, “He seemed to be a genuinely kind man, when he wasn’t killing.”

Gein, “the butcher of Plainfield,” is credited as the inspiration for the movies Psycho and Silence of the Lambs. When he was arrested, police officers were horrified at what they found in Gein’s house in the country — lampshades made of human skin and soup bowls made from the sawed-off tops of human skulls. But Gein had actually murdered only two women. Technically, he wasn’t a serial killer as much as he was a body snatcher, digging up graves to supply his strange fetish.

So you might ask — have books, television and movies prodded our fascination or do they simply feed our curiosity?

When my first agent was trying to sell my debut novel, A Perfect Evil, there were some in the literary world who claimed that “the serial killer trend” had waned, and that readers were tired of Silence of Lambs-type novels. Obviously, readers had not tired of the subject. A Perfect Evil went on to become an international bestseller. Worldwide, over a million copies have been sold.

In 2003 when I was on book tour in Frankfurt, Germany, I was on a panel discussing the universal fascination of serial killers with a gentleman who had been tracking killers all over the globe. He certainly opened my eyes to that fact that we Americans don’t have a monopoly on serial killers. Nor is the fascination a trend or anything new. In fact, he pointed out that one of the most fascinating and famous serial killers — Jack the Ripper — still intrigues us over a hundred years later.

Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files, explains our fascination as “fairytales for grownups.” Perhaps it’s our way of dealing with the monster under the bed. We can confront our basic instincts of fear and survival through reading about or watching fictional portrayals of these monstrous killers. Because, although their crimes are gruesome and beyond belief, deep down don’t we all believe the real-life chances of us actually meeting a serial killer are slim to none? After all, serial killers are responsible for only one-percent of murders each year in the United States. No more than two dozen serial killers are thought to be “active” at any given time, according to Scott Bonn, a sociologist and criminologist at Drew University in Madison, Wisconsin. Bonn is also the author of the book, Why We Love Serial Killers.

Let’s take it a step further. Shane McCorristine, a cultural historian at the University of Cambridge, thinks that reading about serial killers and the brutality of their crimes is a way for us to “experience death” without “falling victim to it.” “By becoming a witness to death” we feel like we are “exerting some control over it.”

That makes sense, too.

But then there are those cases that get our pulses racing and hitch our collective breaths, when we realize just how random a victim is chosen. And it makes us stop for a minute. We can’t help but ask, could that have been us? Especially during long drive. Late at night. A short detour at a quiet rest stop. Or simply getting into your vehicle in a dark parking lot. No one else around . . . except for a harmless stranger with his arm in a sling.

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ALEX KAVA is a New York Times, USA Today and Amazon bestselling author of seventeen novels including the award winning Maggie O’Dell series and the critically acclaimed Ryder Creed K9 series. Her novel Stranded was awarded both a Florida Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award. One False Move was chosen for the 2006 One Book One Nebraska and her political thriller, Whitewash, was one of January Magazine’s best thrillers of the year. Published in over thirty-four countries, Kava’s novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida. Visit her online at www.alexkava.com, Twitter: @alexkava_author, Facebook:/AlexKava.books and Instagram: /AlexKava_Author.

For an interview with Alex Kava, please contact: Deb Carlin, Prairie Wind Publishing, (402) 968-1344 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
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