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Southern Cross

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Product details

  • Perfect Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0748109544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748109548
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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.

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First Sentence
THE LAST MONDAY morning of March began with promise in the historic city of Richmond, Virginia, where prominent family names had not changed since the war that was not forgotten. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
All the elements which made Hornet's Nest such an exciting alternative to the increasingly far-fetched Scarpetta series are sadly missing from this hasty followup. The plot twist which brings the protagonists to Richmond is so implausible as to make the reader suspect Cornwell simply needed a device to move the action to home territory and didn't much care what it was. The multi-layered tension which drew Brazil and West apart then together in 'HN' has been squandered into an offstage resolution and contrived interruption, and their new relationship lacks any sort of authenticity (even if you do accept that Brazil, described when we first meet him as "a scribe of life and all in it" has meekly settled for being a Website author for the Richmond P.D).
Whilst the supporting cast retain some of that realism, the major players, so vibrant and refreshing at first, have subsided into one-dimensional cliche. 'HN' came over as basically a chance for Cornwell to exercise a dulled imagination - the language bristled and burned with imagery and the dialogue sparkled. The second we learned that three women were in control of a major city's police department, we knew we were in a parallel universe. Throughout, with tight, economical language, Cornwell made that universe jump and dance and flash fire.
In comparison, 'SC', despite a few nice moments, is contrived, dull, and has none of the attractiveness of its predecessor. Cornwell showed with 'HN' that she -can- still come up with new ideas and colourful language, so perhaps she just needs a new editor. As it is, one gets the feeling her driving desire is to churn out indifferent work to a grateful -and paying - public. She can do better, and I wish that she would.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Mar. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I must admit that when I picked up 'Southern Cross' I was prepared to be disappointed, after all its predecessor ('Hornet's Nest') was not a patch on Patricia Cornwell's previous novels. Unfortunately I was right to be disappointed, however I did not expect that this novel would be quite as *much* of a disappointment as it proved to be. From a writer who has enthralled and engrossed millions with her tightly plotted and fast-paced 'Kay Scarpetta' novels, there is really no excuse for this kind of meandering, contrived and downright annoying story-telling. The plot (yes, believe it or not there *is* a plot buried in there somewhere) constantly blunders off into meaningless asides which have little or no bearing on the actual story. The, frankly incredible, romantic split between the two main characters of the prequel is nothing more than a thinly disguised opportunity for a series of romantic misunderstandings which fail to inspire any sense of sympathy for the beleaguered lovers. The comedic aspects of the book frequently fall into the literary equivalent of slapstick and the obviously contrived use of one characters inability to use the English language falls far short of being funny and instead becomes annoying as you are forced to reread whole chunks of dialogue in order to figure out what in blue blazes the character was trying to say. I could go on to lambast the tortured ending of the novel which relies on several unlikely coincidences to reach its climax, but I won't I'm too tired. From a novelist of the calibre that Patricia Cornwell has show herself in the past to be, this is one which should be given a decent burial and quietly forgotten.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
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. I liked the Scarpetta books (although I thought that the endings of some of those books were too rushed, too contrived). The Andy Brazil books are nothing like those! Hornet's Nest is probably the best of the three, although the characters are shallow and unconvincing and the plot is weak and implausible. There is some humour and some sexual tension which is frustrating for lack of relief. 5/10. Southern Cross degenerates from this. Ms Cornwell seems to be having fun at our expense, but the result isn't really funny or vaguely satisfying. 3/10. Isle of Dogs, well, how much lower can you go? What were you thinking, Ms Cornwell? Or what drugs were you on? This book was ridiculous! I persisted to the end of these books because I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Not sure why I bothered. Even if one reads these as tongue-in-cheek romps through the workings of a Police Dept, the final book is hugely disappointing. 1/10. Scarpetta fans who pay full price for these books will feel angry and very much cheated. Luckily I bought mine 2nd hand. Readers whose first taste of Cornwell is one of these books will never buy another. Whatever you do, don't pay full price for these books!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nikstar101 on 5 Sept. 2001
Format: Paperback
I guess most people who will read this book will read it because of the name of Patricia Cornwell. This was the first Patricia Cornwell book I read (I really should have read Hornet's Nest first). Now i have read some other books by her I have found that Hornets nest and Southern Cross are different to her previous novels. They cannot really be compared since one is more a medical view whereas this based on the police side on the crimes. I prefer this police view of crime, solving them with good old police methods rather than forensic evidence
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