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Book of the Dead Paperback – 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Cornwell's 15th novel to feature Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after 2005's Predator) delivers her trademark grisly crime scenes, but lacks the coherence and emotional resonance of earlier books. Soon after relocating to Charleston, S.C., to launch a private forensics lab, Scarpetta is asked to consult on the murder of U.S. tennis star Drew Martin, whose mutilated body was found in Rome. Contradictory evidence leaves Scarpetta, the Italian carabinieri and Scarpetta's lover, forensic psychologist Benton Wesley, stumped. But when she discovers unsettling connections between Martin's murder, the body of an unidentified South Carolina boy and her old nemesis, the maniacal psychiatrist Dr. Marilyn Self, Scarpetta encounters a killer as deadly as any she's ever faced. With her recent switch from first- to third-person narration, Cornwell loses what once made her series so compelling: a window into the mind of a strong, intelligent woman holding her own in a profession dominated by men. Here, the abrupt shifts in point of view slow the momentum, and the reader flounders in excessive forensic minutiae.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Forensic trailblazer Kay Scarpetta faces numerous battles and challenges in this latest entry in the series, which seems to be losing a little steam but still has a large following. Scarpetta and her sidekicks struggle to establish a private practice that provides autopsy services for jurisdictions that lack a local pathologist. Complex and unhealthy relationships grow stranger, and personal issues threaten to overshadow unfolding mysteries. Reading’s highly capable narration is the strength of this production, but it is still hard to overlook the distracting repetitiveness of backstories that explain circumstances and relations to new listeners. Reading’s darker tones are well suited to the many characters, and she offers a wide range of distinctive accents, including Italian and southern U.S., with ease. For fans who find solace in the Scarpetta formula. --Jeanette Larson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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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.
It almost seems like if I had read all of the Scarpetta novels...and in order, this book may have changed my mind on whether or not I liked the story line.
Maybe the worst book I ever read
Meandering plot. A plethora of scientific jargon interspersed with appalling dialogue eg "lets don`t do it" and ,"lets don`t argue "
(this spoken by supposedly highly educated people) and........my favourite inanity....`The mountains looked like they weren`t there !!!!!!!!!
No more Cornwell for me. If I want to see the English language savaged, I`ll read the `funnies`
Most recent customer reviews
Can't wait till the next book comes