Bring back the old Scarpetta,
This review is from: The Body Farm (Scarpetta Novels) (Paperback)
I only read this because we inherited the book from my late mother-in-law. I will be honest and say that while I used to enjoy Scarpetta novels some years ago, they seem to have lost their way in recent years. There has been too much about the personal life of the protagonist, her sister and mother, her niece and a couple of men - Wesley and Marino - who really could be just about anybody else. There is very little in 'The Body Farm' about Scarpetta in the morgue - it's mostly a slight tale about a murder and we could have had a protagonist who was a police officer, without all the baggage of family matters which frankly don't endear the story to me. I expect Scarpetta to be about crime and criminals, not family and boyfriends - at least not to the extent they are features of this book.
Then there is the title. The Body Farm is a place. Cornwell describes it vividly and I should think had been allowed to visit it, or had at least paid as much attention as I have to TV documentaries about it. But I am surprised it was used for the book's title (actually more likely to be the choice of her publishers than Cornwell's): it's about the same as entitling the book 'The Fox and Hounds' after having her character spend a night in a pub. It has little to do with the plot, and the whole episode could have been cut by having the results Scarpetta observes at THF being emailed to her.
And at the end, the dénouement was a bit tame, in my view.
I'm afraid I am these days of the opinion that Cornwell has "gone off the boil". She needs to change to different kinds of novels with different characters if she wants to write about dysfunctional families.