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The Scarpetta Factor: Scarpetta 17 Paperback – 27 May 2010
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How does Patricia Cornwell manage to keep her literary batteries charged? Long-time admirers always breathe a sigh of relief when (after various experiments and diversions) she brings her signature character Kay Scarpetta back to the fray. But the author is savvy enough to realise that it is (occasionally) a good idea to ring the changes, which she did successfully in such non-Scarpetta books as The Front, with a Massachusetts investigator assuming centre stage. But, let’s face it, it’s her new book, The Scarpetta Factor that is going to be the real crowd pleaser, with her single-minded forensic anthropologist back on the case.
Since the groundbreaking Post Mortem which introduced the character, there have been some ups and downs in terms of Cornwell’s achievement, but nobody could deny that the author has earned her poll position at the top of the crime-writing stakes by dint of her remarkable narrative skills. Are those skills on full throttle here?
In the week before Christmas, Kay Scarpetta, suffering (as are so many of us) from the credit crunch, decides to work on a pro bono basis for the office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City. But Kay finds the spotlight this puts her under is not a comfortable one, when she is asked (during a live broadcast) about the disappearance of a wealthy woman, Hannah Starr, who is presumed to be dead. This is followed by a strange call from an ex-patient of Kay’s psychiatrist partner, Benton Wesley -- and Kay finds a suspicious package when she returns home – is it a bomb? She finds that the missing woman had secrets she shared with Kay’s gay niece Lucy.
Perhaps this isn’t Patricia Cornwell at her most adroit, but it’s much more than a routine outing for Scarpetta. Admirers will want to pick up The Scarpetta Factor. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Cornwell has never written better (Evening Standard)
The Scarpetta Factor is a novel that has clearly engaged Cornwell in the same fashion as her vintage work (Independent)
The Cornwell phenomenon goes on (Daily Mail)
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Top Customer Reviews
Having missed about six books I came back to the saga with a fresh mind, but I hardly recognized this story as belonging to a series that included such gripping novels as The Body Farm and Cruel and Unusual. It's very rare for me to give up on a book, but this one I couldn't finish. It's perhaps unfair to review a book I only half-read, but then again the author didn't care enough to write with due care and attention and I doubt a capable editor worked on it, so why should I worry?
The plot is hard to follow and what I could work out was the opposite of a page-turner. The set-up promises some celebrity satire, but the story is humourless and dreary. Scenes don't flow. Dialogue is just random chatter and whining. There's no tension as I didn't care about or particularly believe in the mystery, and the new format of multiple points of view just appears to make it easier to add irrelevant diversions. Everything is explained in a condescending manner that gave me visions of the author making notes for research assistants and them quoting unnecessary detail they'd found on the Internet. In the early books the detail felt real and necessary and gave the books authority. I believed in Scarpetta's world. Now I don't.
Worst of all, the characters are no longer the same people I last read about. The only link with the Lucy I remember is the name. Scarpetta herself is now insufferably smug.Read more ›
I thought it was just me and my high expectations but the last few books have been 500 pages of meandering plot followed by the quickest and laziest endings I've ever read, by any author, all inside a mere couple of pages. No tension, just the feeling of impending disappointment again as you realise you are within 5 pages of the end of the book with no direct action involving the baddie, just speculation. I am still reeling from the sense of injustice that I have fallen for this con a few times now, thinking she can't get away with it again. Mugged again and I won't spoil the finish because you won't believe me anyway.
If you've read the previous few, you know what I mean, a plodding plot, minimal character development and a sense of boredom in the writer that comes across in the text. I started the first few chapters of this book thinking I'd missed 100 pages of set-up and the sense of dislocation persisted throughout. I, like many others, probably bought this under obligation from reading all the others but, as a first read, I would not recommend it at all, stick to the first 6 books which are fantastic and Scarpetta spent some time at work and contributed to solving crimes.Read more ›
Look WE GET IT. Lucy's gay, Marino's a fat sex offender and Benton's a baby. Ms Cornwell needs to get some new material because this was lazy, dull and a waste of three days of my holiday which I won't get back.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
....I have a serious girl crush going on here..... I love all the female characters in Scarpetta. Even the cold Dr Lester. Read morePublished 1 month ago by chezd
Entertaining as always. Love this series of books and the characters can't wait to start the next one now. ☺Published 1 month ago by Donna
This was very fast but also slow to get to the main crux of the story. It's good to see new relationships blossom but more importantly old ones get mended.Published 1 month ago by auntieooff