I'd be lying to say I did not anticipate the publishing of Cornwell's newest Kay Scarpetta novel "Scarpetta" for whatever reason. When it arrived I was surprised by it's thickness and the overall appearance of the book. I held it in my hands and got this feeling of not being disappointed this time before I even read the first sentence.
Scarpetta has a small medical examiner's office in Charleston, Carolina and is bby her now husband Benton Wesley to New York. The District Attorney Jamie Berger asks her for help with a patient who admitted himself to the forensic psychiatric unit. His name is Oscar Bane and he hasn't been charged with anything just yet. The only thing police has against him is that he was the first person to arrive at his girlfriends apartment and discovers her killed in a gruesome way.
Bane seems to be a little bit off claiming someone is following him, trying to steal his thoughts and mind and the only person who is allowed to examine his wounds is Dr. Scarpetta who finds herself in a huge dilemma:
For one thing she isn't allowed to break her patient/physician confidentiality as long as Bane hasn't been charged and for the other thing, she learns that Benton after Marino's sudden disappearance, took care of him, helped him with getting treatment for his alcoholism and other issues. She also learns that Marino now directly works for the District Attorney's office and is directly involved in the murder of Oscar Bane's girlfriend.
The next days reveal more confusion, more misleading evidence and more death.
Initially I've detached myself from expecting the Scarpetta we know from the early books because I think this might have been the downfall in Cornwell's past few publishing's. So I went into reading the book without the expectancy of the character Scarpetta. What I got was a mixture of Scarpetta, Lucy Farinelli and Marino and I actually liked the book very much.
In the beginning I feared we might again get too much of Benton and Scarpetta's relationship issues but during the plots development we completely got away from that and learn about how each of the "Scarpetta Team" deals with what happened in the previous novel between Marino and Scarpetta and that Scarpetta partly takes responsibility for it. All this happens between investigations, not too much at once but bit by bit so that it doesn't get annoying and gives closure to the The Book Of The Dead novel.
I think it was fantastic to get back a piece of what I missed in previous novels and a new direction. In the end they all redeem themselves in one or another way. Not only speaking of the characters here.
So would I recommend this book to Scarpetta fans ? Definitely and especially when the disappointment about the last novels was/is still there.
Twist and turns kept me reading and wanting more Cornwell for the first time in years and I appreciate the work for detail the author put into this work. Speaking for myself, I couldn't put it down and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
She's back! If you happened to read my review of Cornwell's "Book of the Dead", you'll know that I hated it. But "Scarpetta", the 16th book in Cornwell's series about Kay Scarpetta, forensic pathologist, is far and away so superior to her last entry in the series...well, I'm almost speechless.
There is a great mystery. There is character development that doesn't remind one of a nightmare or a bad LSD trip or something. I was so involved in the storyline, and so relieved to have Benton, Marino, Lucy and Scarpetta acting normally again that I probably gave this book a higher rating than I would have had I never read "Book of the Dead."
If you have been disillusioned with Cornwell and Scarpetta...try this one. See if you don't feel as though Cornwell is back in the game.
borrowed this book from a friend--don't waste your time or money--it was long & awful--glad I didn't pay for it--last 3 efforts by this author were BAD--I was determined not to buy anything else by her but when my pal offered it I accepted--the book was too detailed about the wrong things
The type is very hard to read in the middle of the night and this is a large book about nothing. Weird!! This is not one of Cornwell's best as far as I'm concerned. In fact this doesn't even seem like her style of writing. I suffered through it expecting something to come up to warrant finishing this book but it never came. A real disappointment!!!!!
I found this book to be more Cornwell's old style and I really liked it. To me it summarized the characters, brought them up to date and provided a somewhat predictable but interesting mystery. I have recommended to my Scarpetta friends that they skip the last 2 to 3 installments and just read this.
Although I usually enjoy Patricia Cornwell books, this one was a bit of a disappointment. I felt the story moved very slow, and seemed to drag on. I really could have read the first few chapters and the last few, and enjoyed the whole story.
I just finished reading Book of the Dead and Scarpetta in quick succession after taking a few years off from the series. This time around I found Kay's holier-than-thou attitude grating. For me this series has run its course. Still an interesting read as a forsensic mystery, but too easy to figure out whodunit. For this reader 16 was more than enough.
I have waited a long while for another Kay Scarpetta mystery/thriller. This wasn't it.
It's a thick book and half of it was unnecessary. There was a lot of excessive character development. I was most unhappy in that realm with the lengthy interactions early with Oscar Bane,who is a relatively unimportant character and whose story is summarized only briefly towards the end of the book. I still don't understand the main "victim" in this book. And, why was it so impt to refer to the other victim as The Shrew for half the book when her name had no bearing on anything that happened. Then there was the cop who graduated Med School but became a cop AND in his spare time took part-time jobs. Huh?
Also, I'm afraid that what once drew me in to the Scarpetta mysteries, the main characters, have lost their appeal. The relationship with Kay and Benton is taxing to read through.... Lucy is unfortunately portrayed too much as in need of relationship and seems to always have to have a failed relationship storyline (or in this case building it up to fail in the future). It's just not real. And, Marino, is not the Marino we loved and hated. He seemed bland. It felt like Kay was groping at times for a role in this book. This book is named Scarpetta. One would think it was about Scarpetta....
I'm probably being generous giving this book 2.5 stars. I just did not like it.
This was the first Patricia Cornwell book I've read, and I enjoyed it despite not knowing any of the substantial backstory established by the previous 15 books. It took me a while to figure out who was who and so on, but it was compelling and definitely kept my interest. I've heard that the earlier ones are the best, and I look forward to reading them.
From inside cover:
Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward.
The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk -- and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.
The injuries, he says, were sustained in the course of a murder... that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The one thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered -- and more violent deaths will follow. Gradually, an inexplicable and horrifying truth emerges: Whoever is committing the crimes knows where his prey is at all times. Is it a person, a government? And what is the connection between the victims?
In the days that follow, Scarpetta; her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley; and her niece, Lucy, who has recently formed her own forensic computer investigation firm in New York, will undertake a harrowing chase through cyberspace and the all-too-real streets of the city -- an odyssey that will take them at once to places they never knew, and much, much too close to home.
interesting reviews. i've read them all to this point and while comforting to read a book whose characters you are very familiar with, this one dragged a bit, could have been shorter. scarpetta has always been a bit "holier-than thou" and seemed to be more annoyingly so. scarpetta fans should keep plugging along though!
Considering the last few of this series have not been so noteworthy, this was truly enjoyable. It reminded me of the earlier books. Scarpetta seemed more like that character and I really liked this particular book. I enjoyed the characters and the details involved in forensic medicine as they were described.
I was interested to read that other reviewers seemed to like this latest by Patricia Cornwell; I was so disappointed with this book, and found the plot very weak with no real purpose or anything to capture my interest. I, too, have been a big fan in the past, but found this latest book even more disappointing than the previous disappointing books in this series. I hope the author manages to rebuild the magic of the characters in her next book!
I had all but given up on her books but thought I would give this one a chance. She needs to go back to her original style. This book was a dissappointment. I won't read her again unless I know she writes like she used to.
Nicole W. reviewed Scarpetta (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 16) on
I love Patricia Cornwell and have read every Scarpetta book. This one does not disappoint. The last book was upsetting for me becuase the main group or "family" of charactors were broken up and imploded. Cornwell has brought them back together again in this book and focused on the charactor development again. But she doesn't leave out the details and technical aspects of the investigation.
I liked the book very much and I thought it moved along quiet well. The only thing that surprised me was not a love reaction with Benton and Scarpetts. Didn't like the way they acted with each other, it was like they weren't interested in each other. When all is said and done I still like anything Patricia Cornwell writew.
I enjoyed this bood much more than her recent Kay Scarpetta installments...I liked it as much as the first few she wrote. The recent books told much more of the story from the mind of the depraved killers, and I didn't enjoy that much. "Scarpetta" on the other hand, had all the beloved characters, a great story and I didn't figure it out until almost the same time as the characters, and that is always enjoyable. If you have liked this series about a forensic pathologist and her family, co-workers and friends, than this one is for you.
It amazes me how Patricia Cornwell can write such an indeapth story with only a handful of characters involved and that keep you guessing who did what. Like always a wonderful addition to the Scarpetta series
I am a huge Cornwell fan, but her last two (this one and the previous one) books have been a big let-down. I wanted to like this book and I didn't exactly hate it, I just felt that somewhere along the way she has lost the feel for the characters she has written about for so long. The characters seemed tired and the storyline carried none of the suspense that the books from earlier in the series always had. I guess the best way I can describe it is to say that the characters conveyed a sense of weariness and it left me feeling less than fulfilled to have read such a big book. To be honest, the book could have been about half its' size and it would have been fine- way too much extraneous stuff in it.
Didn't think I would make it through this book. It was very hard to keep up with what was going on due to all the skipping around. It's like there were two or three different people writing this book and none of them were talking to the others! I've always loved Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series and a few of her others as well. But, this book may end my being a fan. I currently have book 17, The Scarpetta Factor and, after a period of recovery from book 16, I will try book 17. Really hope things improve!!