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Point of Origin (Kay Scarpetta) Mass Market Paperback – 28 Oct 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 28 Oct 1999
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc; Reissue edition (28 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425169863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425169865
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,105,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Patricia Cornwell's novels about Kay Scarpetta, forensic pathologist and nemesis of arrogant criminals, have long since become one of those series which admirers buy automatically, knowing and liking what they are going to get. For once, Scarpetta is learning, as well as lecturing, as she finds herself involved with a series of deaths by fire, and a killer who has learned to make her job difficult. The series' running villainess, the charming malign Carrie Grethen, once the lover of Scarpetta's niece, has escaped from custody with vengeance on her mind. Cornwell's own troubles of recent years find an echo in Carrie's media offensive--Holmes never had to cope with Moriarty writing to The Times to say that it was all a frame-up...

As always, the strong point of Patricia Cornwell's books is less the plotting than the exposition of technical details. She has the gift of fascinating with apparent trivia--just what are the metal shavings and clumps of ash caught in the victims' hair?--that turn out to lead in to the stuff of nightmares. Cornwell's reinvention of the forensic thriller combines expertise with anger at the inventiveness of human evil. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

“Imitators now abound, but – pathologically speaking – nobody does it like Cornwell”
Literary Review

“the best of Cornwell’s novels”
Guardian

“stunningly staged”
Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoy Patricia Cornell's books and have them all and am reading them in the order they were written,so have many still to read.
I normally read an Autobiography or maybe two in between.
They are very well written but extremely graphic and you need some medical knowledge to understand them completely. If you're at all squeamish, don't even attempt.them.. They are brilliantly written and she deserves every accolade received and more.
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Format: 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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Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on 12 July 1999
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the first few of Patricia Cornwell's books, but sadly they seem to have got worse and worse as they appear.
This is one of the worst yet. The story is banal. Characterisation ziltch. Masses of boring detail early on, then the whole thingwrapped up in about ten pages at the end.
I find the continuing baddies from one book to another irritating, and Lucy a pain. The only character I can believe in or have any sympathy for is Moreno.
There is also, for me, an unhealthy streak of FBI worship in many of these books, according to which this agency is the only thing that keeps the world from total collapse..
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