Bizarre murders, cattle mutilations, and government conspiracies and suspected coverups are at the forefront of Hotwire, the ninth title in the Maggie O'Dell series by Alex Kava. Maggie, an FBI agent, is still recuperating from her last assignment and has been sent to Colorado to lecture at a law enforcement seminar. She is "asked" to look into some cattle mutilations in Nebraska and the story takes off.
Maggie doesn't just get to see some strange cattle mutilations, but soon spearheads an investigation into the possible electrocution deaths (or murders) and injuries of some teenagers in the Nebraska Sandhills. Both the cattle mutilations and the teens’ deaths were bloodless and have other similarities. While Maggie has her hands full with the investigation in Nebraska, her friends Dr. Benjamin Platt of USAMRID, Washington, D.C. Police Detective Julia Racine, and FBI Agent R.J. Tully are investigating what may be a terrorism case relating to food poisoning in the DC school system.
Hotwire provides a lot of thrills and suspense but also asks some hard and socially pertinent questions, such as: Why is it the FDA can shut down a business due to tampering or contamination but the USDA can't do the same under similar circumstances? It doesn't appear that the food poisonings in DC have anything to do with cattle mutilations in Nebraska or do they? The action and investigations take plenty of twists and turns but kept my attention to the end. It was nice seeing a softer side to Julia Racine as well as seeing Dr. Platt in action once again. Regrettably Tully had only a guest appearance in this story. Hotwire features great characters, great action and a well-developed plot. There’s a lot going on in the story, but Ms. Kava neatly ties it together at the end for a great and quick read.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."