Archive for May, 2009

May 6, 2009

Scarpetta (Scarpetta Book 16) Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
I used to love Patricial Cornwell so much. I read each book she wrote…devoured them, really, and read them again. To say I have been disappointed in her last efforts would be a vast understatement.

The stories Cornwell writes now, either in her investigation of Jack the Ripper or the most recent few Scarpetta novels; suffer from a severe lack of editing. I don’t know if she has fired her editor, or simply is able to fire off a manuscript and send it to a publisher without ever having to go through the editing process, but it’s really getting out of hand. In this novel, for example, the interactions between the characters are written in a way that is so diffuse, so scattered, that it’s hard to tell exactly what is going on. Rather than doing an expert job of weaving a story that includes the thoughts, motivations and actions of Kay Scarpetta and the actions of every other character, Cornwell now feels compelled to invite us into a soap opera that makes us privy to every thought and whim of each and every major character.

I do not use the words “soap opera” lightly here. While I understand the need to portray characters in a realistic light and move their personal stories along, the turns in the lives of the four major characters of this series have become so ridiculous it’s hard to stomach.

I used to appreciate Cornwell’s writing for it’s sharpness…her ability to cut right into the meat of a situation and portray it so clearly it was easy to visualize. I loved that she wrote a strong female character, giving voice to all the aspects of Kay Scarpetta’s life. I also read her books for the cutting-edge scientific information and the deft way she incorporated this into the story. Now, however, I just get bored. I don’t see myself awaiting another Cornwell novel with anticipation…I wonder if I’ll even read the next one.

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