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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and involving
I couldn't disagree with the negative comments left by others more! Yes, Scarpetta's cases have become less obvious as the series has gone on but I see this as a positive as I don't feel it's necessary to have the solution in my face from the very beginning of the book. The plot lines are more subtle, there's not the blood and gore of previous outings and I found the...
Published on 15 April 2011 by Mr R C LARVIN

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly bad!
What on earth has happened to Patricia Cornwell? She used to be one you could rely on for a gripping, gory thriller but this one feels like it was written by someone else. The story jumps around to the extent that I found myself constantly checking I hadn't mistakenly skipped a page (or even chapter) and feels very incoherent. The story just isn't that interesting...
Published on 10 Dec 2008 by Ondine


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly bad!, 10 Dec 2008
By 
What on earth has happened to Patricia Cornwell? She used to be one you could rely on for a gripping, gory thriller but this one feels like it was written by someone else. The story jumps around to the extent that I found myself constantly checking I hadn't mistakenly skipped a page (or even chapter) and feels very incoherent. The story just isn't that interesting either and I feel the characters who we've known for years now through her books have developed in ways that just aren't believable.

She's also upped the science-y details to such a level that lots of it was hard to understand, and I think probably unnecessary for the average reader.

Very disappointing and not worth wasting money on. If you haven't read her before - start at the beginning with Portmortem and The Body Farm etc as those are great, just avoid this one.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreadably bad, 7 Feb 2009
This review is from: Book Of The Dead (Scarpetta Novels) (Hardcover)
I reviewed one of this author's earlier books which I thought was so bad I'd never waste my time looking at another one. Unfortunately, I broke that rule and tried this offering - bad idea.
You might think that - after the almost universal panning some of her later books have received - the author would try to do something about it, to write the kind of books that generated such good reviews at the start of her career. Unfortunately, I think she's passed the point where any reviews, from anyone, mean anything to her.
The 'Book of the dead' is so badly written that I couldn't even finish it - and I've always ploughed on to the bitter end with all of her other books. It really is that bad.
She appears to have been taking creative writing classes from somebody with no clue what they're talking about. The book is written in the present tense, which sits awkwardly in this genre, and somebody appears to have told her that the only verb she needs to use in speech is 'to say'. The result is cumbersome and tiresome in the extreme, every remark, by anyone, followed by 'Scarpetta says'; 'Benton says' and so on.
The plot, such as it is, makes little sense, if you can be bothered to make the effort and wade through the turgid writing in a determined effort to discover what she's talking about. The characters are familiar, but what they're doing isn't, with Marino breaking every rule he's lived by for no reason that makes any kind of sense. Lucy and Scarpetta are even more arrogant and irritating than ever, and the minor characters appear to be talking nonsense most of the time.
I struggled through perhaps a quarter of the book, still had only the haziest idea what was supposed to be going on, and by that stage the 'clever' writing had annoyed me to the extent that cleaning out the drains seemed a far more enticing prospect. If there was a 'zero stars' option on Amazon, this book would undeniably deserve it. Absolutely the only reason any reputable publisher would put their name to it is the name 'Patricia Cornwell' on the front cover. The cover, in fact, is probably the best bit of the entire novel.
In short, badly-written rubbish.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent..., 4 Nov 2008
By 
J. Walker (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
...for sending me off to sleep!

Only managing to read 2-3 pages a night, it's taken me ages to finish this book. It is so unbelievably dull and I loathe PC's changed writing style. Have given her the benefit of doubt for the last time. She should be embarrassed to have such rubbish published.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No need to try now!, 22 Jun 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I agree with what so many other people are saying, I enjoyed her earlier books, but this was sheer gobbily gook!!I will buy no more of her books, I nearly threw it in the bin but perservered to the end, it was pure rubbish!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Drivel, 16 May 2008
By 
L. Carpenter (Ellesmere Port) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Now I know this is a novel and I KNOW it's all invented, but is it vaguely realistic that the ever-perfect (more of that later) Dr Scarpetta be entirely surrounded by nutcases? Let me count: 1) Marino - lost the plot; 2) Shandy - bonkers & murderous; 3) Dr Self - bonkers; 4) Italian psychiatrist blokey - amoral in the extreme; 5) Lucius whatshisface - bonkers (why was he even in the book?); 6) Will Rambo (per-lease...) - all of the above. I'm sure there were more, but I lost count of the many, many dysfunctional characters littering this dreary read. It's enough to put anyone off visiting the deep south.

Now we move onto the good doctor herself. It's appears plain to me that Scarpetta is something of an autobiographical image of Ms Cornwell, and if that is the case, what a strange woman she must be. Scarpetta, aside from being a glorious physical specimen of a woman (must get that tongue out of my cheek...), must be the coldest, dullest, smuggest, most humourless character of all time. Always long suffering, but utterly devoid of any personality trait that might make her an attractive lead character. Her 'passionate' relationship with Benton is unconvincing and borders on the snoozeworthy, her 'surrogate-mother' relationship with bionic-Lucy is uncomfortable - the way it is taken as read that she is a better 'mom' than the girl's own useless mother always leaves a nasty taste.

I'm afraid the doc has had her day - take her out to the swamps and leave her to the alligators...
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not even with a barge-pole., 28 April 2009
By 
Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Having read circa 80 crime novels in last two years there are three that stand head and shoulders above the rest as utter dross. Welcome to one of the three.

This has to be one of the dullest, most interminable books I have ever read. Others have covered the reasons why this is tripe in their reviews but I also felt strongly enough to simply record my disapproval. How anyone can rate this at more than one star defies belief.

Do not buy this, do not touch it with a barge-pole.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Book of the What?, 31 July 2008
I have just finished reading this drivel after it taking me 3 months and a stop gap in between. I used to be able to read a Scarpetta book in a matter of hours but this one was sheer pain to read. The characters are all horrible. There isn't a single redeeming feature about any of them. Kay is as miserable as we've ever seen her, Benton is useless. What does he do exactly? Lucy is vile, a big headed, opinionated, aggressive character who seems to hate everyone except her beloved Aunt Kay and Benton. Lucy can't even seem to hold a civil conversation with anyone without making out shes God's gift to the security world.And Marino, well what to say about him. Thank God he's disappeared.
The whole Scarpetta series has turned into a ridiculous farce, its so unbelievable. The paranoia experienced in the last few books is so far fetched and unneccessary and Patricia Cornwell should have left Benton dead. For me that was the turning point into the riduculous. Up until then the books all had a sense of authority and truth to them and given what Patricia does for a living, I would have expected nothing less.
The Book of the Dead is a difficult read, the story doesn't follow, I thought pages had been missed as the conversations taking place didn't follow on. I had no idea what was going on for most of the book.The ending was very poor and I still have no idea who killed who? Why they were killed and more to the point, do I even care anymore?
As a fan of the Scarpetta series I have been greatly disappointed in this last effort and I certainly won't be wasting any more money buying Patricia Cornwell books. Shame on you, Patricia.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The book of the dead bored, 25 May 2008
By 
Along with many other reviewers here I was a big fan of Patricia Cornwall's earlier books in the Scarpetta series, but recently they have been getting worse and worse. I couldn't even finish this one. It's almost as if she's getting lazy and feels she can write any old rubbish because she knows people will buy a book with her name on it. Avoid!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Real Fall From Grace, 23 May 2008
By 
V. Burnett "Mirabo" (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have always enjoyed Patricia Cornwell but this book is the worst serving ever. Scarpetta's niece Lucy, even when she was little, was an obnoxious character but she is worse than ever in this effort as she is presented as increasingly arrogant and tedious. Even good old Pete Marino has fallen pray to Cornwells need to try and add some interest to this book as he sinks into a pit of testosterone and alcohol filled anxt.

The central "storyline" surrounds a ritualistic serial killer and the remains of a young boy - but then you would know that if you read the synopsis on the back cover. Believe me that's as much of this book that you will want to read and the phrase 'losing the will to live' came to my mind on a number of occasions as I fought to finish it. Hoping against hope that the story would improve and a cruel twist would be revealed somewhere I did plough on. Frankly I wish I hadn't, there wasn't a single character in the book that I liked: Captain Poma is a pain, Dr Self is a bigger pain and Benton is excrutiating as he decides to reconcile with his daughters mother (why? don't ask me!)

Do yourself a favour - don't waste your money. Get yourself a good Jeffrey Deaver or Tess Gerritsen.....or my all time favourite - Lee Child (finally, a man who has never let me down!!!)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Back on track???????, 16 May 2008
By 
S. Finch (Stratford-upon-Avon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I enjoyed the early Scarpetta thrillers but gave up reading them when the plots moved to Paris and the stories became totally absurd. Tempted by the promise that Patricia Cornwell was back on track, I decided to give this latest title a go. What a big mistake. The story was boring and poorly constructed (I had to keep looking back), the Italian link seemed pointless other than to provide the author with the chance of a visit for research purposes, & (as a psychological researcher) I found mental health bits very iffy. The only Cornwell book I will be tempted to read in the future will be one in which the nauseatingly perfect Lucy comes to a gruesome end. Is there anything this woman cannot do? Computer genius, crack shot, pilot, millionaire, etc. etc.
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Book Of The Dead (Scarpetta Novels)
Book Of The Dead (Scarpetta Novels) by Patricia Cornwell (Hardcover - Oct 2007)
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