Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta) Mass Market Paperback – 31 Jan 2002
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The postmortem is in--Black Notice, the 10th in Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series--is a gore- splattered, intensely exciting read.
As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of sombreness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tinkered with the e-mail system, stealing Kay's identity and sending off slanderous and hurtful messages. Emotionally battered, Scarpetta fears she is going insane. Or, could it be that someone is deliberately sowing this harvest of sorrow?
Despite her personal problems, Scarpetta is still the reigning diva at the department of death. She is sent to investigate the purified remains of a man found inside a container ship, "eyes bulged froglike, and the scalp and beard were sloughing off with the outer layer of darkening skin." Kay finds strange, animal-like hairs on the man's clothing--the same hairs that she discovers on a murdered store clerk a few days later. In actuality, the bizarre killings extend well beyond Virginia; whoever killed the Richmond victims also butchered people in France. Kay and police captain Pete Marino are whisked off to Paris where they must collect top-secret information from a Paris morgue, and avoid becoming victims themselves.
This macabre tome is the stuff that classic Scarpetta tales are made of: creepy but compulsive autopsy scenes, plentiful plot twists and the compelling, if slightly more vulnerable, chief medical examiner herself. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Cornwell's books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear. BLACK NOTICE is no exception (THE TIMES)
BLACK NOTICE is undoubtedly her best book for some time: not only because of some excellent scalpel work, but mainly because it is not so much about crime as about Scarpetta. (EVENING STANDARD)
She's a wonderful writer. (DAILY MAIL)
Imitators now abound, but - pathologically speaking - nobody does it like Cornwell (LITERARY REVIEW) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
It is dreary, miserable, slow, clunky and in my opinion a total waste of time. It has none of the lightness of touch of her other books; the characters are tired, cynical and bitter, and there's no trace of the humour I'm accustomed to seeing in Marino, if no-one else.
The sense of tension that Cornwell clearly hoped to introduce, in the guise of Kay's paranoia about her department and her job, simply makes Kay come across as someone who can't face it when she faces a superior with more guile and ambition than she herself possesses.
I hated this book, I'm afraid, and it didn't get any better when I read it the second time to see if I had missed something. If you haven't already bought it, my advice is, don't bother.
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