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Hotwire

Cover of Hotwire

Hotwire

Maggie O'Dell Series, Book 9
by Alex Kava
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In New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava's new thriller, Special Agent Maggie O'Dell investigates the death of three teenagers, only to find herself in the middle of a conspiracy involving biological warfare.

On a crisp fall evening in western Nebraska, what started as a group of kids filming their drug-fueled party ends in an explosive light show, leaving the victims apparently electrocuted, with odd scorch marks being the only evidence. While Maggie tries to make sense of the dif­ferent stories, sifting through what is real and what is hallu­cination, she realizes that the surviving teens are being targeted and systematically eliminated.

Meanwhile on the East Coast, Maggie's FBI partner, R.J. Tully, and Army colonel Benjamin Platt are at the scene of a deadly outbreak, desperate to identify the pathogen that has infected children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the miles that separate them, the two cases collide as Maggie, Tully, and Platt uncover secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the remote Midwest landscape.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Alex Kava's Stranded.

In New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava's new thriller, Special Agent Maggie O'Dell investigates the death of three teenagers, only to find herself in the middle of a conspiracy involving biological warfare.

On a crisp fall evening in western Nebraska, what started as a group of kids filming their drug-fueled party ends in an explosive light show, leaving the victims apparently electrocuted, with odd scorch marks being the only evidence. While Maggie tries to make sense of the dif­ferent stories, sifting through what is real and what is hallu­cination, she realizes that the surviving teens are being targeted and systematically eliminated.

Meanwhile on the East Coast, Maggie's FBI partner, R.J. Tully, and Army colonel Benjamin Platt are at the scene of a deadly outbreak, desperate to identify the pathogen that has infected children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the miles that separate them, the two cases collide as Maggie, Tully, and Platt uncover secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the remote Midwest landscape.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Alex Kava's Stranded.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1

    NEBRASKA NATIONAL FOREST
    HALSEY, NEBRASKA

    Dawson Hayes looked around the campfire and immediately recognized the losers. It was almost too easy to spot them.

    He could pretend he had some super radar in reading people, but the truth was he knew the losers because . . . what was that old saying? It takes one to know one. It wasn't that long ago that he would have been huddled over there with them, wondering why he had been invited, sweating and waiting to see what the price of the invitation was.

    He didn't feel sorry for them. They didn't have to show up. Nobody dragged them here. So anything that happened was sort of their own fault. Their price for wanting to be somebody they weren't. Admission to the cool club didn't come without some sacrifice. If they thought otherwise, then they really were hopeless losers.

    At least Dawson accepted who he was. Actually he didn't mind. He liked being different from his classmates and sometimes he played up the part, purposely wearing all black on football Fridays when everyone else wore school colors. Being the geek got him noticed, even garnered an eye roll from Coach Hickman, who before Dawson started wearing black on Fridays hadn't bothered to remember Dawson's name.

    At the beginning of the school year, during roll call for history class Coach would yell out "Dawson Hayes" and look around the entire room, over Dawson's head and sometimes straight at him. When Dawson raised his hand, Coach Hickman's eyebrows would dart up like the man would never in a million years have put a cool name like Dawson Hayes together with the pimpled face and the hesitant, skinny arm claiming it. Dawson didn't mind. He was finally starting to get noticed and it didn't matter how it came about.

    Even now he knew the only reason for his continued invitation to these exclusive retreats in the forest was because Johnny Bosh liked what Dawson brought to the party. Tonight that something was burning a hole in Dawson's jacket pocket. He tried not to think about it. Tried not to think how earlier he had lifted it--that's right, lifted, borrowed, not stolen--from his dad's holster while the man slept on his one night off. His dad probably wouldn't care as soon as he heard Dawson was hanging with Johnny B. Okay, that wasn't true. His dad would be pissed. But wasn't he always encouraging Dawson to make friends, go do stuff that other kids were doing? In other words, be a normal teenager for a change.

    Dawson thought that was part of his problem--he was too normal. He wasn't a superstar athlete like Johnny B or a tobacco-chewing cowboy like Trevor or a brainiac like Kyle, but just holding the Taser X26, with its lightweight, bright-yellow casing that fit perfectly in his hand, gave him a new identity and a sense of confidence. All he had to do was point and wham, there goes fifty thousand volts of electricity. And suddenly Dawson Hayes, the powerless, became powerful. He could control anyone and everyone. With this sleek piece of technology in the palm of his hand Dawson felt like he could do anything.

    Okay, maybe it wasn't just the Taser. Maybe the salvia had a little something to do with it. He'd been chewing his wad for about fifteen minutes and he could already feel the effect. That was just one of the highlights of tonight.

    Dawson looked for the camera hidden behind some low sweeping pine branches. Though it remained camouflaged he could see the green dot blinking only because he had helped Johnny set it up earlier, making sure the tripod blended in with the trees. No one else knew it was there. Being the geek in residence did have its advantages.

    Dawson glanced around...

About the Author-
  • ALEX KAVA's twelve books, two stand-alone novels and ten novels featuring FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell, have been published in more than twenty countries, appearing on bestseller lists in Britain, Australia, Poland, Germany, and Italy. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Alex divides her time between Omaha, Nebraska, and Pensacola, Florida.

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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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