Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Scarpetta
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Year Published: 2008

Genre: Adult Mystery
Pages: 500
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2014 Google Reading map): USA (NY)

FTC Disclosure: I received this as a gift

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient 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 among the victims?

Review: I love Patricia Cornwell books and have three sitting on my TBR shelf. However, it's been ages since I've read one so it felt good to pick this one up and start reading it, even if it does weigh a ton because I have it in hardback.

I think I must have skipped one of the books in this series because they referred to incidents that I had no memory of (Marino attacking Scarpetta among others). Once I figured out the details of those events I was able to settle into this book and really enjoy it. I had forgotten how much I like reading about the forensic aspect of mystery solving, even though in real life I am absolutely no good with blood and gore.

I love reading a book where I know the characters and after reading so many Scarpetta mysteries I know Kay, her niece Lucy (who is amazing with all things tech!), Marino, Benton, and others. It feels like sitting down with a TV show you've watched for years. You know their history, their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses. Fun stuff!

This novel had a lot going on besides the tension among the main characters. There were multiple murders, lots of confusing evidence, and a bunch of secondary characters, all of which combined to make a really good read.

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