With reminders of tainted Tylenol, the Beltway snipers, anthrax-laced envelopes and the hooded Unabomber, Kava creates an atmosphere of queasy suspense that reaches the ultimate in discomfort with a nasty madman unleashing the superdeadly Ebola Zaire virus (the so-called "slate cleaner") on a blissful populace, including FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell. Tanya Eby Sirois takes all the terror in stride, narrating the thriller in a measured, levelheaded manner rather than trying to embellish the already chill-inducing prose with dramatic flourishes. It's a good narration choice, suiting the no-nonsense mood of series heroine O'Dell whom Kava places in isolated jeopardy from the jump by infecting her with the virus. And it also fits the determined approach employed by O'Dell's uninfected partner, R.J. Tully, as he performs the novel¿s heavy work of sifting through the clues, grilling suspects and searching for the mystery maniac. A Mira hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 25). (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Verdict: Kava's eighth psychological thriller and the sixth to feature FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell (after A Necessary Evil) is a careening roller-coaster ride of terror and suspense, incorporating current events as a serial killer leaves clues that echo the Beltway Snipers, the Unabomber, and the Anthrax Killer. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections. Background: Responding to an anonymous threatening letter, O'Dell and Assistant Director Cunningham arrive at a suburban address, expecting to defuse a bomb. Instead, they discover an unpredictable and extremely dangerous killer and find themselves possibly exposed to a deadly virus (think Ebola). As the killer attacks without seeming warning or pattern, O'Dell, confined to an isolation ward, is forced to race against time and her own fears to help her partner, Agent R.J. Tully, track the deadly and elusive murderer.-Colleen S. Harris, Univ. of Tennessee at Chattanooga Lib. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.