Reviews: Predator, Book of the Dead, and Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

In Predator, Book of the Dead, and Scarpetta (books fourteen through sixteen in the Kay Scarpetta series), a major character discovers they have a brain tumour; one sexually assaults another; two marry each other; and one gets shot in the head. In more than one of these books, the culprit has a personal vendetta against one of the main cast members; their crimes are connected to their hatred of Kay, or Lucy, or Benton, or Marino; or a mixture of them.

The series is now too convoluted and soap operatic; the simplicity of those early first-person narrated Scarpetta’s has evaporated. Once, it was enough for a body to arrive in the morgue; for Kay to commence the autopsy; for her to realise something amiss, and proceed to involve herself in the investigation with her law enforcement partners. Now, every psychopath has a personal connection. That’s fine, once in a while. But Kay can’t be the spark for every killer’s spree.

I really want the series to get back on track, and I’m committed to seeing it through; the remaining books, including the just-published Autopsy, are in my reading pile. But my excitement has diminished.

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