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Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta, No 15) Mass Market Paperback – September 2, 2008
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"The Lost Girls of Devon" by Barbara O'Neal
From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets. | Learn more
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“Cornwell overhauls key elements of this successful series...she has shaken things up a bit and produced one terrific new character.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Ms. Cornwell admits to being proud of Book of the Dead and she should be.”—Midwest Book Review
“Compelling.”—Richmond Times Dispatch
“What a walloping, riveting mix of...adventure and psychology. Author Cornwell certainly is skilled at dissecting the not always attractive innards of human nature.”—Forbes
About the Author
- Item Weight : 10.2 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 528 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780425216255
- ISBN-13 : 978-0425216255
- Product Dimensions : 4.3 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
- Publisher : Berkley; Reprint Edition (September 2, 2008)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 042521625X
- Best Sellers Rank: #599,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Cornwell used to be a great author, and I loved her earlier books. But she seems to have developed an intense hatred for her own characters, which makes her books increasingly painful to read.
Although more or less competently written (though the repeated iteration of "Let's don't do this" was driving me up the wall), this book is ten different kinds of a mess. There's no mystery here; it's an awkward amalgam of forensic science (interesting, I guess, but with no real human element), a poem to Rome, a Dear John letter to Charleston, and some annoying pseudopsychology around death, assault, and avoidant attachment styles...with a big dollop of gardening advice. Although the murderer is described as having meaningful rituals, once he's revealed, the meaning of these rituals is inadequately explained. The reader knows pretty much from the second chapter who he is, so there's very little suspense.
There's a small bit of interest in the character of manipulative pop psychologist Dr. Marilyn Self, who appears to function as Kay Scarpetta's externalized shadow side. The novelty of this wears off in about five minutes, however, leaving the character overly obvious, lacking in nuance.
Recommended for people fascinated by gunshot residue, and those who still share the author's patently obvious fascination with the character of Scarpetta. This is perhaps less a novel than it is the author's own extended autoerotic fantasy, so if convoluted psychological voyeurism is your thing, this is the book for you.
I liked the beginning stories in this series, but it’s been a while since I’ve read one and I’d forgotten how they get so much worse as the series progresses. Not only are the bad guys seriously disturbed and dysfunctional, which you expect, but the main characters are too, which you don’t. They started out with problems like everyone has, then as the series grew everyone seemed to turn amoral. There’s only one person in this story that was happy, and she should have gotten what was coming to her. It was all very depressing, and I have to say that I feel sorry for an author that has this kind of stuff running through her brain. It makes you wonder.
On top of the garbage I forced myself to wade through, it ended on a cliffhanger regarding Marino. And now that I think of it, probably Self too. I am so way past peeved that I need to find a GOOD book to clean my brain out. This one is going into the delete from my account folder.
Top reviews from other countries
Oh, dear. What a mess. For a book about a serial killer he does not seem very busy. I'm on page 197 and he has only killed one person so far. There is an Italian policeman who seems to be attracted to Scarpetta but who seems to be a total plonker. There is her live in/lover, Benson, who is jealous of the Italian and then there is Marino: who in first book was a policeman who helped Scarpetta but has now become an unpleasant drunk who drives a motorbike. Finally we have Lucy, Scarpetta's neice, who has become a wealthy software developer who was also a successful detective with her own company.
I would like to humbly give Ms Cornwall some advice: you don't need Benson, or Lucy, or Italian policemen, or drunken Marinos to make the plot interesting. The crime should be the centre of the plot. It's as simple as that.
If Cornwall wants advice she should read Agatha Christie or Conan Doyle.
The murders and crime story were much more carefully thought out and interesting, and there was an attempt to get the main characters into a more engaging story but it didn't work.
For no reason they've all moved to Charleston and you have to bond with a new life and set of circumstances, that takes a lot of effort, but not only that there was an attempt to bring back an old celebrity as an almost 'cameo' character. It was still very confused and there are a lot of threads left untied by the end that was a bit frustrating!
This is a good one to read for the 'who dun it' factor, but you will be left disapointed by the obvious boredom Cornwall now feels for her main characters, and her desperation to give them some kind of story line.