Friday, January 2, 2009

Scarpetta - Patricia Cornwell

Okay so I really didn't like Cornwell's last novel The Risk. But it was a different character and I was willing to give the Scarpetta character another chance. It's certainly much thicker than her last offering - 500 pages.

Anyone that hadn't read the last novel - The Book of the Dead - would be lost starting to read this novel. It pretty much picks up where that one left off. There are numerous allusions but no real recap for new readers.

Scarpetta had given up the South and moved to New York City to work as a consultant for the NYPD. She is asked to examine a patient at Bellevue who will only see Scarpetta. The police suspect him of murdering his lover, but he denies it. He claims there is someone electronically tracking him. Another storyline is abruptly inserted - a web administrator of an online gossip page that seems to be out 'to get' Kay Scarpetta.

I found the first half of the book to be disjointed and awkward. As much as I love forensic novels, I think Cornwell just tries too hard too blend personal stories of the characters with sensational crimes. It never seems to find balance and neither is overly well done.

I did finish it, but was disappointed with the ending and loose ends not really incorporated or dealt with.

9 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for the review. I loved Cornwell's early work, but haven't enjoyed the last few, so I think I'll just skip this one.

Lenore said...

Yeah, if I ever get around to reading Cornwell, I'll stick to her early stuff.

Lenore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shana said...

I've never read this author. 500 pages is a long time to stick with something you didn't enjoy that much, Luanne. I'm not sure I could have done it!

Shana
Literarily

Dar said...

I used to read Cornwell's earlier stuff but then they started being not so good for me so I stopped reading. Doesn't seem like I've been missing much.

Hagelrat said...

I went off Cornwell's books after she murdered Benton (is that the right name?) and stuck his head in the fridge.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I am sorry to hear this! I've heard the same thing about so many of her novels. Total bummer...

Jeanne said...

I'm with Hagelrat. It's not as much fun to read about Scarpetta after Benton.

Kaye said...

Thanks for the review. I think I gave up on her after Black Notice, too creepy for me. I almost considered trying this one but I'll take a pass. Too many other good books out there.