Monday, August 18, 2008

The Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell

Fresh from her bruising battle with a psychopath in Florida, Scarpetta decides it's time for a change of pace-not only personally and professionally, but geographically. Moving to the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, she opens a unique private forensic pathology practice, one in which she and her colleagues-including Pete Marino and her niece, Lucy-offer expert crime-scene investigation and autopsies to communities that lack local access to competent death investigation and modern technology.

It seems like an ideal situation, until the new battles start-with local politicians, with entrenched interests, with someone whose covert attempts at sabotage are clearly meant to run her out of town. And that's even before the murders and other violent deaths begin.

A young man from a well-known family jumps off a water tower. A woman is found ritualistically murdered in her multi-million-dollar beach home. The body of an abused young boy is discovered dumped in a desolate marsh. Meanwhile, in distant New England, problems with a prominent patient at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital begin to hint at interconnections that are as hard to imagine as they are horrible.

This used to be one of my favorite series, but it has been lacking for quite a while now. I found the writing to be choppy, disjointed, and repetitive in this book. Also, I don't find any of the characters, except Lucy, even remotely likeable anymore. I keep reading the series, hoping it will get back to its level of greatness, but I think it may be time to give up on it. If I didn't have so much time and energy invested in these characters I would have given up 3 or 4 books ago. If you are new to the series, stick with the early books. They are hard to beat. 2.5 stars


Blog Stalker said...

Sounds like an interesting book!

caite said...

i loved the early books as well, but gave up several years ago. i find it hard to believe that the same person is writing them.

in fact, i have wondered if in fact she that too weird?