I didn’t realize this was actually the fifth book of a series when I started reading it, but I must say it was ok to read without background information. The story is quite easy to read, with lots of short chapters and the end was a total surprise to me (although I already suspected someone from the ‘inside’). There are two different storylines in the book, but they are easy to follow as they are connected. But the amount of changes between the various characters appearing in different chapters was confusing sometimes, and made me wonder who was talking at some points. Still, A Necessary Evil was enjoyable, although themes like child abuse by priests and priest murders may set you off.
It all starts when various decapitated heads of women start to show up, and Maggie O’Dell (FBI profiler) is asked to work on the case. While she is still working on that case, she is called to assist another one; various priests have been attacked and murdered, seemingly at random. She is asked to check if the cases of the dead priests are connected, but soon discovers a different connection… And a computer game thrown in the middle.
Maggie is also confronted with various ghosts from the past. First, the priest murders lead her to a reunion with her ex-boyfriend Nick, who is friends with one of the persons involved. But more importantly, Father Michael Keller shows up again. Maggie knows he is the killer of various boys a few years ago, but was never able to catch him and he fled to South America. Now he offers them information about the priest killings in exchange for immunity, and Maggie has to make a difficult decision… She wants to catch the priest killer, but is she willing to set free a monster for it?
A Necessary Evil is one of those crime thrillers that delivers; easy to read, a high pace and entertaining in general. Maybe it is not that original, but if you like crime thrillers in general, you will probably enjoy reading this one by Alex Kava as well. I will probably check out more of her work in the future…