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Dust: Scarpetta 21
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on 15 January 2016
I've been a huge fan of Ms. Cornwell's for many, many years but I have to say that I actually put 'Dust' down a third of the way through - the storyline as it was, left me feeling so very tired, so very bored. Basically I gave up on it.

The story didn't really seem to be going anywhere, it was a case of 'come on then, where are we going with this, when does the action begin?' It really did drag out between the old detective she'd worked with and the supressed age old feelings between the two of them. The pace was oh so very slow . . . I closed it and don't think I'll pick it up again sadly, as I really do rate Ms. Cornwell.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 August 2015
I had written a full review for one of the previous Scarpetta books explaining why, after so many years of loving them I had finally, reluctantly decided to give up so I won't go into all that again. I was persuaded back into Dust by someone who told me the series had picked up and was looking more like itself.

To be clear the rating I have given this one is based on the first quarter of the book only - at which point I just lost the will to live and (reluctantly again) put it aside.

The star is for the idea of the plot which could have been brilliant. The trouble is the prose - repetitive, rambling and just for gods sake get to the point. And seriously the Marino/Scarpetta thing is beyond ridiculous now. The characters are all caricature, Scarpetta is a shadow of her former self and no longer has any redeeming qualities for me personally as a reader. Frankly I just want to slap her.

Never again.

Source: Purchased Copy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 January 2014
This 21st Kay Scarpetta novel, I found overlong and side-tracked by issues that seemed irrelevant to the main plot thereby irrelevant and irritating to me. The opening lines of an early call to Kay from Marino informing her of a dead body draped in an unusual cloth by the MIT campus grabbed my interest, particularly as it seemed to be missing computer engineer Gail Shipman covered with a fine fluorescent dust. The body had been arranged in a deliberate way. Is this a victim of homicide or has she been targeted as a hit as she had been involved in a multimillion dollar lawsuit with a dodgy IT firm? The positioning of the body and the fluorescent dust resembled the Capital murderer who had been terrorising Washington and had carried out sexual homicides. Kay's FBI profiler husband Benton had been working on the cases and is convinced there is conspiracy in the bureau or government, not wanting the killer apprehended. So far so good. Marino is still bumbling along and Lucy has found fame and fortune with her IT skills.

What is missing is a good old-fashioned Scarpetta crime investigation with her detective and forensic skills, Benton's profiling experience, Marino doing the donkey work and Lucy using her scientific and technical skills to track down the perpetrator of the murders, packed with suspense and thrills. Instead this novel is padded out and the reader plods along. This is not a bad read just disappointing knowing that Patricia Cornwell is capable of much better.
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on 18 August 2017
Well never thought
I would read a book so quickly in order to finish it. Too too much garble. I have read many of Patricia s books over the years,but the last few have had far too much unnecessary waffle. To the point of skipping through them in order to get back to the story line. Particia, you have lost the plot in your writing skills.
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on 29 November 2017
I’ve read almost all of the Scarpetta books and generally enjoy the stories, ripping through the books in a few hours, but the protagonist’s planet-sized ego really does start to wear you down and this book has taken me much longer to finish, far les compelling. The narrative in Dust drags out so much and just reads like extended not-so-humblebrags, viz. “I am the superior expert and it’s very painful for me to watch all of these inferior and corrupt colleagues bungling everything” “My husband is the most handsome, smart and respected man alive which simply confirms my superiority” “Marino has been desperately in love with me for years obviously and although he is a revolting pig-man and way beneath me I’m not above exploiting his tiresome obsession with me” “my niece is devoted to me and very smart and sexy and rich and far too complex for you mere mortals to fully comprehend” “I am an all round perfect human being and everything around me is perfect and top of the line and oh hey I am also an expert chef” “most psycho killers are only doing what they do to impress me because they correctly recognise that I am the most important person in law enforcement in the whole world”. All to the point where the actual murders are incidental at best.
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on 3 July 2014
Oh dear, when will I learn to give up on this series?! The fact that this is book 21 should have been a strong enough indication. It was so hard not to give up on this book. I was a HUGE fan of Patricia Cornwell and I think that's what has made me persevere this far but these books are getting worse and worse.
This book follows all the other books but is a lot, lot slower and a lot more boring. Scarpetta talks about how much she loves cooking but never has time to actually cook anything, Benton is boring, one-dimensional and completely void of any emotion. Lucy invents some new, brilliant gadget as she continues on her mission to destroy all the bad people in the world whilst dealing with emotion issues that she really should have gotten over by now and Marino is his usual arrogant, bullying self but with a new side-kick that he barely spends any time with.
I didn't find the plot interesting and felt that the outcome was predictable. I know that I said I wouldn't bother with another Scarpetta book last time, but this time I mean it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 August 2015
I have felt for a while that Scarpetta's paranoia has been getting in the way of the plot and whilst it is dialled down in Dust, mostly because they're out to get Benton, not Kay, it is still there and still annoying.
Kay is called to a crime scene which has similarities to a series of murders Benton is investigating in D.C. but she only knows this because Benton is being sidelined and discredited and needs her expertise to bolster his arguments. The bodies pile up, along with suspicions of corruption and a siege mentality.
Dust is a well plotted novel but not to my taste as the suspicion of corruption seems to overshadow the serial killer investigation and makes it rather trite.
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on 23 May 2014
Please Ms Cornwell, no more Scarpetta novels (and no Lucy, Marino, Benton spin offs either). Kay Scarpetta is getting to be a cliche. She seems to imagine that any male under 70 is madly in love with her, she encourages Marino while at the same time bemoaning the fact that he's madly in love with her and jealous of Benton (com to that Marino's becoming a cliche of a tired old cop) when in fact anyone else would tell him to get lost. A lot of this book is centred on going over an old case - must have been one book I missed - and the repercussions from that. Please, let's retire Scarpetta, Benton and Marino and let them live happily ever after somewhere far away where they can't bother us again. As for Lucy, she's obviously too young to retire and a fatal helicopter crash seems a little harsh. Maybe she could find her Ms Right and they can live off Lucy's fantastic fortune.
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on 28 December 2013
Every Christmas I purchase the latest Scarpetta mystery, with varied results. This year's offering is another of those recent novels where it is hard to identify Cornwell's voice. All the usual suspects are there: Scarpetta, Marino, Lucy, Benton, but the "action" (such as there is) is constricted in time and place and revolves around the unseen. By this I mean that the reader had never met Granby, whose actions determine much of the action. As for Lombardi, I have reached page 431 without knowing or caring who he is or whether he is alive or dead. Crimes in DC are mentioned but never explored and the main characters wander around aimlessly, talking in stilted tones and conveying little. There is too much philosophising and not enough action. I still believe Cornwell can do better than this limp novel.
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on 24 June 2014
I really wish I'd not wasted my time on this book it is slow & v v repetitive. If she mentioned one more time that blue fabric fibres were found in the victims nose & mouth I would have thrown my Kindle across the room.
V disappointed.
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