Unfortunately, I have to disagree with the masses. I didn't think this book measured up to the Scarpetta series at all. I've come to expect more from Patricia Cornwell.
The characters didn't seem to have much chemistry -- they spent the entire book acting like children. I just couldn't relate to Andy Brazil at all. The plot seemed to be developing well but it fell apart near the end. I found myself thinking, "huh? that's it? Really?"
If you\'re a fan of the Kay Scarpetta series, it\'s hard not to be disappointed going to Hornet\'s Nest. The writing in the beginning of the book hit me strange, almost non-cornwell. There is very strong character development here, and while the overall story is just okay, there are parts that do shine. Enjoyable but I\'d probably steer a friend toward other Cornwell books.
I'm going to have to agree with a previous reviewer, fans of the Kay Scarpetta series are going to be extremely disappointed. The writing was uneven and the ending, well lets say it left a LOT to be desired. The entire book made me never want to ever visit Charlotte!
This is a thriller, FOR SURE! There is a competent energetic young Andy Brazil, reporter & volunteer cop. Then two females, the police chief Judy Hammer & one of her staff Virginia West. And a herd of other interesting characters, from Bubba & Poison & Punkin Head to the bank's fat cat and the newspaper's publisher Niles the cat, etc. Some great dialog, too. She shifts point of view in neat ways, especially between Brazil & West. I shall pounce upon other Cornwell's when I can.
From Publishers Weekly
The decision to abandon her forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta (Body of Evidence; Cause of Death; etc.) leaves Cornwell lacking more than a fail-safe series heroine. The only credible element in this novel is the urban New South setting. The story-about two women top cops and a young male newspaper reporter in Charlotte, N.C.-is routine fare at best. The three characters-42-year-old Deputy Chief Virginia West; her boss, unhappily married Chief Judy Hammer; and handsome wunderkind journalist and volunteer cop, Andy Brazil-are preternaturally competent automatons, obsessive and utterly devoid of self-awareness. A sequence of serial killings of out-of-towners, men who are pulled from their rental cars, sexually mutilated, marked with orange spray paint and shot, creates tension in Charlotte. While Hammer struggles with city politics and a depressed, obese husband, West contends with Brazil (a "handsome and fierce" 22-year-old with "total photographic recall"), who is on assignment to write about police activity, having impressed his editor by turning in "a hundred of hours' overtime five months in a row." Rather than reveal her characters through their words and actions, Cornwell forces them on us predigested ("West believed women were great"; "Brazil did not believe prostitution was right."). In that same descriptive mode, she takes them on roller coaster rides of extravagant emotion-rage, grief, resolve, despair-and offers set pieces in place of plot: mid-book, more than 150 pages pass without mention of the murders. We are made privy to the fantasies of West's cat, but not to the motivations behind the killings. There is nothing to believe in on these pages beyond Charlotte itself.
Have to agree with what many others have said here. This book is not up to snuff with the Scarpetta series. The writing is a bit disjointed, choppily moving from one 'scene' to the next without good flow. New paragraphs lead you to say "wha? how did they get to *this*, when they were just talking about *that*?? The book held my relative interest, but didn't leave me wanting more stories with these characters. The ending was completely rushed and unsatisfying.
Another interesting book by Patricia Cornwell...The heroine is Police Chief Judy Hammer, and she, along with Virginia West struggle to rid the city of Charlotte of a serial killer. This book was good for a "quick read."
Unlike the Kay Scarpetta books, this one focuses on law enforcement and not the medical examiner's point of view. As such, it is a little refreshing and still quite detailed. Lots of sub plots and lots of action, a very good book!
The book is located in Charlotte, NC. This is the name of the Pro basketball team. The book is about a newspaper reporter who rides with a Police Liet. on cases and the serial killer stalking visiting businessmen.
With Charlotte as the simmering background, Patricia Cornwell propels us into the core of the force with three heroes: Andy Brazil, an ambitious young reporter with the Charlotte Observer, an eager--sometimes too eager--volunteer cop: Police Chief Judy Hammer, the professionally strong yet personally trouble guardian of Charlotte's law and order and her chief deputy chief, Virginia West, a genuine head turner who is married to her job. To walk the beat is to learn inner secrets of police work -- the tension, tedium, the heartbreak and hilarity, the unexpected pump of adrenaline and the rush of courage that leads to heriocs..... or death.
Not of the Kay Scarpetta quality but interesting reading.
Patricia Cornwell is a great author... or so I've been told. I have read several of her books and I just don't think they are that great. However, Many other people like her and she's selling more books than I am, so I don't feel I have room to complain.
From the number one bestselling author of Cause of Death, a knowing and wry novel of big-city police,big-city crime, and the ironic intersections of everyday lives.
It's a city of ambition and pride, a city long ago dubbed" the hornet's nest of America." A swarming symbol dominates the badge of the police department that protects it-the image of a darting,restless fighter: the whirling dervish of a hornet.Like the violence that swirls around Charlotte during a long,hot summer, the hornet traces a dark,angry path,touching down unexpectedly,bringing stings of surprise wherever it lands.
Patricia Cornwall's brilliant new novel carries it's own surprises. The creator of Kay Scarpetta, the most fascinating character in contemporary crime fiction, now cunningly reveals the heart and soul of a metropolitan police department. With Charlotte as her simmering background, she propels us into the core of the force through the lives of a dynamic trio of heroes:Police Chief Judy Hammer,the professionally strong yet personally troubled guardian of Charlotte's law and order;her deputy chief,Virginia West,a genuine head-turner who is married to her job;and Andy Brazil, an ambitious young reporter of The Charlotte Observer and an eager-sometimes too eager-voulunteer cop. To walk the beat with Hammer,West and Brazil is to learn the inner secrets of police work-the tension and the tedium, the hilarity and the heartbreak, the unexpected pump of adrenaline and the rush of courage that can lead to heroics....or death.
Like no one else before, Patricia Cornwell strips away the facade of the badge to lay bare the lives and motives of ordinary mortals in extraordinary circumstances.Hornet's Nest is a real as tonight's police blotter and as page-turning as Cornwell can be.
I have not read this book so I can't rate it. It is a mass market paperback that is in pretty good shape. It does have a Target sticker on the back cover.
Patricia Cornwell turns from forensics to police procedures in her latest novel, Hornet's Nest. This book is less a thriller than a character study of the main characters: Judy Hammer, chief of police in Charlotte, North Carolina; Hammer's deputy, Virginia West; and Andy Brazil, a young reporter assigned to ride with the police as they go about their jobs.