- Hardcover: 405 pages
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (October 23, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399153934
- ISBN-13: 978-0399153938
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (769 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #337,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Book of the Dead Hardcover – October 23, 2007
|New from||Used from|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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.
It's hard to fault Cornwell for trying to redeem herself after missing the mark with her last few Kay Scarpetta novels, but this new one won't do the trick. The frosty forensic pathologist and her entourage remain as annoyingly self-absored and screwed up as ever, and their emotional baggage once again gets in the way of the story. A lengthy, vivid scene during which a young tennis star is slowly and brutally tortured sets up the mystery, which unfolds in artless leaps, mostly through halting dialogue and occasional forays into the mind of the killer. Once again Cornwell trots out venal characters from previous Scarpetta books; prominent here is psycho-bitch teleshrink Dr. Self (Predator, 2005), who is hoarding information about what turns out to be a string of loosely related murders. Then there's Scarpetta's longtime investigator, Pete Marino, foulmouthed and crude but tolerated, who reveals true ugliness in what may be the best scene in the book. As to forensic detail, it seems right up to the minute, and Scarpetta uses it often in her search for the killer, all the while trying to preserve balance in her personal life. Only for diehard Cornwell fans, of whom there are still many, despite the author's continued slump. Zvirin, Stephanie
Top Customer Reviews
I wrote you a letter back in 2005 after you released Trace. I was, quite frankly, worried about the direction that you were taking poor Kay Scarpetta. And I must say that The Book of the Dead has not done anything to set my worries to rest.
I'll start with the things that I liked. I read once that you should always open a critique with things that you like. I liked that you let Scarpetta finally make fun of herself for some of the conspiracies which she imagines are aimed in her direction. It beggared the imagination that absolutely everybody was out to get the poor woman. In this book, many people were *not* out to get her. And that was a refreshing change. And for that I give you an extra star.
But, oh dear, the rest of the book...
First of all, shock schlock is one of the most virulent diseases of modern airplane novels. The world doesn't need another entry in the race to find The Most Sadistic Serial Killer Ever. Just say no. Please work with a nice straightforward killing, and solve it! I realize that this sounds terribly retro. However, I am tired of seeing writers burn their creativity in an effort to imagine a string of ever more icky things to do with eye sockets and bath tubs.
Second, you failed to get my disbelief to suspend. Too many coincidences. Too many links between all the characters and killings. Too much. Way too much. My disbelief actually didn't even levitate, let alone suspend. Honestly, I think that you ought to have a serious chat with your editor on this point. That is the person who should get paid to warn you that you have broken your plot. And you should listen to them if they do make warnings like that.
Last but not least, Dr. Self. Drop her. Drop this thread. Drop this character. I repeat the "oh dear, oh dear" when it comes to Dr. Self. She is not readable. She is not interesting. She is not anything. Let poor Kay settle down in Charleston without any more outside fuss than her already tangled relationships provide.
Actually, that brings me to a suggestion. Once upon a time, detective novels did this quaint thing where the world around them featured as a character in the work. The novelists used the local color and the detective became a vehicle through which the reader could explore the world. You seemed as though you kind of were starting to get at this with Bull. That was good, but then you got distracted. You wandered off and forgot about him. It was sad. Why don't you try that the next time?
I keep reading your books, largely because I still have a strong affection for Kay from back in the day. I also kind of like that you are one of the few mystery writers who allows your character change, and doesn't keep them encased in a plot-like amber. Please don't make me regret liking you for that, okay?
Thanks for your time.
the frumious bandersnatch.
I have been reading Patricia Cornwell since the beginning. I have always loved her characters and looked forward to new Scarpetta novels, even though they have been less frequent in past years.
The last Scarpetta book, "Predator", was tough to get through...and "Book of the Dead" takes it to a new low. It seems as though everything is over-written. Just get to the point, already! Cornwell spends too much time over-describing and not enough time telling the story. It's almost painful to read. At times, I just wanted to put the book down, which is sad. The main characters, once enjoyable, are now conflicted and unpleasant. The story was disjointed and hard to follow, and once the killer was uncovered/caught, Cornwell did a poor job of wrapping up the story and bringing closure to the reader.
If possible, I would give this book 0 stars. Shame on Patricia Cornwell and her editors for bringing this book to market and subjecting loyal fans to such a terrible piece of fiction.