Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell

Title: Red Mist
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Year Published: 2011

Genre: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 498
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)USA (Georgia)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book):
 Dr. Kay Scarpetta is driving through Savannah's Lowcountry, on her way to the Georgia Prison for Women. She has agreed to meet with an inmate there, a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer. Against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent husband, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out, and ton continue on her quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months before.

The quest is personal, but also professional. As the director of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with her connection at the Department of Defense, Scarpetta has urgent reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings that she feels are somehow linked to Fielding's death. The murder of a Savannah family years earlier, a young woman on death row, and then other inexplicable deaths that begin to occur at a breathtaking pace--all of these are related, but who is behind them, and why? Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding's death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale.

Review: I am a real Patricia Cornwell fan and have read almost all 19 of her Kay Scarpetta mysteries. I tend to read about one a year to get my "fix." I wouldn't rank this one in the top, but as always, it was intriguing, informative, and a pretty good storyline.

I liked that Cornwell included a lot of characters we have met before in her previous books. The victim, Jack Fielding, has been in and out of the books, Jamie Berger is a DA we've seen quite a bit of. Of course, Benton (husband), Lucy (niece), and Marino (colleague) all  play major roles, which I like. I love having characters that I am comfortable with: I know their personalities; their backgrounds; etc.

The reason this book didn't quite resonate with me is that I found the storyline confusing. It was vague in the first half and I felt a drift. By the end it made sense, but it felt a little late for me. I do really enjoy reading about the forensic parts of the Patricia Cornwell novels, how medical examiners go about using DNA, fibers, toxins, etc is fascinating.

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