Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
I was only made aware of Cornwell’s existence sometime last year. But I didn’t consider trying her books until this month when I was wandering through my local library trying to find a fiction book to check out. I’d already skimmed through her Twitter and noted she spent a lot of time getting hands on experience with the police for research (unlike other authors I know who just Google everything). A check in the pro column. I got lucky and found a large type edition of the first book of the ongoing Kay Scarpetta series.
I read it in two sittings – sort of. I got bored and skipped the last hundred pages and read the ending. The book being written in the first person was a huge mark in the con column. Page after page after page of Scarpetta talking about her feelings. Oh this makes her angry, that makes her scared, that makes her want to drink, this makes her feel bad about herself. So much rambling. Halfway through the book I just started skipping paragraphs that were just about Scarpetta’s feelings. As much as I am thoroughly pleased to learn multi-dimensional female characters such as Scarpetta were being written by women in the ’90s outside of the romance section, Cornwell’s writing was just too much.
The case at the center of the book probably was horrifying or intriguing when first published but reading today, it just felt like a run of the mill Criminal Minds episode. Women were being raped and murdered in their homes and police had no leads.
For those unaware, the Scarpetta series follows the life of a blonde Italian woman named Dr. Kay Scarpetta who, in the first book, is the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. The series is ongoing, with the latest published last year. My library also has a copy of it but I won’t be checking it out. A skim through Wikipedia and Amazon showed me that the series has only gotten weaker in time.
Originally published on BookLikes on July 22, 2016.