On her quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months before, Scarpetta drives to the Georgia Prison for Women to meet 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..
Scarpetta has both personal and professional reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings: 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. 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.
And she is the only one who can stop it.
©2011 CEI Enterprises, Inc. (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
If you take out all the unnecessary detail which only serves to show off how knowledgeable Cornwell is on up to date forensic technology, the story is only enough to fill a short novella. It is mildly interesting in that it furthers the thread from the last book along, but overall not satisfying. More style than substance, it doesn't even adequately flesh out the characters we have come to know and the new ones critical to the book. I loved the early series, but don't think I will bother anymore. I also found the narrator not especially pleasant to listen to either.
I already found Port Mortuary rather disturbing and in the end totaly inplausible. Now Cornwell picks up her new novel exactly at that point. In the first half she keeps explaining the unbelievable turns and twists of the prior story and adds a lot of gruesome details of another scene which I found way to descriptive.
This goes on and on and the only thing that actually happens in the present is that she meets the mother of the woman who tried to kill her and who in return is the daughter of her former assistant who got the woman she visits in jail pregnant when he was 12 years old and who is dead now - partly because of his addiction to steroids ... get my point ?
Eventually things travel into the presence when Jamie Burger conspires with Marino and the rest of the gang show up but the action still hit me only from behind and I could not at all relate to the motives of the characters. All of this was topped by a finale which is so very far fetched and coincidental that I could hardly believe Patricia Cornwell authorized the publication of the book unless she did not reread it.I really am sorry as I've been a great fan of Cornwell and her Scarpetta Novels.
I know Patricia Cornwell is always extremely detailed in her novels. But this was very slow, very detailed and not a great story. Really disappointed.
Now living in Norfolk, enjoy historical fiction, political biography/autobiography and the classics.
Patricia seems to have lost interest but still churns out these Scarpetta novels
Read them all to date but won't buy any more
She was fine but the material she had to read was second rate
Take your pick they are all cardboard
Patricia you can do better! Write something worth reading or cut Scarpetta and think up a new character...please
I found this completely formulaic and predicatable. A droning series of names and descriptions, unlikely scenarios and unimaginable leaps in logic. I used to like Patricia Cornwell but this is so poor I won't be coming her way again. My advice is don't bother - there are many better authors out there.
"Cornwell in good form"
Yes, in my opinion this is one of the better recent Scarpetta novels. It's got a good range of interesting characters and explores subject matter that's not too similar to the previous novels. At times I thought this one is less pessimistic than some of the earlier novels, though it's hard to put my finger on how.
Interesting plot twists, including one dramatic demise (there's always got to be one). Although I foresaw one of the other plot developments - and I don't think I'm particularly good at doing this - I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Like the other Scarpetta novels, it has numerous plot strands and is not spoilt if you can predict part of what's coming.
Lorelei King is a great reader of Cornwell's Scarpetta novels. She does a good job with all of the characters. With this novel she even does an Australian accent - not the easiest for a non-Australian to do and it comes out sounding a bit like a parody, but perhaps this fits the situation.
"No longer at the same standard"
I would definitely listen to Lorelei king (though this is probably the weakest reading of hers that I have heard), and will probably try Patricia Cornwell again - though this title puts me off a little.
I would not really recommend Red Mist. It has interesting ideas within, but I found it a little plodding in pace. This may be in part about the nature of the story. The conflict is a little emphemeral and the climactic scene seemed to me to come from nowhere and be resolved by the time you realised it was happening.
I also found Kay Scarpetta as the narrating character a little annoying in a way that has been occasionally present in other books, but not to the extent I found here. A lot of passages waxing about why what she is choosing to do is right and good. Some of what she does in this story is simply not the right, reasonable or helpful thing to do, because even if your only experience of law or forensics was Cornwell's books, it would be clear that Scarpetta was compromising the case and herself. This would be okay if someone in the story at least mentioned it and some kind of convenient reason was invented (I found myself thinking of several convenient excuses), but instead we have legions of people acting like the sort of behaviours that Scarpetta herself has criticised in past books are not ridiculous, but to be encouraged. And as it goes on, she continues to take a moralising tone to what she sees.
I'll separate this into two parts. Early on, I found myself thinking that King's performance felt a little less interesting and perhaps a little less polished (slight accent slips) than previously. A few pronunciations seemed odd, but this doesn't bother me too much as I find that pronunications of scientific procedures and terminology often vary from country to country (and sometimes even from discipline to discipline within a country) - though late in the last half hour, the word "Collegey" (rather than college) seemed to be a genuine slip.
My second thing to comment on in the Australian accent late in piece. Okay, I'm Australian so I may be hard to please on this, but it really felt like a copy of other people's faux Australian accents rather than a real attempt at the accent.
For all that I've said, it was *okay*. Just lacklustre.
In my opinion this book was not up to Patricia Cornwell's usual high standard. The first chapters contained very wordy self-reflective narration which was not supported by the sudden seemingly unplanned ending. In the final moments Cornwell seemed to run out of steam and just found a quick and unsatisfying conclusion. It left many questions unanswered and despite the over use of self-reflective musings gave no indication of a thought process that led Scarpetta to her discovery of the perpetrator.
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