This is classic Scarpetta, complimented by her brilliant--and sometimes frustrating risk-taking niece Lucy. Named for the facility founded by eminent forensic anthropoligist William Bass of the University of Tennessee, this is a fascinating glimpse into a real-world facility. Art imitating life. Either way, it's a great read.
The name of this novel comes from the University of Tennessee's Decay Research Facility known as the Body Farm. This is a fast moving and complicated story involving scandals and murders
The main character Scarpetta is a chief medical examiner as well as a lawyer and a consultant to the FBI. She is unique and fascinating, but can be annoying at times, especially when she starts whinning about the poor eating habits of the people she works with! I also thought the story was drawn out and a little slow at times. There were too many sub-plots as well as clues that got forgotten and important details that got changed (editor?) But, despite the little draw backs, the suspense held my attention and kept me reading!
So far, this series is getting better with each book as the author progressing in her writing. But, she does need to work on factoid-typos, because in the previous book, her niece was only seventeen. In this one, she's now 21, even though the killer who escaped in the previous book was mentioned as having gone on his spree only 2 years prior. So, either Gault (the killer) went on a 2nd killing spree, or 4 years have actually passed. I wish the author would be consistent, because when a person's reading books back-to-back within a day of each other, things like this get noticed.
As for the drama involving her niece, it's a amazing that a girl who is so smart can be so stupid. It's a little over-dramatic at times, but I suppose it does make for a good side story.
The killer in this one becomes fairly obvious early on, but the fact that they die with Scarpetta in the room is getting redundant for a climactic ending. Especially with the way it's done. The ending just felt rushed, as there was a lot of things happening in a short period of time. The "bad guy" last stand was just a bit too much. The hasty ending makes the reader feel a bit robbed after the rest of the book had been done well and was very interesting.
This was the first Cornwell book I read, thought it riveting and got hooked on her.
I think all of Patricia Cornwells books are excellent. If you like getting into the forensic side of things in a mystery thriller, then her books are for you.