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2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2007
I keep buying these books in the hope that there will be a return to form but I am always disappointed. This one is the worst by far. We are now asked to stretch out imaginations to the point that Lucy is richer than Bill Gates and has a highly sophisticated computer network that the US Government, never mind the myriad super-hackers out there, have no idea exists. She then leaves the whole thing wide open without anyone noticing the breach for months. In reality the Marino phone tapping would have been noticed by any cheap call logging system, let alone Demi-God Lucy. Do some research Patricia!

Secondly, I found the resurrection of Benton Wesley tiresome when it happened, as it was so clearly a case of major backtracking once Cornwell realised that she actually needed him to pad out the stories quite a bit. Now we are supposed to believe that she and the so-called love of her life live mostly apart, communicate by email and nearly seperate when the child-from-hell Lucy comes between them, despite her 'burying' him once.

Thirdly, I just don't buy into the Marino falling-out. They have been close for years, with some unrequited feelings on Marino's side, and yet we are asked to believe that they fall out over a simple mistake on Marino's part. His transformation to pretendy hells angel doesn't work either.

The last few pages are rushed and laughable, and leave the reader feeling cheated out of a fiver. Avoid!
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2006
Thankfully better than her last two offerings but still no hint of returning to her former glory. As always the forensic and scientific detail are finely tuned and informative and there is a steady, if not slightly boring at times, pace
My biggest problems with Predator, and indeed Trace and Blowfly, were that i was completely indifferent as to what was happening, I just didn't care. The second is that, it's not the fact that Cornwell has switched from writing in the first to third person, but that we are now forced to spend time with charcters that are truly insufferable and who, as characters, haven't developed in any way, shape or form since the beginning, inparticular Lucy and Marino.
I'm a huge Cornwell fan and can only hope that things will get better.
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on 19 January 2006
For me, the reason the earliest Scarpetta books are so successful is that the readers are presented with the main 'hooks' very early on and, little by little, we are drawn in to the point where we desperately care what happens next; we care to the point we can't put the book down. With "Predator" it was actually difficult to pick the book up! Too many disjointed fragments are introduced and left undeveloped. Only in the last quarter of the book does the pace pick up and some of the connections become clear. However by this point, who cares? I was just glad to finish this so I could move on to reading something decent. Next time I'll pay more attention to other Amazon reviewers' comments and not waste my money!
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on 6 May 2006
I have been a devotee of Patricia Cornwell since she first started writing the Scarpetta series. Her last two books, "Blow Fly" and "Trace" have, in my opinion, gone off the boil. With "Predator" it doesn't even reach a simmer! To start with, she continues writing in the present tense. I find this supremely irritating and I wish she would stop doing it. The plot is scrappy and over complicated. I'm one of these tiresome people who have to finish a book once I've started it. I have never been more glad than when, last night, I closed the final page of this lacklustre book. By then I couldn't have given a toss about who did what to whom, or why. If there was a "No star" category, that's where this would have gone.
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on 23 May 2006
As a long-time Cornwell fan I was totally disappointed with this novel. The last couple have of releases have not been quite up to her earlier standard- but by comparison to this they were


This is lazily written with a limited plot.

The novel is all over the place making it hard to follow at times and seems to be padded out with huge amounts of irrelevant

text, so obviously Patricia was struggling on the word-count front.

Either she has run out of ideas or is taking her readers for granted...
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on 14 January 2007
Sadly this is a once good author trading on past reputation. Predator is nothing short of awful. The reader is confused by the constant moving from one scene to another. The time scale from novel to novel does not compute. Scarpetta and Murino must both be drawing pensions by now. This novel seems to be scraps of writing all slung together and the ending is so poor that the only positive is that it's all over. Many readers will not get as far as the end and those that do will probably not care by then.
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on 13 November 2005
i've read all the scarpetta mysteries in hardback as they've been published. but no more!
this is truly a most disappointing affair. in the earlier novels there was a smooth narrative line and one used to care about all the characters. this is written from multiple viewpoints including yet another boring psychopath. i read it to the end but i just didn't care. the whole story is just so preposterous i think cornwell is just writing on autopilot. she obviously doesn't care anymore.
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on 10 February 2006
Remember when Cornwell used to write on the edge of your seat thrillers? I do, but only because I have a half decent memory! Predator continues the downhill slide Corwell has been on for the past few books; this book is her worst. The ending appears to have been written in five minutes in response to a fixed deadline! I bought this book hoping for a return to the Cornwell of old - I was very disappointed. I don't know if I'll bother with her next book.
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on 14 September 2006
Patricia Cornwell and in a similar way writers such as John Grisham all suffer from the same problem. The demands of publishers to come up with a new novel every 12 months. The result is standardised plots with little interest any more. Contrast these with an author such as Scott Thurow who produces about every 3 or 4 years and remains distinctive and complex. This latest from Patricia Cornwell is the same as Trace - confused and overly preoccupied with trying to maintain interest in the continuing relationships of her main characters. These are now tired and the result is that the crime/thriller elements become lost in the process. Take a rest Patricia and recharge your batteries!
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on 22 July 2006
I have to agree with most of the other reviews on this and that is that Cornwell has really lost her grip on what was once a fantastic series. In honesty, the last three books (Predator, Trace and Blowfly) seem to be one massive blur as they are all quite similar and there seems to be little to differentiate between them. Is she just using the same story line over and over again and we are still buying the books? If so she is doing well, but as far as this goes for enjoyment and suspense it is lacking.

It's convuluted, confusing and more often than not, tedious. It seems a real shame because Cornwell at one time used to combine a sense of cosiness (think Scarpetta making pasta sauce) with the grotesque and frightening, to create a great balance of warmth and suspense.

And I am confused as to what has happened to the characters, Marino, once a couch potato slob is now a Harley driving, martial arts expert? And as for Lucy who seems super-human at times...perhaps it is really time for her to disappear into a world of underground crime or something. And Scarpetta, the more I read descriptions of her the more she seems like the photo of Cornwell on the back of the book!

Not worth the time and effort, which is a shame because once upon a time I loved the Scarpetta novels...
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