A Coast Guard helicopter finds a fisherman's cooler bobbing in the water in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Florida coast. Thinking that the cooler contained drugs, officials are surprised to find body parts.
A massive hurricane is heading toward Florida and Charlie Wurth, the deputy director of homeland security asks FBI profiler, Maggie O'Dell to help on the case. To do so, they must go to Pensacola, Florida as the storm is approaching.
Elsewhere, many soldiers from Afghanistan who have lost limbs are now coming down with a toxic ailment. A number of the soldiers have died and officials are attempting to find a possible cause.
Undertaker Scot Larsen, isn't paying attention to the pending storm. He's made an agreement with Joe Black so Black could accept delivery and provide storage for some human body parts in route to Black's doctors' conferences.
The theme of the novel is about these body parts, how they are found and what is being done with them. The author wants the reader to know how dangerous they can be.
I enjoyed the story and characters. The imminent arrival of the hurricane, which has become a category 5, adds to the suspense. Things will have to be resolved quickly so the characters can get to safety before the storm hits.
Alex Kava has done a professional job with this thriller. The locale is Florida and the book is an excellent vacation read.
Some of the puzzles in the story were a bit too easily resolved and the antagonist was fairly obvious from the start of the story. The only suspense was in the storm and in how the person would be caught before more victims would fall.
What did you think of this review?
Steve Berry is the author of six thrillers in the bestselling Cotton Malone series (The Templar Legacy, The Alexandria Link, The Venetian Betrayal, The The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Paris Vendetta, and The Emperor's Tomb), and three stand-alone thrillers (The Amber Room, The Romanov Prophecy, and The Third Secret). Read his guest review of Damaged:
Alex Kava is a master. Her heroine, Special Agent Maggie O'Dell, is one of the classic characters of the thriller genre. Maggie's adventures have taken her to small-town America, and into the Catholic Church, bringing her face-to-face with some sick individuals. But that's her job. She's a criminal profiler. And good at it. Now, in Damaged, Maggie is thrust into the eye of an impending monster hurricane to track down another killer.
Alex Kava has a knack for the macabre. This time she hooks the reader when a fishing cooler is found floating in the Gulf of Mexico filled with a human torso, one foot, and three hands, all tightly wrapped in plastic. Despite the fact that a Category 5 hurricane is just off shore, and headed her way, Maggie is sent to investigate. Resources are limited. All law enforcement is focused on evacuation and emergency preparations. It's Maggie's job to find out what's going on, but when she discovers that the remains belong to a man who mysteriously disappeared weeks earlier, after another hurricane hit on Florida’s Atlantic Ocean side, the real trouble begins.
There's a ton more...