People set out on a car journey but never arrive at their destination. It has been happening for years, and any investigations hit dead ends.
Now FBI agents Maggie O'Dell and R.J. Tully are investigating whether several of these disappearances may be the work of a single killer in Alex Kava's newest book, “Stranded.”
The FBI investigation started with the discovery of a body near Maggie's house when it burned down in Kava's last book, “Fireproof.” Then a prison informant gave an accurate location for another body. Soon the two agents were on the hunt.
Maggie and Tully end up at an abandoned farm near Sioux City, which is a suspected body dump. There are indeed bodies to find, which results in the FBI calling in Ryder Creed and his cadaver dog, Grace.
There's an instant attraction between Ryder and Maggie, whose previous relationship has ended with a “just friends” mutual agreement. But the two of them try to keep things professional.
Kava obviously likes dogs, because the two in this story behave heroically and make a lasting impression.
Although this is a mystery in the classic sense as the characters and readers try to figure out who the murderer is, don't for one minute think this is a cozy mystery.
Fans of this series know what to expect from Kava, but new readers should be warned. As the bodies pile up, this is a writer who never lets up on the tension and doesn't shy away from graphic descriptions of violence or its aftereffects.
But Kava always has a good story to tell. And her readers will be waiting for the next book to find out how that Ryder-Maggie thing plays out.