The Last Precinct Hardcover – 16 Oct 2000
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What is peculiarly impressive about The Last Precinct, Patricia Cornwell's new addition to her popular series about the pathologist Kay Scarpetta, is that it is a book in which everything is up for grabs and all is at stake. Murders we thought settled for good in previous books, with guilt allocated and people arrested or killed, suddenly come bubbling to the surface again. Kay finds herself accused of killing difficult Deputy Police Chief Diane Bray, and of framing the deformed psychopath who killed Diane and burst into Kay's home with murderous intent. Even the hideous death of Kay's lover Benton, several books ago, turns out to have been more complicated than we thought. Kay finds herself in jeopardy several times over with her headstrong lesbian niece, her only entirely reliable ally. This is a book in which Cornwell takes her heroine into new areas--we get the same amount of complicated forensic lore, but there is a new personal urgency to it, a sense that detection is not a game. Kay's relationships with colleagues have always been prickly, but here they become more problematic than ever before; Cornwell's admirers will be pleased by this, her most tense and nervy book for years. --Roz Kaveney
This book is classically constructed, moves logically along an absorbing plot line, creates enough tension to make it a page-turner, and packs a smashing surprise denouement. (SCOTSMAN)
As always the forensic detail is fascinating. (DAILY EXPRESS)
The plotting has the cold assurance of the earlier books, and the characterisation of Scarpetta and her associates is as rich and idiosyncratic as ever. (CRIME TIME)
Cornwell has written an elegy to the way in which we create and destroy our own worlds. And when she is this good, she is hard to beat. (NEW STATESMAN)
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Top Customer Reviews
As always, the forensic details in Crowmell's novels are fascinating. Most crime fiction glosses over such things and even in Scarpetta's world rather obvious scientific facts have to be hammered home to the idiots in power over and over again. But these novels are always much more are Scarpetta's relationships with the people around here than the demented killers she is helping to track down. I always look forward to finding out what is up with Lucy in each novel: having given up on the FBI and now ATF, Lucy is ready to enter the private sector (it seems she's been doing some interesting things in her spare time).Read more ›
That said, the novel provides a good read which will give Cornwell fans the fix they have been waiting for. The forensic details are as good as ever and Cornwell is continuing the dark atmosphere of previous books. However one wonders if the character of Kay Scarpetta and her unshakable belief in herself is getting a bit worn.
The book picks up immediately from where the last one in the series left off. As this was some time ago, unless you have just finished 'Black Notice', then the start could be a little confusing. The advice to Cornwell fans is to re- read the previous book and then start the new one - it might make a bit more sense, and provide a more enjoyable read.
Overall a good read and great to meet up with the familar characters again, however Cornwell can do better.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It got a bit boring. It was heavy going compared with previous Patricia Cornwall booksPublished 2 months ago by fred
It's nice for it to carry on from last book in a bit more detail about how life has adverted them all. Just starting chapter 6 and enjoying very much. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer