The post mortem performed by Dr Scarpetta initially reveals neither a cause of death nor an identification. But the victim's personal effects and an odd tattoo take Scarpetta on a hunt for information that leads to Interpol's Headquarters in Lyon.
Save up to 80% on more than 60,000 downloadable audiobooks at Audible.co.uk. Listen on your iPod or MP3 player for FREE.
As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of sombreness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tinkered with the e-mail system, stealing Kay's identity and sending off slanderous and hurtful messages. Emotionally battered, Scarpetta fears she is going insane. Or, could it be that someone is deliberately sowing this harvest of sorrow?
Despite her personal problems, Scarpetta is still the reigning diva at the department of death. She is sent to investigate the purified remains of a man found inside a container ship, "eyes bulged froglike, and the scalp and beard were sloughing off with the outer layer of darkening skin." Kay finds strange, animal-like hairs on the man's clothing--the same hairs that she discovers on a murdered store clerk a few days later. In actuality, the bizarre killings extend well beyond Virginia; whoever killed the Richmond victims also butchered people in France. Kay and police captain Pete Marino are whisked off to Paris where they must collect top-secret information from a Paris morgue, and avoid becoming victims themselves.
This macabre tome is the stuff that classic Scarpetta tales are made of: creepy but compulsive autopsy scenes, plentiful plot twists and the compelling, if slightly more vulnerable, chief medical examiner herself. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I'd given the previous offering, Point of Origin, a lukewarm reception and accused Cornwell of not being able to offer Scarpetta fans anything new. For the first half of this book I was pleasantly surprised as there seemed to be a lot more pace and punch to the opening chapters. There was some great Lucy and Marino interplay and some great dialog between all the main characters. There was also an insight into how the ultra-professional and seemingly mechanical Scarpetta was hurting from the death of Bentley in the previous book. What was also great was to see another appearance of Scarpetta's nasty sister Dorothy who at the very least is great entertainment value.
Alas it then went rapidly downhill extremely quickly. The main storyline of the book is a real half baked and half produced idea of yet another motiveless serial killer. He's just thrown into the plot with no reason other than to produce another book. There's no significance and no consequence. What is even worse though is the absolutely absurd affair that Scarpetta carries out whilst in Paris. Apart from the fact it is extremely unbelievable, it is so poorly presented I would expect this style of writing and dialog more of a soap opera or Mills and Boon romance.
Finally just went I thought with the amount of pages left in my right hand there was no way this book could be brought to conclusion but would be strung over to the next one, the whole story is wrapped up in one final crazy chapter. Scarpetta let's the killer into her house like a naïve pensioner, Lucy arrives in the nick of time, gun-toting and screaming and final Marino screeches around the corner just in time to slap on the handcuffs. What rubbish, we really deserve better.
One last point, please please please, can we stop all the pathetic relationship psycho-analysis between the characters. Unfortunately with the book ending with the return of Scarpetta's toy boy, Jay Talley, it looks like we're in for some more self pitying outpourings from this bunch of supposedly "talented" people.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions