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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Scarpetta yet keeps her ahead - just.
Each Cornwell novel seems to surpass its predecessor as she grows more confident, and Point of Origin is no exception. The forensic detail has always been gruesomely accurate, but what makes this book work so well is that forensic gore is allied to a real 'voice' for her heroine - world-weary, angry, determined - that conveys her character development more effectively...
Published on 2 July 1999

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Replace Lucy with a lap-top - it would have more personality
I've read and loved all of Cornwell's Scarpetta novels - but I've finally had enough. Her total lack of genuine grief over Benton's death was the final straw. Yes so she shed a few tears, but within seconds resumed her usual dour demenour. I am utterly sick of this character's wooden emotions and chronic lack of humour. It would be such a huge relief if just once, just...
Published on 7 Jan 2000 by mequissa


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Scarpetta yet keeps her ahead - just., 2 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Paperback)
Each Cornwell novel seems to surpass its predecessor as she grows more confident, and Point of Origin is no exception. The forensic detail has always been gruesomely accurate, but what makes this book work so well is that forensic gore is allied to a real 'voice' for her heroine - world-weary, angry, determined - that conveys her character development more effectively than mere action. Her plots seem to get more complex and satisfying too, with plenty of twists in the tale. Kathy Reichs (see the brilliant Death du Jour) may be the pretender to the throne, but Cornwell is still the Queen. Forensic fans should also check out The Death Pit, by a male writer, Tony Strong, a page-turner mystery about a forensic archeologist. There's clearly still plenty of mileage in the forensic genre - keep the cadavers coming!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping storyline keeps you riveted to the final page, 9 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Paperback)
I stayed up until 2a.m. to finish this book. If you are a long time fan and have read the previous Scarpetta books you will be gripped.
The story carries you on a riveting ride through the world of criminal investigation poking and prodding at your emotions as the characters that you know so well are dragged through a traumatic chain of events, while investigating a case of murder and arson at the home of a media tycoon.
At least one unexpected twist to the tale awaits as this tale of murder and psychotic mind games unfolds.
I could not put this book down. Is Patricia Cornwell the best modern writer of this genre? Surely the answer is yes
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Replace Lucy with a lap-top - it would have more personality, 7 Jan 2000
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Paperback)
I've read and loved all of Cornwell's Scarpetta novels - but I've finally had enough. Her total lack of genuine grief over Benton's death was the final straw. Yes so she shed a few tears, but within seconds resumed her usual dour demenour. I am utterly sick of this character's wooden emotions and chronic lack of humour. It would be such a huge relief if just once, just once Kay made a complete bodge of her hand-made frittata with pesto, or confessed to eating herself sick on Haagen Daas while wearing stale pyjamas. Constant contemplations about her expensive house and car are highly irritating - although admittedly not as irritating as the obnoxious Lucy. Lucy is the literary equivalent of watching a party political broadcast on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, you feel that the room would always be a little emptier for her having entered it. As a world-class computer boffin, superlative FBI agent, expert pilot, fire-investigator supremo etc, etc you would think she could manage to rustle up a hint of humour or a spark of personality. Everyone raves on endlessly about her utter, mind-blowing brilliance but has no-one noticed that she has zero social skills and possess all the animation of a dead duck? Personally I think Cornwell could have killed Lucy off way back in book three and replaced her character with a lap-top instead - I would defy anyway to notice any difference in their personalities!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Story took to long to develop. Overly grotesque/gorey., 15 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Hardcover)
You need to be a very ardent fan to enjoy this one.
There is no originality in this book. No new characters to grab your attention. The usual supply of cutting/chopping/boiling bodies and finding new and grotesque ways to kill people does not hold ones attention when there is no substance in the plot.
This is my 4th Patrica Cornwell book and my last. Both Gaunt and Carrie outstayed their welcome.
Quarter way through you knew what was happening but it took the good doctor over half the book.
What happened to the phonecalls the junior coroner was getting in the mornings? How did the FBI agent walk into such an obvious trap? Why all the pizza deliveries etc? All these little trails never materialised into anything why were they mentioned?
If you had missed any of the earlier books you would have no background on the characters the main player Dr Scarpatta, a coroner - her FBI boyfriend; - the perfect niece - the police detective who is overweight and has a bad life style; Gaunt (dead at the begining of this book), Carrie (in prison at the begining of the book).
I loved Patrica Cornwell's first and second book but I think she has now overplayed these characters - the baddies are all dead now (we hope!), so maybe we can have ALL new character...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Back On Track., 4 Feb 2009
By 
molko (Surrey) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Point Of Origin as you probably already know is the ninth in Patricia Cornwell's critically acclaimed Kay Scarpetta series. And I have to admit I really enjoyed it! After her last few books (Cause of Death & Unnatural Exposure (Dr Kay Scarpetta)) being a bit of a let down it's good to see Kay & Co back on form.
In this edition Kay and Marino are called in to investigate a mysterious fire on the lavish estate of renowned pain in the bum and journalist Kenneth Sparkes. It isnt long before the first body is found pretty burned up but saved by a sheet of glass that seems to have fallen from the shower door. Strange I know but alot of this book is a bit farfetched but such is the life of the Scarpettas.
Kay is also recieving strange letters from her niece Lucy's one time lover Carrie Grethen who is now holed up in a mental institution planning her escape. It's a pretty riveting storyline and a nice edition to the series, theres a death of a major character, some pretty undeveloped subplots and some of Cornwells most gory details yet makes for an enjoyable, quick read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific murder, relentless detective work and sad endings, 15 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This novel will have all Cornwell fans twitching as they haven't twitched since "From Potter's Field". In "Point of Origin" readers suffer along with Kay Scarpetta as she investigates a gruesome murder which,little by little, touches all the people who mean the most to her. Marino, Lucy, and Benton are all here as Scarpetta struggles to piece together this puzzle, complicated even further by the specter of Carrie Blethen, serial killer and Scarpetta nemesis. Her presence has Kay, and the reader, afraid even to consider what this demon might come up with next.
As the murder investigation proceeds and things begin to unravel,the relationship between Lucy and Kay, always precarious and complex, reaches new levels and adds to the already painful humanness of these two characters. The unbearable climax, however, is what shocks and reassures the reader that these people are real, but ultimately provides the coup de grace, that moment of satisfaction for every mystery reader.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Point of Origin, 19 May 2005
By 
Rich Milligan (Thatcham, Berkshire) - See all my reviews
Looking at the other reviews posted here, it's pretty clear that opinions of this book fall into two distinctive categories. There are those who loved the book and welcome it into the series of Scarpetta detective novels, and those that are really disappointed with it and feel that Cornwell is either not developing her characters enough, or developing them in the wrong way. Which is why I'm going to sit very firmly on the fence!
In fact I wholeheartedly agree with the later group of critics, Scarpetta has developed into such a driven and exacting personality that she is almost becoming robotic in he attitudes to all walks of life. The fact that she is career minded or practical about most things I can accept, the fact that she is becoming demanding, belittling, downright rude and unfriendly to all she meets is a little harder to accept. If I were her assistant Fielding, I'll tell he where to stick her sharpest scalpel and look for a new job. This woman must be the biggest nightmare in the world to work for!
Niece Lucy just hasn't developed at all. Professionally she changes from book to book, learning a new skill as determined by whatever situation Cornwell wants to place her is. One moment she's single handily created the first virtual intelligence robot, next she's flying helicopters for the ATS! What next? Developing a cure for cancer? Breaking the world 100 metres record? And anyway how can such a needy, moaning and winging person be such a professional success? "Ohhh nobody likes me!" weeps the young, beautiful, talented Lucy! "Someone as gifted as Lucy is always going to be lonely" pities Auntie Scarpetta! Well welcome to the real world ladies, now shut up or put up!
My other major gripe with Cornwell is the pages and pages of detailed technical information as if to impress us. She's bombarded us with enough post-mortem facts to cheese off even the most dedicated fan so she turns to a different aspect, in this book's case, Fire Examination and gives us enough reams of procedural particulars to sink a ship. Boring!
But, there again, I also wholeheartedly agree with the fist section of fans. This is still a book I whipped through in a couple of sittings. It never lost my attention and I was hooked to find out what happened all the way to the end, and I have no doubts that in a couple of weeks I'll be picking up the next one in the series.
I can only hope that now with old woman Benton out of the way, (sorry Kay, but let's face it you weren't exactly cut up about the whole affair) we'll be treated to a new and interesting character! Long Live Marino, she's single again now Pete, go for it Sunshine!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Patricia Cornwell is becoming tired and formulaic., 13 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Paperback)
I read the 'puff' on the back cover of the book and was very much looking forward to the read. However, I should have followed my instincts and been, quite naturally, turned off by the dedication to Barbara Bush (why has she made a difference?).
Firstly, the character of Lucy, Scarpetta's lesbian niece, has become stretched to the limit, she becomes more irritating with every novel. I think that she should be done in quickly. Possibly as the opening to the next in the series.
Secondly, if you had not already read the Scarpetta series I think that the reader would be at a complete loss regarding the Temple Gault theme. The book does not stand up as a novel in its own right, rather only as part of a series.
Finally, the denouement is ridiculous...Please, Ms Cornwell - I am sure that you do not need to write a novel a year any more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Getting a little stale and pedestrian., 16 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Hardcover)
I think that if my life was as bleak and unsatisfying as Scarpettas I would look for another line of work. She seems to spend all her time miserable and although her line of work isn't a barrel of laughs, there should be some humour there to leaven things. Also the Lucy business is starting to become tiresome. Every case seems to involve them all together, and she has 'mastered' a new skill which will be vital later on. As if! The ending was trite and a bit of an insult to the reader, as if she had reached her 10,000 words or whatever and finished it any old how. If Carrie was such a schemer why come up with such a lame plan as chasing them from a helicopter? All in all a bit of a formula pot-boiler and a poor effort.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Cornwell, 10 Feb 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Point Of Origin (Hardcover)
Scarpetta and the regulat cast of characters populate this first-rate Cornwell novel with a singular, shocking twist. So, if you are new to Patricia Cornwell, you'll want to start futher back in the series.
Cornwell has tried to replace the well-worn and well-loved halls of the FBI Academy and it's environs with a new setting for deep thought and forsenic detail; arson investigation does not provide the same fertile ground, but does provide interesting new information in a diversionary sort of way. Still, I was left wondering where the real meat was, even though I always enjoy a good Scarpetta.
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Point Of Origin (Scarpetta Novels)
Point Of Origin (Scarpetta Novels) by Patricia Cornwell (Paperback - 2 Sep 2010)
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