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36 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different but enjoyable
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...
Published on 5 Sep 2001 by Nikstar101

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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing follow-up to Hornet's Nest
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...
Published on 5 Mar 1999


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5.0 out of 5 stars i am addicted, 20 Jun 2013
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straight in to book two cant wait to get home from work to find out what happens next, roll on next in series
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5.0 out of 5 stars fab, 27 Sep 2011
Excellent read, excellent read, fantastic read, really enjoyed it. The Kindle version is fantastic. I love my Kindle. Would certainly tell friends.
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5.0 out of 5 stars at last it arrives, 21 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Southern Cross (Hardcover)
Due to circumstances beyond the sellers control, my book has only just arrived.
i have wanted this particular copy to complete my set. i now have all of books Patricia Cornwell has published.
I only 2 left to read in the collection and am thrilled.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual Cornwell, 2 Feb 2011
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Southern Cross, 26 May 2010
By 
Ragnar - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) (Paperback)
This book is a sequel to Hornet's Nest and it would be best to read them in order of publication. But if you don't want read both, Southern Cross makes sense on its own and would be the one to go for. Hornet's nest is good, but Southern Cross is better. It features the same three main characters, Chief Hammer, Deputy Chief Virginia West and Andy Brazil, now a fully qualified police officer.

The plot involves a planned mass shooting by a character named Smoke, and the efforts of the police to prevent it. The scene is now Richmond, Virginia, and the `low life' elements of that city are well represented, including Smoke and his gang, the Pikes. Smoke has recruited Weed into his gang, though Weed - who has both artistic and musical tendencies - is reluctant.

Another important character is Bubba, who is into all things DIY which, unfortunately, includes firearms. Smoke happens to discover this when he overhears a conversation at a garage and later steals the entire collection.

Although Patricia Cornwell is famous for her handle on forensic pathology - sometimes in extreme detail - there is almost none of that in Hornets nest and Southern Cross. The interest lies in the interaction of the characters. These books are still well plotted, it is just that their plots do not depend on forensics.

But what is most interesting about Southern Cross is the humour. Reading the Scarpetta books you would not suspect that the author had a sense of humour, but here it is deployed to such effect you have to wonder why she hasn't given us more of it. (The only caveat here might be attributing human thoughts to animals, which comes across as somewhat whimsical.)

One good example of many is Chapter Five, where Bubba, having a problem with his vehicle, takes it to Muskrat's garage to have it repaired. Muskrat has the measure of Bubba and doesn't try to conceal it. He knows that Bubba, as usual, has made matters worse by trying to effect a repair himself. The characters of the two men come out very well in this chapter, and though there is a lot detail concerning vehicles and vehicle repair, it works well. It might have come across as research but in fact it places you at the scene. And the humour runs all the way through.

Cornwell's handling of detail is worth looking at. Another example occurs when Bubba, having had his guns stolen, goes to a store to buy another. Bubba loves guns, just as he loves the tools he uses for his forays into DIY. The scene is beautifully written too and without the detail his love of guns wouldn't come across.

It is also worth mentioning Lelia Howell, a well-intentioned but tiring individual with an unusual take on the English language. Dealing with her in real life would be a trial, but reading about her is amusing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and pointless, 13 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) (Paperback)
Have loved her Scarpetta books, but was completely caught out by this one - rambling, incoherent, with poor puns and cliched characterisations. Admire the instinct to try something completely different, but seems like the baby was thrown out with the bathwater.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 21 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) (Paperback)
I have read all of Patricia Cornwells books and thoroughly enjoyed them except this. Southern Cross has a weak plot that didn't hold my attention. I ended up skimming through it and placing it gently in the garbage.
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1.0 out of 5 stars boring, 24 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Southern Cross (Hardcover)
I was very disappointed in this book. The Scarpetta novels are much more intense and enjoyable. I find the "Hammer" stories are hard to follow. Please write another Scarpetta story and quick!!!!!
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is not my favorite book by Patricia Cromwell, 4 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Southern Cross (Hardcover)
Patrcia cromwell has written a lot of great books and this is not one of them. Her Kay Scarpetta series is much more enjoyable
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1.0 out of 5 stars Complete rubbish, 9 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) (Paperback)
One of Patricia Cornwell's worst books with an dreary plot and very bad humour.
Wouldn't recommend buying this book.
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Southern Cross (Andy Brazil)
Southern Cross (Andy Brazil) by Patricia Cornwell (Paperback - 2 Dec 1999)
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