ISBN: 9780385535540 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780385535557 (ebook)
ASIN: B00B3GMI2I (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 16, 2013
Tired travelers and weary truckers have stopped at rest areas on the nation's highways for decades to refuel, grab a bite, and maybe get some shut-eye, but one man's rest stop is another's hunting ground. For decades the defenseless, the weary, and the stranded have disappeared along the highways and byways, vanishing without a trace, but these seemingly unconnected incidents are no coincidence, and a madman stalks the freeways.
When FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, the one clue left behind is a map that will send Maggie and Tully on a frantic hunt crisscrossing the country to stop a madman before he kills again.
As the body count rises and Maggie races against the clock to unmask the monster who's terrorizing the nation's highways, she turns to a former foe for help since he seems to know just what the killer's next move will be. As she gets closer to finding the killer, it becomes eerily clear that Maggie is the ultimate target.
Every now and again as a reader I'm fortunate enough to come across a series by an author that just seems to get better with each book. The Maggie O'Dell series by Alex Kava is, for me, one of these series. In Stranded the FBI and local law enforcement agencies are dealing with a series of murders that don't seem to have any connection until it is realized that all of the people were taken from rest stops. When O'Dell and her partner, RJ Tully, come across a body in the DC/Virginia area, a map is found that quickly sends them across the country in search of clues. These clues lead to more bodies and even more questions. Is it possible that this is the work of one person? How is it possible for the killer to have gone for so long without being caught?
Just when it seems like Maggie and Tully are getting close to answers, an even bigger problem arises that requires the assistance of Maggie's close friend and Tully's significant other, Dr. Gwen Patterson, is brought into the investigation to talk with a prisoner that might have information. Although information is revealed, it is revealed piecemeal and seems to be just enough to lead Tully and Maggie into a trap.
Stranded provides for a lot of drama and suspense. When it seems like the investigation is going to provide some answers, another clue is revealed that takes the investigation down a new avenue. I rather enjoyed seeing Maggie, Tully, Dr. Gwen Patterson, work together to solve this crime. Detective Racine, from previous stories, made a cameo appearance and participated in the multi-agency investigation. New faces included an FBI agent and computer whiz, Alonzo, as well as Creed and his search and rescue dogs. The action was all too plausible and was scary enough to make me think twice about stopping at a rest area any time soon. This was another story that gripped me from the first page to the very last. If you enjoy suspense thrillers then you'll definitely want to add Stranded to your reading list (you may want to wait and read after that road trip).
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via Edelweiss/NetGalley. 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."
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