Our Guide to the Maggie O'Dell Books in Order

Published: 1 April 2023 | Last updated: 29 July 2023
Written by Chris Beach

If you're a fan of mystery and suspense, chances are the Maggie O'Dell books are no stranger to your bookshelf. Written with grit, intelligence, and an unwavering sense of unexpected twists, these novels will keep you gripped from start to finish. But just like trying to solve a complex puzzle without all pieces fitting smoothly together, reading them out of sequence might leave you feeling somewhat disoriented. So today we're streamlining things for aficionados or newcomers alike by listing the Maggie O'Dell books in order.

An illustrated portrait of Maggie O'Dell
FBI Profiler Maggie O'Dell

Following our favorite FBI profiler's journey through terrifying crime scenes and mind-boggling investigations is best enjoyed in chronological order. This way, every nuance of character development and plot progression falls into place effortlessly as intended by the author herself. Keeping that in mind, let's plunge headfirst into unraveling the intricate web spun around Maggie O'Dell - starting from where it all began till her latest thrilling adventure.

Table of Contents

• The Maggie O'Dell Books in Order of Publication
• Case Closed: Sealing the File on Alex Kava's Maggie O'Dell Series

• Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who is Alex Kava? An Alex Kava Biography.

• Related Posts
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The Maggie O'Dell Books in Order of Publication

A Perfect Evil (2000)

A Perfect Evil
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In the wake of convicted serial killer Ronald Jeffreys' execution, a chilling discovery is made: a new victim is found, murdered in the same manner as Jeffreys' supposed victims. Sheriff Nick Morelli, realizing he's ill-equipped to handle the case in his small Nebraska town, welcomes the assistance of FBI criminal profiler Maggie O'Dell. As they delve into the case, Maggie discerns that this is not the killer's first time.

The stakes rise when another life is claimed and a third person is abducted, leaving Nick and Maggie in a race against time. A horrifying realization dawns on them: Ronald Jeffreys might have been wrongfully convicted, and the true killer is still at large.

Split Second (2001)

Split Second
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Dubbed the Collector, a brutal serial killer evaded FBI special agent Maggie O'Dell for two years before she finally caught him. But now, Albert Stucky has escaped prison, and he's concocting a new game with Maggie at its center. Struggling with guilt and nightmares since capturing Stucky, Maggie's perceived as losing her edge as a profiler.

However, as the body count rises and Stucky's victims inch closer to Maggie, she's brought back to the field, teaming up with Special Agent R.J. Tully in a race against time. With her desire to stop Stucky intensifying, Maggie is forced to confront whether her pursuit has turned into personal vengeance and if she's crossed a line - exactly what Stucky may have intended all along.

The Soul Catcher (2002)

The Soul Catcher
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FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell finds herself working on two seemingly unrelated cases: a deadly standoff with six young men in a secluded cabin and the discovery of a senator's daughter's body in Washington. As an expert criminal profiler, Maggie is puzzled by her assignment to these distinct cases.

Alongside her partner, Special Agent R.J. Tully, they uncover a connection between the cases - Reverend Joseph Everett, the charismatic leader of a high-profile religious sect. The young men in the standoff were part of Everett's church, while the murdered woman's death occurred after one of his rallies. Maggie grapples with whether Everett is a psychotic mastermind or merely a scapegoat for a more devious killer. To uncover the truth, she resorts to using her own mother, a member of Everett's church, as bait in a perilous trap.

At the Stroke of Madness (2003)

At the Stroke of Madness
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FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell's vacation is interrupted by a call from her friend, psychologist Dr. Gwen Patterson, who requests Maggie's help in investigating the disappearance of her patient, Joan Begley, on a trip to Connecticut. Initially skeptical, Maggie's interest is piqued when a woman's body is discovered in an abandoned rock quarry in the same state, leading her to the small town on an "unofficial" mission.

As more bodies surface, Maggie finds herself entangled in a baffling case that eludes even her experienced criminal profiling skills. The question remains: where is Joan Begley? Could she be the woman found in the quarry, or is she a captive of a twisted killer seeking an unspeakable prize from his victims?

A Necessary Evil (2006)

A Necessary Evil
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As a series of killings terrorize the nation, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell realizes that multiple culprits are responsible. Her investigation leads her to a disturbing online role-playing game for young victims of male authority figures, including Catholic priests. As Maggie considers whether the group has turned cyber justice into real-life vengeance, she uncovers another shocking lead.

Haunted by her unyielding determination to find the brutal Father Michael Keller over the past four years, Maggie is taken aback when he becomes a target. With no other choice, she reluctantly allies herself with the very monster she despises, as he offers to help solve the crimes in exchange for protection. Venturing into a world of malevolence and evil, Maggie must tread a dangerous line, aware that her alliance with Keller is a necessary evil - one that might be sealed in blood.

Exposed (2008)

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FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell and Assistant Director Cunningham initially believe a mysterious threat targets Quantico, only to realize they themselves are in the crosshairs. A lethal virus, virtually undetectable until it causes death from countless internal cuts, seems to strike victims at random, but Maggie suspects that a vengeful hand might be guiding the fatal events.

This new adversary is an enthusiast of contemporary killers, employing elements from their crimes - such as the Beltway Sniper's phrases, the Unabomber's clues, and the Anthrax Killer's delivery methods. Maggie, familiar with dangerous minds, faces the challenge of combating this opponent from within a biosafety isolation ward while anxiously waiting to see if the deadly virus has already begun to multiply inside her. Amidst her fears, Maggie grapples with the possibility that her last case could escalate from a series of murders to a full-blown epidemic, masterminded by the most intelligent killer she has ever encountered.

Black Friday (2009)

Black Friday
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On the year's busiest shopping day, a group of idealistic college students, intending to execute an elaborate media stunt at America's largest mall, believe they carry equipment designed to disrupt store computer systems, momentarily undermining capitalism. Unbeknownst to them, their backpacks actually contain explosives, turning them into unwitting suicide bombers.

FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell must set her political problems aside, teaming up with Nick Morrelli to uncover the mastermind behind the terrifying terrorist plot. The stakes rise dramatically when Maggie receives a tip that her own brother is among the ill-fated protestors, making the impending massacre all the more horrifying.

Damaged (2010)

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As the Coast Guard prepares for a Category 5 hurricane entering the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola Beach, an air crew spots a large fishing cooler about a mile offshore. While drug traffickers are known to dump coolers filled with smuggled goods to avoid detection, the crew is shocked to discover tightly wrapped body parts inside this particular cooler. Special Agent Maggie O'Dell is sent to investigate, despite the impending hurricane.

Maggie manages to trace the torso found in the cooler back to a man who disappeared weeks earlier after a hurricane struck Port St. Lucie, Florida - on the Atlantic side. The mystery of how his body ended up 600 miles away in the Gulf of Mexico adds intrigue to the case. With cliffhanger chapters, detailed forensic insights, colorful characters, and satisfying twists, Kava's psychological thriller "Damaged" intensifies the suspense as Maggie ventures into the eye of a monster hurricane to hunt down a killer.

Hotwire (2011)

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During a drug-fueled party on a chilly fall evening in western Nebraska, two teenagers appear to be electrocuted, resulting in a spectacular light show. As Maggie O'Dell attempts to decipher the witnesses' accounts, separating reality from hallucination, her friend Colonel Benjamin Platt investigates a deadly outbreak affecting children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the distance between the two cases, Maggie and Platt's investigations converge when they uncover a sinister conspiracy that was intended to remain concealed within the remote Midwestern landscape.

Fireproof (2012)

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In the midst of a cold winter night in D.C., a building catches fire, bearing similarities to a string of recent fires in the area, with one key difference - this blaze claims a human life. Local investigators are convinced that they're searching for a young, impulsive white male driven by anger or sexual aggression. However, when Special Agent Maggie O'Dell joins the investigation, she suspects a more calculated and controlled criminal behind the act.

Reporter Jeffery Cole, eager for a big break, is also present at the scene, and decides to include Maggie in his news story, unearthing aspects of her past she'd rather leave buried. Complicating matters further, Maggie's brother Patrick is back in D.C., working for a private firefighting company that's frequently called to the growing number of fire scenes. As the arson attacks intensify, Maggie's professional and personal lives dangerously intersect, leading her to believe that the perpetrator might be closer than she ever anticipated.

Stranded (2013)

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Travelers and truckers have long relied on rest areas along the nation's highways to refuel, grab a bite to eat, and rest. However, for one man, these rest stops serve as a hunting ground. Over the years, defenseless, weary, and stranded individuals have vanished from highways and byways, their disappearances seemingly unconnected. When FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell and her partner, Tully, discover the remains of a young woman in a highway ditch, they find a map that sends them on a frantic, cross-country hunt to stop a madman from killing again.

As the body count rises, Maggie races against time to unmask the monster terrorizing the nation's highways. She enlists the help of a former adversary who seems to know the killer's next move. As Maggie inches closer to uncovering the killer's identity, it becomes chillingly clear that she is the ultimate target.

Before Evil (2017)

Before Evil
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Special Agent Maggie O'Dell has built a reputation for successfully profiling serial killers and solving crimes from her small Quantico office, relying on Polaroids, faxed copies, and scraps of evidence sent by homicide detectives nationwide. She's managed to achieve all this without ever stepping foot at an actual crime scene. However, when the sadistic madman Albert Stucky enters her life, everything changes.

Stucky relishes in his twisted games, leaving pieces of his victims in takeout containers for unsuspecting bystanders to discover, while some bodies are dumped nearby and others never found. Tasked with profiling the murderer, Maggie faces her first real crime scenes as Stucky chooses the backwoods of Virginia for his killing grounds. Intrigued by the attractive FBI agent on his tail, Stucky begins to taunt Maggie with notes and macabre scavenger hunt clues, daring her to catch him while planning to make her his next prey.

Goodnight, Sweet Mother (2017)

Goodnight, Sweet Mother
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In this riveting thriller short by New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell and her mother, Kathleen, embark on a road trip despite their rocky relationship. Their journey takes an unexpected turn when they encounter a man at a diner, who later reappears on the road and sideswipes their car. This incident propels the O'Dells into a perilous situation that leaves them longing for the safety of home, offering readers an exhilarating adventure and a glimpse into the complex dynamic between Maggie and her mother.

Off the Grid (2016)

Off the Grid
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"Off the Grid" is a captivating collection of psychological suspense stories from New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava. This anthology brings together four short stories and one novella, most of which showcase the expertise of Kava's renowned FBI profiler, Special Agent Maggie O'Dell. Readers will follow Maggie through a chilling road trip with her mother in "Goodnight Sweet Mother," and witness her forensic abilities in "A Breath of Hot Air" as she investigates a mysterious death in a Florida hotel. Meanwhile, "Cold Metal Night" reunites Maggie with Nick Morrelli as they pursue a ruthless killer preying on the homeless.

The excitement continues in "Electric Blue," where Maggie and her partner, R.J. Tully, brave a treacherous storm on the Gulf of Mexico to locate a missing senator's family. The collection concludes with "After Dark," a standalone novella in which corporate executive Madeline Kramer seeks solitude in a remote cabin, only to discover that she might have gotten more than she bargained for. To enhance readers' enjoyment, the anthology includes a list indicating where each Maggie O'Dell short work fits within the series' chronology, providing context for fans of the novels.

Case Closed: Sealing the File on the Maggie O'Dell Series

Now that you're armed with the definitive list of Maggie O'Dell books in publication order, there's never been a better time to delve into the exhilarating world of Alex Kava's novels. If you've made it through the entire Maggie O'Dell series, don't forget to explore other thrilling Alex Kava books, including the gripping Ryder Creed series. With a fresh perspective, the "Breaking Creed" novel launches the adventures of K9 handler Ryder Creed, offering yet another fascinating dimension to Kava's storytelling. From tornado-swept Alabama to the bustling streets of Chicago, Kava's "Desperate Creed" propels you through a whirlwind of suspense, where every turn could lead to a deadly encounter.

As a passionate reader, there's no greater joy than immersing yourself in captivating stories, and the Maggie O'Dell collections undoubtedly deliver on that front. Whether you're a newcomer to the world of Alex Kava or a longtime fan, revisiting the Maggie O'Dell series in its entirety will provide an unforgettable reading experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Alex Kava? An Alex Kava Biography.

Alex Kava

Alex Kava, a prolific author with over twenty-one novels to her name, has gained acclaim for her series featuring K9 handler Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell. Her works have been published in thirty-four countries, selling more than seven million copies and appearing on bestseller lists across the globe. Despite her successful career, Alex remains down-to-earth, finding solace in the company of her pack of Westies, though they may not be as well-trained as the dogs in her stories.

Born Sharon Kava and raised near Silver Creek, Nebraska, her early passion for writing was nurtured in secret as her parents prioritized education and hard work over leisure reading. After earning a College of Saint Mary scholarship for art, Kava juggled work and study, graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in art and English. She built a career in advertising and marketing, ultimately creating her own graphic design firm. Returning to her true passion, she left her job in public relations in 1996 to focus on writing fiction. To make ends meet, Kava revived her design business, refinanced her home, and even took on a newspaper delivery route. Her first novel was published in 2000 under the pseudonym "Alex" to mask her gender. Now an esteemed member of the International Thriller Writers and Nebraska Writers Guild, Kava's novels continue to captivate readers worldwide.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like to check out our list of the best crime novels!

Portrait of the article author, Chris Beach
Chris Beach

Hi, I'm Chris. My love of books started when I was a child visiting libraries with my Dad. The smell and feel of old pages still sparks something within me that can I can only express as an emotional attachment to books. Two decades later this evolved into a passion for collecting rare books, particularly 17th century early-English literature, and rare children's books. I believe every book has its own story and each one reveals something new about the world we live in.
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