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"Please don't go there. The past is the past," sighs New York Assistant District Attorney Jaime Berger, who herself was introduced in Cornwell's last Kay Scarpetta novel, The Last Precinct (2000). Alas, many of Cornwell's fans are bound to agree. One fascinating nonfiction bestseller (Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed) later, Cornwell now returns to Scarpetta, formerly Virginia's chief medical examiner. From the start, however, the formidable author is up against the equally formidable task of getting her charismatic main character off ice and back in action. We encounter Scarpetta languishing in a crumbling little rental house in Florida. She has taken refuge there and become a private forensic consultant after she was driven from her job for her alleged involvement in the murder of a deputy police chief. The violent death of her lover, Benton Wesley, the brilliant FBI psychological profiler, has left her filled with an unappeasable grief. When the coroner in Baton Rouge asks her advice on a cold case concerning an affluent woman found dead of a drug overdose in a seedy hotel, it seems little more than a diversion. Yet it becomes clear that the overdose may be related to a fresh string of serial killings. Also disturbing Scarpetta's somber peace is a troubling letter from someone out to kill her, the sick and obsessed death-row inmate Jean-Baptiste. When Scarpetta is at last allowed to get back to business, she is a feisty, independent powerhouse whose capacity to concentrate and observe rivals Sherlock Holmes's. But too much of this book is bound up in retrospective musings about events in previous books. The great Scarpetta, her fiery crime-busting niece, Lucy, and a colorful supporting cast deserve better.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Kay Scarpetta fans will miss their favorite forensic pathologist in this new thriller, as Cornwell cedes much of the spotlight to other characters in the long-running series. Lucy, Kay's defiant niece, and Marino, the bad-tempered, opinionated cop, are here, as are several familiar depraved psychopaths--among them, "Wolfman" Jean-Baptiste Chandonne and his twin brother, who first surfaced in Black Notice (2000). It appears that Chandonne, whose execution date is drawing near, wants to see Kay, ostensibly to reveal information about his family that will ensure the collapse of their Mob cartel and to have her administer the drug that will end his life. But, as usual in Cornwell's more recent books, absolutely nothing is what it seems. Granted, there are some compelling (and gruesome) moments, and a few loose ends from previous books are finally taken care of... Otherwise, though, this is a murky stew, indeed, with action careening in way too many directions. Oh, for a return to the Cornwell who created the tough but vulnerable Scarpetta, who, at center stage, used her intellect and forensic training to solve a more straightforward mystery. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
One of my favorites of Cornwell's books! Very interesting information.Published 21 hours ago by RedFingerNails
When I read some of the reviews initially, I could not understand some of the low reviews. Now I understand the only possible answer. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Pat O'Brien
I enjoyed this book but not as much as the previous ones by Patricia Cornwell. The ending was good and I will read the next one in the series.Published 15 days ago by Cathie R
Ok book answers questions had potential but missed it. Found myself jumping chapters to get to the main points of the storyline/plot. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Kindle Customer
You can not go wrong in any of Patricia Cornwell novels, they have everything, mystery, murder, suspense, twists and turns, surprises, romance, great detail, fabulous story line... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Brenda Bryant
... he hears footsteps ... who is it? ... and now we jump to the end where the character explains what happened. Seemed like 2 chapters were missing from the end of the book! Read morePublished 1 month ago by H. Horn
Listen to this on the way to North Carolina, when we got to our motel had to wait to see what was going to happen..Published 1 month ago by Barbara Greene
I have read almost all the Scarpetta series, I have started over from book one. I had forgotten so many details of her storyline over the years. What a pleasure. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles A. Helmke