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Trace: 1 Paperback – 25 Apr 2005

3.2 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (25 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751530778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751530773
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 568,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Break out the champagne: Patricia Cornwell has thankfully moved on from her controversial campaign to lay the Jack the Ripper murders at the door of the painter Walter Sickert, and in Trace is again raising our pulse rate by taking us into the dangerous world of consultant pathologist Dr Kay Scarpetta.

In this latest outing, Kay finds herself back in Virginia examining a curious death, that of the youthful Gilly Paulson. Joel Marcus, her successor as Chief Medical Examiner, has summoned a reluctant Scarpetta to help out, but her professional work is compromised by her unhappiness at the radical changes occurring in her old territory: Scarpetta's old morgue has been bulldozed, and she isn’t happy working with the man who took her job. Other members of the familiar Scarpetta crew make an appearance: her partner Benton Wesley and her niece Lucy Farinelli are tracking down an assailant who has nearly ended the life of one of Lucy’s colleagues. The two cases turn out to be connected (surprise!), and soon several lives are at stake.

After the recent misfires, it’s a relief to note that Patricia Cornwell is back on track, dealing comfortably with her most familiar protagonist and a plot that yokes in bomb-makers and some bizarre sexual practices. A resounding welcome back, to both Ms Cornwell and Ms Scarpetta.--Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This is vintage Cornwell as she turns the screw with every page. (WHAT'S ON LONDON)

This is an accomplished addition to Cornwell's Scarpetta series- and thrilling from start to finish. (THE LADY)

I'd recommend TRACE to any reader who enjoys a good plot, strong characters and plenty of action. (IRISH EXAMINER)

TRACE more than lives up to the high standards set by previous books in the Scarpetta series and it is certainly lucky 13 for fans of the good doctor. (SUNDAY BUSINESS POST)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I usually enjoy reading the adventures of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta but this was a total disappointment. My interest in the book began to wane after the first few chapters. The plot was lacklustre and the only cliffhanger was whether I would have the stamina to reach the end of the plodding and contrived narrative. I found the change to the first person and the use of the present tense of the verb highly irritating. It doesn’t seem written by the same author.
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By A Customer on 25 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover
When I first began reading novels by Cornwell, they were in the un-put-downable category. Somewhere along the way she has lost the ability to tell a good yarn and tell it well.
This book is an improvement on her last book, "Blowfly", but that is about the only good thing you can say about it.
She introduces too many carachters, has too many plot threads spread over too many locations. Scarpetta is dithering, Marino isn't much better. Benton might as well have stayed dead!!!
The plot limps along around the story of yet another of Lucy's lovers and the unexplained death of a teenager in Richmond. Scarpetta returns at the request of the new Coroner, who is so memorable that I have already forgotten his name. The old OCME building is being demolished, during the process of which a digger driver manages to crush himself and trace evidence found on the dead girl also turns up during the investigation into his death.
We are introduced to a person called Edgar Allen Pogue, who talks to his dead mother, but unlike in the case of Norman Bates, we never find out if Pogue has Mom locked in the cellar. He does however like to keep the ashes of people he has cremated in the morgue. A pity he didn't cremate himself and we would have been spared this dull and boring book.
I no longer read a new Cornwell book in 2 days, I struggled with this one for over two weeks and was relieved when is crawled to a pathetic halt. Do yourself a favour, borrow it from a friend or the library, it's not worth spending any money on.
Time for Scarpetta and maybe even Cornwell to retire and stay there. On a scale of 1 to 10 this book is about a minus 2.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm sorry to have to say this about my favourite author, but I really think that Patricia Cornwell should take a break. If this had been one of the first Scarpetta stories, then I really don't think that the series would have ever taken off. I had actually forgotton how awful 'Blowfly' was particularly her new style of writing these books in the third person, so when I saw Trace on the bookstand I bought it eagerly. What a disappointment. None of the main characters seem to be themselves any more. The plot was weak and just didn't have the gripping edge that Scarpetta novels usually have. It's almost as if another author has taken over writing the Scarpetta books.
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By A Customer on 10 Sept. 2004
Format: Hardcover
What a disapointment after waiting so long after Blowfly. Blowfly received critism for the weak ending so I hoped that this one would be something to look forward to. Wrong. Unlike the earlier Cornwell books this book doesn't have you breathless as you turn the pages. It doesn't leave you shocked at the amazing twist she always manages. Page after page I expected this book to step up a gear but it didn't. It leaves you feeling cheated as you find out why the killer did what they did and how it all started (that's probably the weakest part of the book) Set 5 years on after Blowfly Lucy is still one step away from killing someone, Benton still mysterious, Marino has lost his fire and Scarpetta is just a plain old grump it's all beginning to wear abit thin. If I hadn't have read the previous Scarpetta books and had Cromwell been an unknown author and this her first book I wouldn't be in a rush to read anymore she published or bother to recommend it. £17 in hardback at the moment I would save your money and borrow it from the library. A seriously disapointing read.
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Format: Hardcover
For whatever reason Cornwell seems to have completely lost her way. There seems to be no reason for the complete change in the style of writing - going from the first person narrative to the third person in a well established series. The plots have become dull and convoluted and the characters, especially Scarpetta have become distinctly unlikeable and arrogant. I will not, unfortunately, be reading any more that Ms Cornwell has to offer.
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By A Customer on 14 Oct. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Quite simply the worse Patricia Cornwell I've ever read. Very Dull. I prefer the earlier novels - more about the case and less about Lucy and her strange life. I kept reading this book in case the story improved, but it was only in the last 75 pages or so that the story started and finished very rapidly.
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By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been an avid reader of the Scarpetta novels for a number of years, and have always hugely enjoyed them. However, Trace was an utter disappointment, a complete waste of my reading time. A weak story, which, to me, left many questions unanswered.
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Format: Paperback
Being a huge Patricia Cornwell fan and especially a fan of the Scarpetta novels I was really disappointed when I read Blow Fly. I’d already bought Trace by then and have to say I was disappointed again. While the style of writing returns to Patricia Cornwell of old the story just didn’t have the staying power that her early books had. In the early days I was devouring her books in a matter of 2-3 days. Trace took me considerably longer to read, mainly because I just wasn’t gripped. The whole feel of the book was sluggish and drawn out and a lot of the material could be described as ‘filler’ as all it was doing was filling pages. There was no cliffhanger and no ‘look out behind you’ antics as with the early Scarpetta books. I felt the ending was especially lacking. I too had to double check to see if I’d missed a chapter or something because the ending just…..happened. No build up, no chase, nothing.
While I used to find the characters entertaining and likeable this time I just found Lucy naïve and Marino pathetic. I also got the distinct impression that fame has gone to Scarpettas head as she’s portrayed as the only one who knows anything about anything! I don’t know what Patricia Cornwell was thinking by pushing the characters in the directions she chose but I felt it backfired as instead of finding the characters likeable and real I found them annoying and distant.
I’m afraid my love affair with Patricia Cornwell may well have reached its climax after Trace. It’s time to find another thriller writing to keep me awake at night!
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