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Where is the confident, take no prisoners Scarpetta gone? Over the last 20 books she has steadily deteriorated. Readers want humanistic heroes, but Cornwell allows her character to slide more and more into the abyss of self-doubt. This novel does not hang together and does not move any of the people forward you care about (except Lucy – for once and only just barely).
The first half of the book goes into way to much autopsy detail and drags on and on and on and on and on. The court case backdrop was not believable; nor, did any real resolution happen in it or to the confrontations that were provoked by it. The story is just flat-out weak. The general theme of Marino screwing up has been done to death (pardon the pun). It would also be nice to see a little more communication between Scarpetta, Lucy and Benton – the non-communication theme has also been played out. Conrwell glosses over this breakdown with flimsy one line justifications. One the positive side, at least Lucy might start to finally catch a break.
If Cornwell wants to keep this series going, she needs to find more inspiration. A great case, a thrill of the chase, let’s get the characters outwardly focused instead of inspecting their own navels. Let Scarpetta and her characters kick some butt instead of having their butts kicked. C’mon Conrwell, Scarpetta deserves better than this!
40 of 43 people found this review helpful
Although I have read or listened to almost every Scarpetta novel, there has been disappointment in her last few. I keep hoping the writing will return to the kind of relationships and story lines in the early years--but no.
I had high expectations for this one based on the summary from the publisher- it sounded really good. It held my interest up through the first half of part one, but after that, the continual obnoxious behavior the characters all have for one another began to grate. No one, and I mean NO ONE, is a likeable person. Even Kay and Benton seem to have contempt for each other. There is just no connection between any of the the characters that makes me say "yes--I'd like to see what happens down the road" with these people.
Now I must comment on the narration, which is mentioned by several other people. At the beginning, Lucy sounded a bit like an aging valley girl. As the book went on, her voice smoothed out, but always sounds like she is agitated. Kate Reading is not very good with male voices either. It sounds like she is trying too hard. I really wish they would at least try another narrator--maybe Anna Fields.
The story line did come together at the end, but I didn't like the way it got there. If you can get past the narration, and you are a real Scarpetta fan, you probably will like this book ok.
20 of 23 people found this review helpful