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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost back to form
I had been disappointed with The Last Precinct and Blow Fly and was awaiting this latest addition to the Kay Scarpetta series with mixed feelings. Although this book doesn't reach the level of the early books like Postmortem and From Potter's Field, it is a far better read than Patricia Cornwell's latest few books. The plot is less far-fetched, there are some beautifully...
Published on 6 Sept. 2004 by zxqz

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I usually enjoy reading the adventures of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta but this was a total disappointment. My interest in the book began to wane after the first few chapters. The plot was lacklustre and the only cliffhanger was whether I would have the stamina to reach the end of the plodding and contrived narrative. I found the change to the first person and...
Published on 17 Jan. 2006 by Andrew Dawson


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 17 Jan. 2006
By 
Andrew Dawson (Ghiffa Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I usually enjoy reading the adventures of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta but this was a total disappointment. My interest in the book began to wane after the first few chapters. The plot was lacklustre and the only cliffhanger was whether I would have the stamina to reach the end of the plodding and contrived narrative. I found the change to the first person and the use of the present tense of the verb highly irritating. It doesn’t seem written by the same author.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful, 31 Oct. 2004
By 
K. Ivory (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Trace (Hardcover)
I'm sorry to have to say this about my favourite author, but I really think that Patricia Cornwell should take a break. If this had been one of the first Scarpetta stories, then I really don't think that the series would have ever taken off. I had actually forgotton how awful 'Blowfly' was particularly her new style of writing these books in the third person, so when I saw Trace on the bookstand I bought it eagerly. What a disappointment. None of the main characters seem to be themselves any more. The plot was weak and just didn't have the gripping edge that Scarpetta novels usually have. It's almost as if another author has taken over writing the Scarpetta books.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!, 5 Dec. 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Trace (Hardcover)
I've been an avid reader of the Scarpetta novels for a number of years, and have always hugely enjoyed them. However, Trace was an utter disappointment, a complete waste of my reading time. A weak story, which, to me, left many questions unanswered.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Patricia has lost the plot, 25 Oct. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Trace (Hardcover)
When I first began reading novels by Cornwell, they were in the un-put-downable category. Somewhere along the way she has lost the ability to tell a good yarn and tell it well.
This book is an improvement on her last book, "Blowfly", but that is about the only good thing you can say about it.
She introduces too many carachters, has too many plot threads spread over too many locations. Scarpetta is dithering, Marino isn't much better. Benton might as well have stayed dead!!!
The plot limps along around the story of yet another of Lucy's lovers and the unexplained death of a teenager in Richmond. Scarpetta returns at the request of the new Coroner, who is so memorable that I have already forgotten his name. The old OCME building is being demolished, during the process of which a digger driver manages to crush himself and trace evidence found on the dead girl also turns up during the investigation into his death.
We are introduced to a person called Edgar Allen Pogue, who talks to his dead mother, but unlike in the case of Norman Bates, we never find out if Pogue has Mom locked in the cellar. He does however like to keep the ashes of people he has cremated in the morgue. A pity he didn't cremate himself and we would have been spared this dull and boring book.
I no longer read a new Cornwell book in 2 days, I struggled with this one for over two weeks and was relieved when is crawled to a pathetic halt. Do yourself a favour, borrow it from a friend or the library, it's not worth spending any money on.
Time for Scarpetta and maybe even Cornwell to retire and stay there. On a scale of 1 to 10 this book is about a minus 2.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor, 14 July 2006
By 
Jo Wareham "Jo" (Stoke on Trent, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Trace (Hardcover)
For whatever reason Cornwell seems to have completely lost her way. There seems to be no reason for the complete change in the style of writing - going from the first person narrative to the third person in a well established series. The plots have become dull and convoluted and the characters, especially Scarpetta have become distinctly unlikeable and arrogant. I will not, unfortunately, be reading any more that Ms Cornwell has to offer.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Page Turner, 14 Oct. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Trace (Hardcover)
Quite simply the worse Patricia Cornwell I've ever read. Very Dull. I prefer the earlier novels - more about the case and less about Lucy and her strange life. I kept reading this book in case the story improved, but it was only in the last 75 pages or so that the story started and finished very rapidly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If there was 1/2 a star I'd sellect that...., 28 Jun. 2005
I have to add my voice to the multitude with this one... I was a dedicated fan and actually marked the date when Blow Fly would be coming out on my calendar. What a disappointment. I had hoped this book would have been an improvement but it appears that along with the change in style she lost all style.
Why does everything has to evolve around Scarpetta? She's there to solve the mysteries not cause them. Suddenly the whole world is against her and everyone is out to get her?
Should have stopped with the Last Precinct. I think that's where my Cornwell collection is going to end... and Trace and Blow Fly will be ending up at a charity shop.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Losing her way, 2 Feb. 2005
This review is from: Trace (Hardcover)
Having read all her books, I wonder if Miss C is now writing for her own amusement rather than our enjoyment and pleasure? What is it with her irritating and intrusive use of the present tense? Is she doing it to stop her 'dropping off',(or possibly us), or is she simply bored with writing? Scarpetta's previously feisty and sparkling character cannot save this story, which is dull and lacks the tension usually present in Miss C's books. And what has happened to Marino-he is a shadow of his former self. I am afraid she will be removed from my list as an author I once enjoyed reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What on earth is going on?, 30 Jun. 2005
By 
Jennifer Flippance (Wickford, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I found this book quite perplexing. It feels like half the story is missing. Who on earth was Henri and what was the point of her? The villain's motivation and actions are confusing, as is his realtionshp to the victim. Lucy is a completely unbelievably character who seems to be little more than a vehicle to introduce a succession of boys toys (Ferraris, guns, helicopters, private jets and surveillance gadgets).
The ending left me wondering if someone had tampered with my book and cut out the last few chapters. I guess Cornwell just got as bored of the whole thing as I was.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Readable.....but only just, 29 Jan. 2006
By 
O. Doyle "celticshedevil" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Being a huge Patricia Cornwell fan and especially a fan of the Scarpetta novels I was really disappointed when I read Blow Fly. I’d already bought Trace by then and have to say I was disappointed again. While the style of writing returns to Patricia Cornwell of old the story just didn’t have the staying power that her early books had. In the early days I was devouring her books in a matter of 2-3 days. Trace took me considerably longer to read, mainly because I just wasn’t gripped. The whole feel of the book was sluggish and drawn out and a lot of the material could be described as ‘filler’ as all it was doing was filling pages. There was no cliffhanger and no ‘look out behind you’ antics as with the early Scarpetta books. I felt the ending was especially lacking. I too had to double check to see if I’d missed a chapter or something because the ending just…..happened. No build up, no chase, nothing.
While I used to find the characters entertaining and likeable this time I just found Lucy naïve and Marino pathetic. I also got the distinct impression that fame has gone to Scarpettas head as she’s portrayed as the only one who knows anything about anything! I don’t know what Patricia Cornwell was thinking by pushing the characters in the directions she chose but I felt it backfired as instead of finding the characters likeable and real I found them annoying and distant.
I’m afraid my love affair with Patricia Cornwell may well have reached its climax after Trace. It’s time to find another thriller writing to keep me awake at night!
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Trace
Trace by Patricia Cornwell (Hardcover - 7 Sept. 2004)
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