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Isle Of Dogs [Paperback]

Patricia Cornwell
1.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2002

Chaos breaks loose when the Governor of Virginia orders that speed traps be installed on all streets and highways, and warns that motorists will be caught by monitoring aircraft flying overhead. But the eccentric inhabitants of Tangier, fourteen miles off the coast of Virginia in the Chesapeake Bay, respond by threatening to secede and set up an independent state, claiming that their independence lies in the history of America's first settlers, those who set sail from London's Isle of Dogs in 1607. Judy Hammer, newly installed as the superintendent of Virginia State Police, and Andy Brazil, state trooper and Hammer's right hand confidant, find themselves at their wit's end as they try to protect the public from the politician's and vice versa in this pitch-perfect, darkly comic romp. With a Swiftian eye for the absurd and a deadly accurate aim on her targets, Cornwell has created another knowing story about real life policing.

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Isle Of Dogs + Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) + Hornet's Nest (Andy Brazil)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New Ed edition (6 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075153188X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751531886
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is the 2008 winner of the Galaxy British Book Awards' Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year - the first American ever to win this prestigious award. Postmortem was the only novel to win five major crime awards in a single year and Cruel and Unusual won the coveted Gold Dagger Award in 1993.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Be aware: this is not your typical Cornwell novel. Not only is there no Kay Scarpetta, but Isle of Dogs is a comic romp, a real departure for this author. It centres around a couple of characters from past books--police chief Judy Hammer and reporter-turned-cop Andy Brazil of Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross--but the plot, style and tone will remind you more of Carl Hiaasen's dark comedies.

The madcap doings get underway when the addled, nearly blind governor of Virginia confusedly launches a speed-trap program on isolated Tangier Island, whose prickly, eccentric residents promptly attempt secession. Cornwell adeptly interweaves other crisscrossing plot lines involving a gang of street-stupid thugs gunning for Hammer and Brazil, an angel-faced serial killer, a kidnapped dog and more. She does miss a few beats: the pacing sags during certain episodes, and at times the writing strains so hard for laughs that instead it draws winces. Nonetheless, Isle of Dogs is for the most part a funny, diverting read and a refreshing departure for Cornwell. --Nicholas H Allison, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Cornwell's humour is as unexpected as it is wicked. (DAILY MIRROR)

an irreverant and strikingly characterised portrait of law enforcement at the mercy of politics. (CRIME TIME)

A unique, often hilarious experience. (IRISH TATLER)

Be aware: this is not your typical Cornwell novel. Not only is there no Kay Scarpetta, but Isle of Dogs is a comic romp, a real departure for this author. It centres around a couple of characters from past books--police chief Judy Hammer and reporter-turn (Nicholas H Allison,

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing 23 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I kept reading hoping that it would get better, but was disappointed. Although described as a 'comic romp', I must be having a sense of humour failure - the only funny bits were when it got so awful, you had to laugh.
A tenuous and tedious plot coupled with unbelievable characters (satire or not). Talking crabs and typing dogs aside, there was also a bizarre cameo appearance from Kay Scarpetta who you couldn't help but hope would introduce a reality check. The only thing I could think that cover's promise of 'a Swiftian eye for the absurd' was referring to was the number or readers who will keep reading in the vain hope that they will discover the point of it (or indeed the plot).
I read both Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross and didn't think were great (or at least not as good as the Scarpetta books), but was prepared to see if the characters would develop. With Isle of Dogs, I am still puzzling about how it managed to get to publication - did nobody at her publishers have the courage to say 'this really doesn't work'?
Here's hoping that Cornwell returns to form soon.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cornwell's really lost the plot this time 7 Dec 2001
I always buy my favourite authors' latest books in hardback as I can't wait for the paperback to emerge. How I wish I hadn't bothered with this one. If you had a zero star or even a minus star option, I would have gone for it!
I think Ms. Cornwell has been struggling with the Scarpetta series of late - the increasingly tedious obsession with lesbianism combined with far too much technical detail about helicopters and the many conspiracy theories are beginning to irritate. Clearly the Andy Brazil series is intended to be a lighter read - Hornet's Nest was good, Southern Cross not bad but this one stinks. It's pure farce and completely unbelievable - the nadir of the narrative was when she introduces crabs and trout that think for themselves. The virtually blind governor and the backward islanders are a complete insult to the reader.
Kathy Reichs has been breathing down her neck for quite some time - Cornwell will find her crown snatched away if she continues to write such utter tosh. Given that she must have made herself a small fortune with her previous books, I truly resent the money I spent on this one...
Do yourself a big favour - don't bother with this one. Wait until the paperback if you really must, or borrow it from the library. Sort it out Patricia - this is not your style and we're not that stupid!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have loved every Patricia Cornwall book- until Isle of Dogs.
I couldn't make up my mind whether the Author was making fun of her Readers, or was really losing her way. Talking Crabs and Trout and and pieces of metal being thrown out of the Sea. Enough, please.
My simple view is that the Author must still have plenty of 'serious' books to write and I will read the next one before deciding whether or not to desert and move to other Authors.
Bitterly diss appointing!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Such a disappointment!! 6 Feb 2002
By A Customer
I love curling up with a Patricia Cornwell book but found this one boring, unimaginative and difficult to get into - so very different from her other novels.
To be honest, I would not recommend this book to anyone - even the most devoted of fans.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing 22 Oct 2001
By A Customer
I've read every one of Ms Cornwell's books to date, and have bought the last half dozen in hardback because I couldn't wait for the paperbacks.
I wish I hadn't bothered with this one.
The plot is not "gripping" it's convoluted and unbelievable.
The characters are not "great", most of them are cardboard grotesques who we just don't care about - even the heroes from her previous books wouldn't last 5 minutes in the real world.
The humour is not "ironic" it seems to be mostly one misunderstanding after another, the same joke again and again, that and the ludicrous, unfunny antics of the grotesques.
I hope that "Scarpetta 12" is back on the rails.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars utter tosh 22 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read every Patricia Cornwell book. I have enjoyed most of them, especially the early Scarpetta novels. But I have struggled with the talking animals in "Southern Cross" and now in "Isle of Dogs" to have whole chapters of islanders talking backwards - I give up. It's utter rubbish.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Patricia Cornwell has proven without a doubt that without Dr Kay Scarpetta, the book isn't worth the time, nor the money. She missed with "Southern Cross" and "Hornet's Nest", and this time, has missed the boat, overshot the island, and sunk,along with her helicopter hobby, hopefully without a trace. The North American cover states "With a Swiftian eye for the absurd...": there is nothing satirical or Swiftian here, but there is a huge amount of absurdity. It's actually a "no-star" rating, but the window wouldn't go that low.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Patricia Cornwell is one of, if not, my favourite author, I have all her books and have always waited impatiently for new releases. Once in my hands they rarely last more than a day, I can go without food and sleep to get to the usually superb ending. Imagine my disappointment then when I started to read Isle of Dogs - what a load of tosh! Admittedly, I favour the Scarpetta novels, however, I also enjoyed Hornets Nest and Southern Cross. This book does not come within a gnat's whisker of her usual brilliance - the storyline is not compelling, the characters are dull and the dialect of the islanders is incomprehensible, making the novel almost impossible to read. I shall persevere to the end, but it is a measure of my disappointment that I have had the book for almost a week, I'm still eating and sleeping and the novel is yet to be finished. I remain a fan - but cannot see myself ever feeling the same anticipation awaiting the release of the latest Patricia Cornwell ever again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An OK book
This is not really my favourite Patricia Cornwell book. Although still a good read I found my mind wandering in places.
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Beech
2.0 out of 5 stars A good story, the humour is an acquired taste.
This is a million miles away from the Scarpetta novels and its hard to believe much of it was written by Cornwell. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Fifi
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Audiobook
Got this on Audiobook as i listen to books in my car on the motorway, must say i found it very funny. Read more
Published 23 months ago by JacciH
1.0 out of 5 stars written for the paycheque!!!
I, like so many before me, wish I'd read the reviews before I bought this book! Humour? I think not! Read more
Published on 5 May 2011 by innovauser
1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor - not recommended
I am quite happy with authors departing from their normal style/characters. This is just an awful book. I am surprised the publishers allowed it through. Read more
Published on 2 April 2011 by Mr. B. Reincke
1.0 out of 5 stars How low can you go?
I read the 3 Andy Brazil books against advice from more than one person. I wanted to see for myself if they really were that bad. Read more
Published on 2 Feb 2011 by Cloggie Downunder
1.0 out of 5 stars A dogs breakfast
A friend gave me this book, in an effort to get it off of their bookshelf. Unfortunately, having said "It can't be that bad" and read it, I can assure you that it really is just... Read more
Published on 20 July 2009 by Christopher Meadows
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'm a big fan of the Scarpetta novels, but this book is just weird. Not a thriller, not a comedy.

The copy I have doesn't have any quotes from the press on the fly... Read more
Published on 31 May 2009 by Jayne Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I didn't read the review first
Well, I'm glad I didn't read the reviews first. I am a fan of Scarpetta and picked this up thinking it would be along those lines. Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2008 by Biker Buzz
3.0 out of 5 stars What A Surprise
I didn't know anything about this book before I read it and was very surprised. I was expecting a typical Patricia Cornwell book but this was nothing like her usual stuff. Read more
Published on 9 Oct 2007 by S. Brady
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