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Predator

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Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, digs into a case more bizarre than any she has ever faced, one that has produced not only unusual physical evidence, but also tantalizing clues about the inner workings of an extremely cunning and criminal mind. She and her team --- Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy --- track the odd con Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, digs into a case more bizarre than any she has ever faced, one that has produced not only unusual physical evidence, but also tantalizing clues about the inner workings of an extremely cunning and criminal mind. She and her team --- Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy --- track the odd connections between several horrific crimes and the people who are the likely suspects. As one psychopath, safely behind bars and the subject of a classified scientific study at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital, teases Scarpetta with tips that could be fact --- or fantasy --- the number of killers on the loose seems to multiply. Are these events related or merely random? And what can the study of one man's brain tell them about the methods of a psychopath still lurking in the shadows?


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Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, digs into a case more bizarre than any she has ever faced, one that has produced not only unusual physical evidence, but also tantalizing clues about the inner workings of an extremely cunning and criminal mind. She and her team --- Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy --- track the odd con Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, digs into a case more bizarre than any she has ever faced, one that has produced not only unusual physical evidence, but also tantalizing clues about the inner workings of an extremely cunning and criminal mind. She and her team --- Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy --- track the odd connections between several horrific crimes and the people who are the likely suspects. As one psychopath, safely behind bars and the subject of a classified scientific study at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital, teases Scarpetta with tips that could be fact --- or fantasy --- the number of killers on the loose seems to multiply. Are these events related or merely random? And what can the study of one man's brain tell them about the methods of a psychopath still lurking in the shadows?

30 review for Predator

  1. 4 out of 5

    James

    Book Review 3.499999 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5 stars to Predator, the 14th book in the thriller and suspense mystery "Kay Scarpetta" series, published in 2005 by Patricia Cornwell. With so many books in a series, all about crazed serial killers, each successive one needs to do a lot to step it up. I thought this one would do it, as the book focused on multiple killers and tries to understand patterns using brain research. And parts of it were great. But parts of it were too diffi Book Review 3.499999 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5 stars to Predator, the 14th book in the thriller and suspense mystery "Kay Scarpetta" series, published in 2005 by Patricia Cornwell. With so many books in a series, all about crazed serial killers, each successive one needs to do a lot to step it up. I thought this one would do it, as the book focused on multiple killers and tries to understand patterns using brain research. And parts of it were great. But parts of it were too difficult to follow or understand, went off course, had character traits getting more and more annoying... so it fell in the middle of the series for me. I pushed it higher than a 3 only because of how much effort you can tell the author puts into the books, and she should be rewarded for it, as people don't realize how everything does line up from a technical and scientific perspective -- for the most part. It's one of those series you need to take a break from for a few years, to try new stuff. Then go back. With this one, it's very analytic from a psychology and thought-pattern perspective, less from a tracking movements of the killer's actions. Good, but not fantastic. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I've read every single one of Cornwell's K. Scarpetta series, and they've gotten progressively worse. I used to love these books, they were so GOOD, but now it's like she's just writing anything to get another book out there. Sad, b/c these really were some of my favorites back when she first started writing them. I don't even know if I can bear to read another one, the characters have gotten so bitter and unpleasant. I've read every single one of Cornwell's K. Scarpetta series, and they've gotten progressively worse. I used to love these books, they were so GOOD, but now it's like she's just writing anything to get another book out there. Sad, b/c these really were some of my favorites back when she first started writing them. I don't even know if I can bear to read another one, the characters have gotten so bitter and unpleasant.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Okay - this was the worst Scarpetta book. I wanted to like it but it seems all the characters have become annoying caricatures. And in addition to that, the story was incredibly confusing. We have an evil criminal called HOG - The Hand of God, suicides that were actually murders, a scientific study Benton is running on the brains of serial killers, problems at the forensic center in FL.... Which is tied up in the end, but not in a satisfying way. And my biggest gripe = Scarpetta is attacked (not Okay - this was the worst Scarpetta book. I wanted to like it but it seems all the characters have become annoying caricatures. And in addition to that, the story was incredibly confusing. We have an evil criminal called HOG - The Hand of God, suicides that were actually murders, a scientific study Benton is running on the brains of serial killers, problems at the forensic center in FL.... Which is tied up in the end, but not in a satisfying way. And my biggest gripe = Scarpetta is attacked (not a surprise - happens a lot) and then we jump to a new chapter where she and Benton are driving along as if no big deal. Then we go quite a ways more in the book, before Cornwell sums up the attack in a sentence. Huh????? The book left a bad taste in my mouth

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Dodge

    *******SPOILERS AHEAD****** I was horrendously disappointed with this book, though not for obvious reasons. I found the author a very competent one - and if that sounds like an underhanded insult, I don't mean it that way. She's a fine author, and the majority of her characters have subtleties and nuance, especially the older ones, who I became attached to almost instantly. The problem was the specific story was horrendous. It was a mash-up of every bad crime novel I've ever read, and even the int *******SPOILERS AHEAD****** I was horrendously disappointed with this book, though not for obvious reasons. I found the author a very competent one - and if that sounds like an underhanded insult, I don't mean it that way. She's a fine author, and the majority of her characters have subtleties and nuance, especially the older ones, who I became attached to almost instantly. The problem was the specific story was horrendous. It was a mash-up of every bad crime novel I've ever read, and even the intelligence of the science and the characters themselves couldn't save the book. I was particularly disappointed by Lucy; it felt like the author was writing about a character she knew nothing about, could never identify with, and belonged in some silly erotica/wish-fulfillment fantasy novel. I was terribly sad by the end - not only because of the embarrassing plot (I kid you not: it was a lesbian serial killer with multiple personality disorders, and the whole book is spent trying to convince you her personalities are different people), but because I felt I'd met the author at her worst, that kind of awful first impression you'll try, but never really succeed, forgetting. A sad, confused, depressing novel, with a storyline that horrifies far less than it embarrasses.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    First Read: April 2006 Re-read: January 2018 The plot: Predator is made up of several storylines that at first seem unconnected. - Benton is working on a new project, codenamed PREDATOR that is assessing a killer named Basil. While Benton is interviewing him, Basil confesses to another murder that he says he was never caught for; the murder of a woman in her Christmas themed shop. - Lucy is dealing with problems of her own (view spoiler)[she has been diagnosed with a benign tumour in her brain that First Read: April 2006 Re-read: January 2018 The plot: Predator is made up of several storylines that at first seem unconnected. - Benton is working on a new project, codenamed PREDATOR that is assessing a killer named Basil. While Benton is interviewing him, Basil confesses to another murder that he says he was never caught for; the murder of a woman in her Christmas themed shop. - Lucy is dealing with problems of her own (view spoiler)[she has been diagnosed with a benign tumour in her brain that is mimicking the symptoms of pregnancy (hide spoiler)] and she meets a mysterious woman named Stevie, who has mysterious red handprints drawn or tattooed onto her body. - Meanwhile Scarpetta is dealing with a murder victim; a woman has been found with red handprints on her body and she must investigate the crime. - Marino is also having issues; he has received a threatening phone call from someone who called themselves HOG or Hand of God. He strongly suspects one of his work colleagues of somehow hacking into his private work files but cannot prove it. He is also seeing a therapist of his own, a woman named Dr Self. I found Predator to be very fast paced as each chapter switched view points to different characters but the story was slow to put all the pieces together. I am still enjoying this series and looking forward to re-reading The Book of the Dead and Scarpetta but each book published after that will be new to me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane Greene

    I used to love the Kay Scarpetta series! In an attempt to revisit an old friend I picked up Predator. I was sad to see my "old friends" had been replaced by a poor resemblance of themselves. I hardly recognized the characters as the story was told in a confusing third party narrative making the people dark, depressing and very impersonal. The constant shift in storyline was difficult to follow. I'm only half-way through the book and I can honestly say I'm not sure what the story line is! For the I used to love the Kay Scarpetta series! In an attempt to revisit an old friend I picked up Predator. I was sad to see my "old friends" had been replaced by a poor resemblance of themselves. I hardly recognized the characters as the story was told in a confusing third party narrative making the people dark, depressing and very impersonal. The constant shift in storyline was difficult to follow. I'm only half-way through the book and I can honestly say I'm not sure what the story line is! For the first time ever I'm not finishing a book and I sure don't want to pass the book on to any friends! I feel badly as I know each author puts a great deal of talent, heart and soul into writing but I felt the author was trying to revitalize old characters by changing format. It doesn't work! Keep the original characters, help them grow as individuals and involve them in a suspenseful story. That's the way to do it Patricia!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    I've been a Cornwell fan since I read her first book. I've had some complaints about her recent books ("Blow Fly" was probably the worst). This is getting back to her roots, but still the magic of her earlier books isn't there. I hate what she has done with the character of Marino. In earlier works, I kind of pictured Marino as an Ed Asner type, but now he's buff and bald and riding motorcycles and I've lost my picture of him. I also loved the working relationship they had, and now it seems non- I've been a Cornwell fan since I read her first book. I've had some complaints about her recent books ("Blow Fly" was probably the worst). This is getting back to her roots, but still the magic of her earlier books isn't there. I hate what she has done with the character of Marino. In earlier works, I kind of pictured Marino as an Ed Asner type, but now he's buff and bald and riding motorcycles and I've lost my picture of him. I also loved the working relationship they had, and now it seems non-existent. I also don't like the way she has taken her niece Lucy. The thing I've enjoyed in previous Cornwell books was the weay that these three and Scarpetta's male friend, Benton Wesley worked together to solve crimes. Now...I don't know. The story was so convoluted and there was such a dark undertone to everything. Lucy hates herself, Kay isn't speaking to Benton because he kept Lucy's confidence about a health problem, Marino is whoring after anything with tits and has a love-hate relationship with both Kay and Lucy. The story held my interest, but it just wasn't her best. Also the evil Basil Jenrette, on whom the story appears to hang, has an almost non-existent role that fizzles out in the end. He can't even try to kill Kay and make it gripping. For Cornwell fans, this is a good read. If it's your first Cornwell book, go back and start at the beginning, when they seem to have had more substance. I was going to read the next book, Book of the Dead, but all the negative reviews on Amazon.com made me decide it would be a waste of my time, since it seems to be even worse than this one. Sorry, Ms. Cornwell!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Remember when you could actually read and enjoy the Kay Scarpetta books from Patricia Cornwell? Back when the series started, Kay was human, had a sense of humor, enjoyed cooking, did things normal people do. As the series has gone on, it has gotten darker, weirder (not a word, I know), more ominous, just...horrid. The characters have degenerated into caricatures of their worst selves. The world has become sinister and evil. Honestly, there isn't anything enjoyable about reading these books. Who Remember when you could actually read and enjoy the Kay Scarpetta books from Patricia Cornwell? Back when the series started, Kay was human, had a sense of humor, enjoyed cooking, did things normal people do. As the series has gone on, it has gotten darker, weirder (not a word, I know), more ominous, just...horrid. The characters have degenerated into caricatures of their worst selves. The world has become sinister and evil. Honestly, there isn't anything enjoyable about reading these books. Who wants to read an extended description of torture? It makes me remember why I quit reading them a while back.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    I read the Kay scarpetta series in the late 90s early 00’s so decided to pick back up where I left off. I’m not sure if I’ve changed over the years in regards to reading, or the books just arnt what they used to be. I felt like the story was messy , too much going on, no likeable characters, too many POV and to make matters worse it seems my book is 14 pages short than what it states on Amazon , so I’m not sure I even know the ending. I will no doubt give the next in the series a go just to see I read the Kay scarpetta series in the late 90s early 00’s so decided to pick back up where I left off. I’m not sure if I’ve changed over the years in regards to reading, or the books just arnt what they used to be. I felt like the story was messy , too much going on, no likeable characters, too many POV and to make matters worse it seems my book is 14 pages short than what it states on Amazon , so I’m not sure I even know the ending. I will no doubt give the next in the series a go just to see if I gel with the characters again. If not I think I will be giving up on scarpetta Benton Marino & Lucy

  10. 5 out of 5

    Roderick Hart

    Although well into the series of books featuring Dr Kay Scarpetta, this one is genuinely stand-alone, so if the reader has read none of the previous titles there will not be a problem. (This is not the case with all of them. For example, the Last Precinct takes up where a previous title finished and having read the previous book helps a lot). Continuing the comparison with The Last Precinct, Predator moves much more rapidly and contains several narrative strands woven together with uncommon skill Although well into the series of books featuring Dr Kay Scarpetta, this one is genuinely stand-alone, so if the reader has read none of the previous titles there will not be a problem. (This is not the case with all of them. For example, the Last Precinct takes up where a previous title finished and having read the previous book helps a lot). Continuing the comparison with The Last Precinct, Predator moves much more rapidly and contains several narrative strands woven together with uncommon skill. It is not possible to go into detail without spoiling the book for a new reader, but the last quarter should be read with care. A number of strands come together here and much is explained, though often with such great economy that you might miss something – as I did – and have to re-read several chapters to track down what you missed. Reading this book I am impressed, yet again, by how intelligent an author Patricia Cornwell is. The combining of plot, narrative and character with such a complex sequence of events required a great deal of skill. One strand of the plot I liked a lot had to do with Detective Marino’s strong dislike of Joe Amos, a member of Scarpetta’s team, and how Marino managed to suss him out. Unfortunately, being more specific would ruin it for the reader.

  11. 4 out of 5

    WarpDrive

    The problem with this genre is that there are only so many ways to kill a person. The only saving grace is when the characters are delineated with depth and originality, which was only partially true in this book. A mildly surprising epilogue saved this book from a worse rating.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Baba

    Kay Scarpetta #14: Now in Florida, Kay tries out her new position as Director of Forensic Science; meanwhile Lucy is on a downwards spiral... and although it's becoming formulaic, Cornwell does it so well... yes, Kay and co. are targeted by a serial killer. The last 4 to 5 books in this series were buzzing nicely, as was this one; it's rare that a series hits the 14th book and is still interesting and captivating at times. 6 out of 12. Kay Scarpetta #14: Now in Florida, Kay tries out her new position as Director of Forensic Science; meanwhile Lucy is on a downwards spiral... and although it's becoming formulaic, Cornwell does it so well... yes, Kay and co. are targeted by a serial killer. The last 4 to 5 books in this series were buzzing nicely, as was this one; it's rare that a series hits the 14th book and is still interesting and captivating at times. 6 out of 12.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    SO what is happening with this series? I'm listening to this series as audio books- I could never read them- and sometimes if I miss who is speaking I can't tell the main characters from the bad guys. Why is everyone so angry and annoyed with each other? Kay can't stand Marino, who is suddenly described looking like Paul Teutul instead of a tall Danny Devito, including his new love of motorcycles. Marino may have transformed outwardly, but he is even more upset and depressed. Kay is suddenly bei SO what is happening with this series? I'm listening to this series as audio books- I could never read them- and sometimes if I miss who is speaking I can't tell the main characters from the bad guys. Why is everyone so angry and annoyed with each other? Kay can't stand Marino, who is suddenly described looking like Paul Teutul instead of a tall Danny Devito, including his new love of motorcycles. Marino may have transformed outwardly, but he is even more upset and depressed. Kay is suddenly being describe as this beautiful women that all men are lusting after, which was never have I pictured her. Lucy is wandering around aimlessly, and what happened to Rudy? She was so afraid he was going to quit in the last book and now I'm not even sure she still has the company, no less what happened to Rudy. And then there is Wesley Benton the most boring character ever written. Whenever our main 4 were together they were either talking about work (which is good, but not what they mostly did) or fighting (which they did a lot). Kay is becoming more and more crazy and irrational it seems. Early in the book she actually said something to Rose- her long time secretary and mother figure, (and I'm paraphrasing but it went something like this) "Are you sure you confirmed my flight? Because no offense but you said that last time and I ended up flying all the way to California in coach!" I kept waiting for her to start throwing shoes or coffee cups. When did she become that person? No wonder everyone seems to be out to get her. She's very unlikeable. She used to be a cool Doc that cared about getting the job done and worrying if she would be able to get on the plane with her evidence. She would do her job and be good at it and people respected her because of it. EVen more because instead of slinging mud, she used her big brain to rise above with grace. Now she belittles people she doesn't like in little ways that show insecurity- like with Joe, she only called him doctor in front of other people. Or with Marino- she feels the need to keep telling him she is in charge and she works for him- which I think he's right- he works for Lucy, and so does Kay. Let's talk about the very confusing mystery in this book for a second. I think what is lacking for me is the sense of here's the body- let's find out how it died and who did it. Now everything is a super secret big conspiracy case that comes to them, with the body being secondary. Not to mention every story is now peppered with the POV or the criminal- which I hate, and there is ALWAYS someone trying to sabotage Kay because she thinks she's is so awesome. I keep rooting for that guy to win- bad sign. The stories are also being weighted down by this open hostility every has for everyone else, and the melodrama that is the most boring and confusing romance in the universe- Kay and Benton. I would really like for them to break up- they are so incompatible. Sometimes love is not enough.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    It's difficult for me to even grasp what a mess this book was. Some things were so incredibly obvious to the reader (or at least, to this reader) that they could be discerned 200 pages before the characters realized them, and yet other things that readers were curious about for the entire book were never even revealed at all. Plot threads were dropped at random and not picked up again for 100 or 200 pages, and other threads were just dropped altogether for no apparent reason. Personally, I start It's difficult for me to even grasp what a mess this book was. Some things were so incredibly obvious to the reader (or at least, to this reader) that they could be discerned 200 pages before the characters realized them, and yet other things that readers were curious about for the entire book were never even revealed at all. Plot threads were dropped at random and not picked up again for 100 or 200 pages, and other threads were just dropped altogether for no apparent reason. Personally, I started suspecting the person who turned out to be the murderer, was indeed the murderer, at least 250 pages before it was revealed. And there were some suspicions that should have been raised for the characters - indeed, if they had happened to me, I would have looked into what might have caused this or that to happen, and I don't even work at a top-secret institute - and yet the characters just blindly bungled along ignoring the glaringly obvious, which made me feel so impatient with them throughout this book. And to make it all worse, Cornwell committed one of the worst writing sins - she was constantly referring to how the characters felt (and in clunky language, no less) instead of actually SHOWING us readers what they felt, and some behavior that was, to me, completely uncharacteristic for some of the longtime characters was never explained at all, much less in a way I found satisfactory. Additionally, having not read any Scarpetta books for several years after having read them voraciously in the late '90s and early '00s, I was completely perplexed by the fact that one of the main characters, who was killed in an earlier book (in, what I may add, was a very moving plot that brought me and many other fans at the time to tears), was alive in this one and everyone was acting like they'd never been killed. It was only when I went back to the library and thumbed quickly through the books I hadn't read from around 2003 to now that I realized that one of the books I'd missed had revealed that they had in fact not actually died after all. If I wanted plot points like that, I'd be watching soap operas instead of reading mysteries. I'd read a review that I thought had been published a few years ago saying that Cornwell seemed back on her game after several missteps, and I'd hoped this was the book they'd referenced, as I couldn't remember for sure. After reading this and finding it rather ridiculous, I went back to the library and got the book I almost got instead of this one, Trace. I'd initially thought Trace was the one the reviewer had discussed, but then doubted myself. I'm only a few pages into Trace, and so far it's better than this one ever was.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kellie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. -(#14 of the Kay Scarpetta Series)-I am scratching my head wondering why the reviews for this book in Amazon.com are terrible. I thought this was a pretty good book. The characters have new issues to deal with. Marino has become a biker. He works out, wears leather and drives a Harley. Lucy has a tumor on her pituitary gland. She is always on the brink of self destruction and it’s hard to figure out why. Kay and Benton are together but their relationship is strained because he knew about Lucy’s -(#14 of the Kay Scarpetta Series)-I am scratching my head wondering why the reviews for this book in Amazon.com are terrible. I thought this was a pretty good book. The characters have new issues to deal with. Marino has become a biker. He works out, wears leather and drives a Harley. Lucy has a tumor on her pituitary gland. She is always on the brink of self destruction and it’s hard to figure out why. Kay and Benton are together but their relationship is strained because he knew about Lucy’s tumor before she did. There are several investigations going on at the same time. Come to find out at the end, they are all related. And there is one killer. A woman. She is a beautiful woman but was sexually and physically abused as a child. This causes her to become psychotic with a disorder called DID. This is similar to split personalities. Cornwell, is getting a little repetitive with her story lines. Again, a member of her staff, a undesirable, is linked to the murder. He is involved with one of the personalities and is feeding the killer info about Kay, Lucy and Marino. There is definitely surprise and suspense in this book. A new word I learned “red herring”. Definitely one in here. “Something that draws attention away from the central issue.” I enjoyed this book and I like the new path Cornwell has taken the characters on. I just hope she doesn’t run out of ideas.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brent Soderstrum

    This is the 14th book from Cornwell in the Kay Scarpetta series. This is a book with multiple plot line disorder in which the author tries to save it with emergency triage at the end leaving the book dead on the table with no one to save it. What a mess. Good luck following the story as it jumps all over the place with all of the characters you are use to (Kay, Marino, Lucy and Benton) plus the victims and killers. The ending in which Cornwell tries to tie it all up is a mess in which not all thin This is the 14th book from Cornwell in the Kay Scarpetta series. This is a book with multiple plot line disorder in which the author tries to save it with emergency triage at the end leaving the book dead on the table with no one to save it. What a mess. Good luck following the story as it jumps all over the place with all of the characters you are use to (Kay, Marino, Lucy and Benton) plus the victims and killers. The ending in which Cornwell tries to tie it all up is a mess in which not all things are explained (red-hand prints) and any inconsistencies in the book are blamed on a killer with multiple personalities. It starts out with a pretty graphic lesbian one night stand by Lucy with a strange girl named Stevie. You learn this has become quite normal for Lucy. She is also putting on weight. Marino is becoming a buff Harley rider who is getting it on with whoever he can too. All the while thinking of Kay while he does and letting his fantasies with her affect his relationships. Kay and Wesley once again are in different cities with Kay running her Academy in Florida while Wesley studies killer's brains in Boston. Kay isn't as mean to people as she normally is but that might be because she is no longer the focus of each chapter. We only get a glimpse of her unflattering personality every 3-4 chapters. Another disappointing book from the Scarpetta series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    This is huge for me. I have been reading my way through the Scarpettas, and I have finally bumped into one that was a genuinely decent mystery with a plot that made sense! That being said, does anyone else get the feeling that Cornwell is working through her own issues with her characters? I mention this only because my chief complaint with her depictions of Kay, Lucy, Benton and above all, oh my God above all Marino is that she treats the reader as though their actions and reactions make sense This is huge for me. I have been reading my way through the Scarpettas, and I have finally bumped into one that was a genuinely decent mystery with a plot that made sense! That being said, does anyone else get the feeling that Cornwell is working through her own issues with her characters? I mention this only because my chief complaint with her depictions of Kay, Lucy, Benton and above all, oh my God above all Marino is that she treats the reader as though their actions and reactions make sense to a normal person. Which they don't. I mean, there's Marino vibrating away like a lawn mower with that whole complex love/hate relationship with Kay, who in turn is upset because he doesn't show up for the homemade pasta she throws together early in the book despite the fact that in real life a Kay Scarpetta and a Pete Marino would have nothing at all to say to each other outside of work, and if Kay is a stereotype (and she is!) she needs to be the Smartest Woman in the Room stereotype and not the Madonna. Don't even get me started on Lucy or Benton. And yet I keep reading them. Well played, Ms. Cornwell. Well played.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    For many years I was a HUGE fan of Patricia Cornwell. And then by the time I read Blow Fly, I found myself increasingly disturbed and disgusted with her books and the self-wallowing of her characters. Gone was the brilliancy and left was the bizarre. I often wondered what was happening in Cornwell's own life and if she was putting her own issues into the emotional and pyschological pitfalls of her characters. I couldn't imagine that she would choose to make them become so unlikeable. Gone were t For many years I was a HUGE fan of Patricia Cornwell. And then by the time I read Blow Fly, I found myself increasingly disturbed and disgusted with her books and the self-wallowing of her characters. Gone was the brilliancy and left was the bizarre. I often wondered what was happening in Cornwell's own life and if she was putting her own issues into the emotional and pyschological pitfalls of her characters. I couldn't imagine that she would choose to make them become so unlikeable. Gone were the strengths in the characters that made her books so enjoyable. With the strong interest in reading her newest book set in Dover, DE I decided to go back and catch up on a few books. Can't say that much has changed...the "who done it" and "why" were interesting but I would have liked more details and explanations as opposed to running up and down the coast, trying to connect the dots between the cast of characters and subplots. 2 more to read before I can finally read Post Mortuary.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marva

    I'll never pick up another Cornwell book. I read the whole damn thing waiting for something to happen or a likeable protagonist or ??? Well, anything to make this the best seller that it is. Nada, nil, nyet, nothing. Stupid to the nth degree. Now, I love mysteries, which is why I picked up this book. Huge disappointment. Scarpetta (the preseumed MC) doesn't factor in much. She's not very likable anyway, so I didn't care. Who else? That insecure motorcyle guy (I already forget his Italian name)? Wh I'll never pick up another Cornwell book. I read the whole damn thing waiting for something to happen or a likeable protagonist or ??? Well, anything to make this the best seller that it is. Nada, nil, nyet, nothing. Stupid to the nth degree. Now, I love mysteries, which is why I picked up this book. Huge disappointment. Scarpetta (the preseumed MC) doesn't factor in much. She's not very likable anyway, so I didn't care. Who else? That insecure motorcyle guy (I already forget his Italian name)? What a dud. So hung up on getting it up it was a total bore. Anyway. I'd say, don't bother. Another case of a writer who gets any crap sold just because they wrote a book or two that was decent. Everything after is just blech.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I had a hard time getting into this one as I thought I had missed something in the book. It seemed to do too much jumping around. However, once I did get past the first 100 pages, I got into the book and really did enjoy it in the end. I thought I had missed a book in the series, because Lucy seemed stranger than usual. This one was pretty graphic, so if you like the cozy read, this is not for you. The forensic and psychological things presented are very interesting to me though. I just read this I had a hard time getting into this one as I thought I had missed something in the book. It seemed to do too much jumping around. However, once I did get past the first 100 pages, I got into the book and really did enjoy it in the end. I thought I had missed a book in the series, because Lucy seemed stranger than usual. This one was pretty graphic, so if you like the cozy read, this is not for you. The forensic and psychological things presented are very interesting to me though. I just read this again and don't remember reading this the first time. You would think that I would have because of all the gory parts in this book. Apparently, I blocked all that out. Still only giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lain

    This book was like half a book -- something Cornwell sat down and spewed out over a long weekend or so. In general, authors would then go back and edit their work, but it appears in this case that her half-baked manuscript somehow made it past all the editorial gatekeepers, straight to hard copy. I hate how everyone in Scarpetta's life is so dysfunctional, grumpy, and repetitive. And I hate how Cornwell left us hanging with so many unanswered questions and incomplete plot points (what the heck h This book was like half a book -- something Cornwell sat down and spewed out over a long weekend or so. In general, authors would then go back and edit their work, but it appears in this case that her half-baked manuscript somehow made it past all the editorial gatekeepers, straight to hard copy. I hate how everyone in Scarpetta's life is so dysfunctional, grumpy, and repetitive. And I hate how Cornwell left us hanging with so many unanswered questions and incomplete plot points (what the heck happened to Joe???). And I hate that I spent money on this awful book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Scarpetta books, once so wonderful, have been steadily declining in quality and excitement. I could hardly stay awake.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Wanda Hartzenberg

    I give up. No matter how hard I try I simply do not like the authors writing style!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victor A. Chaungwe Jr

    I was only captivated by the forensics in the story the rest ni beans.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Davies

    Not very interesting. These books are popular, so I thought I'd give them a try, but from the looks of the other reviews I chose the wrong book to start on. Hopefully the others in this series are better, but I must admit that I don't think I'm likely to give them a try. There just wasn't really anything in this that I liked. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst book I've ever read. The plot was decent, the twists were all right, and it was interesting enough that I finished it (though that do Not very interesting. These books are popular, so I thought I'd give them a try, but from the looks of the other reviews I chose the wrong book to start on. Hopefully the others in this series are better, but I must admit that I don't think I'm likely to give them a try. There just wasn't really anything in this that I liked. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst book I've ever read. The plot was decent, the twists were all right, and it was interesting enough that I finished it (though that doesn't mean much, a book has to be a special mix of 'boring' and 'too long' for me to give up on it). But I can't really say that many good things about it, either. The characters were not sympathetic. They seemed to spend most of their time feeling sorry for themselves or being assholes, and if they have redeeming qualities we didn't see much of them in this book. It's the 14th in the series (though they seem pretty standalone), so presumably all the characters that we see have had development in previous books, and if I had read the others maybe I would actually, you know, care about the character's whining and their problems. The writing itself wasn't very good. I can't think of any sentences or dialogue that really stood out to me, and a lot of things were repetitive. There was a lot of telling rather than showing, and none of the characters really had distinct voices. Disappointing. I won't read another of these books unless I get it for free.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This is the second Scarpetta book I've read, and while there were some interesting aspects to it - especially a multi-city, multi-character weaving of the narrative together - I found the characters to be colder than I was expecting, and more remote. Part of this certainly stems from reading the books out of order, and thus missing what I presume is a natural character development path - but in general, characters should be somewhat likable, or compelling, if I'm going to continue picking up a s This is the second Scarpetta book I've read, and while there were some interesting aspects to it - especially a multi-city, multi-character weaving of the narrative together - I found the characters to be colder than I was expecting, and more remote. Part of this certainly stems from reading the books out of order, and thus missing what I presume is a natural character development path - but in general, characters should be somewhat likable, or compelling, if I'm going to continue picking up a series. And by that guideline, this book fails - if this were the first Scarpetta novel I'd read, I would not be going back for another. As is, I will be careful with the next I pick up. My main complaint is that the narrative style here ended up in a lot of telling and very little showing - action began and then was cut away from, with the telling (from a character) explaining what was missed by the reader. Doing this once might be an interesting narrative trick, but seeing it repeat at the end of chapters, with the next picking up later and filling in the blanks, began to feel like an attempt to get around having to write any scene of action. Overall, an intriguing idea that was not well-executed. POTENTIAL SPOILER BELOW My other issue here is more a reflection, I hope, of the novels I've randomly read by Cornwell - but how is it always someone on the inside? Wouldn't Scarpetta simply stop hiring people, or go to someone who'd demonstrated better judgment?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hali Sowle

    I was totally unprepared for how terrible this book was. It seems that Patricia Cornwell took everything she had written in the past book and books and thrown it away. The venue for this book is Charleston, Kay moves around more than a military family! Where, as usual it seems she's unwanted. The first thing that gets me is Lucy, sitting a bar getting drunk and picking up, or getting picked up, by a beautiful woman. Whoa... this is the same Lucy who gave up drinking in the last novel because she I was totally unprepared for how terrible this book was. It seems that Patricia Cornwell took everything she had written in the past book and books and thrown it away. The venue for this book is Charleston, Kay moves around more than a military family! Where, as usual it seems she's unwanted. The first thing that gets me is Lucy, sitting a bar getting drunk and picking up, or getting picked up, by a beautiful woman. Whoa... this is the same Lucy who gave up drinking in the last novel because she could see how it wrecked her life, not only is she drinking she is is smoking weed as well. There are other things underlying this change but it's an incredibly jarring change in a woman who normally is so much in control. Then there is Kay, she and Benton always have their ups and downs but this book is more up than down which is a nice change. And Marino... he's always been a bit of a loose canon but this book pretty much vilifies him. The whole book was jarring in how out of character the characters were. The mystery was good and convoluted but the rest was just terrible.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Wilfred

    I have read some other Patricia Cornwell books and did not remember them being this bad. First the writing style was awkward for me. The omniscient point of view was not enjoyable. Second she tried to hard to create mystery and suspense. "Look I found something?" "What is it?" "Let's have a talk about our relationship first and I will tell you what I found." "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Oh yeah that thing I found, I don't know what it means. Hopefully I will figure it out at the end of the book." Lastly, th I have read some other Patricia Cornwell books and did not remember them being this bad. First the writing style was awkward for me. The omniscient point of view was not enjoyable. Second she tried to hard to create mystery and suspense. "Look I found something?" "What is it?" "Let's have a talk about our relationship first and I will tell you what I found." "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Oh yeah that thing I found, I don't know what it means. Hopefully I will figure it out at the end of the book." Lastly, the killer was stupid. They didn't seem plausible and was very badly explained. The red herrings were obvious and pointless. I finished reading the book thinking I most likely will not pick up another one in this series. And I definitely do not recommend it to anyone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sham

    The reason why people fell in love with the Scarpetta series was the science and the solving of shocking homicides through the use of analysis and technology. Same premise as CSI. The characters are terrible, CONSTANTLY being unfairly treated by every external figure (press, colleagues, government, etc.) that the interactions are frustrating and annoying. 300 pages and unbelievably fantastical situations for a series that is supposed to be grounded in fact. I was genuine annoyed when the wrap up The reason why people fell in love with the Scarpetta series was the science and the solving of shocking homicides through the use of analysis and technology. Same premise as CSI. The characters are terrible, CONSTANTLY being unfairly treated by every external figure (press, colleagues, government, etc.) that the interactions are frustrating and annoying. 300 pages and unbelievably fantastical situations for a series that is supposed to be grounded in fact. I was genuine annoyed when the wrap up was barely explained and completely confusing. This is officially my last Scarpetta novel. She's jumped the shark.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Not Cornwell's best by a long shot. Kind of sloppy, confusing, poorly developed characters. She can and has done much, much better. Maybe this whole Scarpetta series is getting a little stale. Truth be told, I listened to rather than actually read this one, so I may have been somewhat distracted. I've really enjoyed some of her other titles, though I'm not a huge fan I actually enjoyed the one about Jack the Ripper the best of any of her books that I've read. Not Cornwell's best by a long shot. Kind of sloppy, confusing, poorly developed characters. She can and has done much, much better. Maybe this whole Scarpetta series is getting a little stale. Truth be told, I listened to rather than actually read this one, so I may have been somewhat distracted. I've really enjoyed some of her other titles, though I'm not a huge fan I actually enjoyed the one about Jack the Ripper the best of any of her books that I've read.

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