Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: Hot Wire by Alex Kava

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 12th 2011 by Doubleday
ISBN: 0385532016 (ISBN13: 9780385532013)
primary language English
Agent Maggie O'Dell, F.B.I. profiler, has been sent to a conference in Colorado but has been called from it to investigate the case of mutilated cattle in Nebraska. Numerous cases have been found and all the cattle mutilated in exactly the same way. While on this case, she is also called in on the case of odd occurrences and deaths in the Nebraska National Forest. While tripping out on salvia in the National Forest, a group of teens reported flashing lights, seeing fireworks and the feeling of giant jolts of electricity. One of these jolts left teen, Dawson Hayes, in serious condition as he was nearly electrocuted from being thrown into an electrified fence. Some weren't so lucky and were killed outright.

Maggie connects with Dawson and tries to get him to open up about what happened to him but someone else threatens to shut him up completely if he talks. He is convinced he saw glaring red eyes watching him just before his accident. Or, was it an accident? Several other teens did not survive the night.

While the teens partied,  UFO believer, Wesley Stotter, is busy chasing weird light patterns in the sky; more fodder for his aliens and anti-government radio show. Little does he know that his innate curiosity will not be good for his health. Someone does not want him snooping around in the forest.

Back in Washington,D.C., Maggie's friend, Dr. Benjamin Pratt, is asked by CDC chief, Roger Bix, to help him with widespread outbreaks of food poisoning in the elementary school. The strain of bacteria proves to be impervious to anti-biotics and Bix is convinced it is a case of domestic terrorism. Does it have anything to do with the cases in Nebraska? Who is protecting what becomes the running theme in all the cases. Whoever they are will do whatever it takes, including murder, to protect their secrets and themsleves.

Hot Wire grabbed my attention right from the start; my mind was racing in all sorts of directions, at first, trying to figure out what was going on. Could it be aliens? UFO's? Big government? A few parts in the middle lagged a bit but once the cases were neatly tied together, the ending was satisfying. Buckle up because there are a lot of scary moments with a few nasty characters and lots of twists and turns.

Although Hot Wire is the ninth in the Maggie O'Dell series, it can easily be read as a stand alone. I liked Maggie as a character; she's a dedicated professional with a strong work ethic and also a very caring individual. The character of Dr. Benjamin Pratt could have been developed a little more; he seemed a little flat to me in the story. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it to thriller conspiracy fans. 3.5***

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Doubleday through LT's early reviewer program.


  1. you ha me until "UFO" ..then I am afraid my min started to drift. It might be due to my alien abduction...

  2. hmmm..I am having an issue with my "D" on the laptop...

  3. I think a book that centers around a profiler sounds rather interesting, and the slightly strange aspects of this one have me intrigued. I like that you don't have to read the whole series for this one to be understood and appreciated. On the list it goes! Great review!

  4. It sounds like there's a lot going on in this book, but the fact that it's fast paced makes me think it's worth a try.

  5. It does sound like there is a lot going on … but in a good way! Almost sounds like an X Files case!


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