After working one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, Scarpetta returns home to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Exhausted and ill, she's recovering at home when she receives an unsettling call. The body of a young woman has been discovered on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's rugby field. The victim, a graduate student named Gail Shipman, is oddly draped in ivory linen and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike. A preliminary examination in the sea of red mud where the body has been left also reveals a bizarre residue that fluoresces blood red, emerald green, and sapphire blue.
Physical evidence links the case to a series of uniquely weird homicides in Washington, D.C., where Scarpetta's FBI husband has been deployed to help capture a serial killer dubbed the Capital Murderer. The cases all connect and yet seem to conflict. Gail Shipman was murdered for financial gain - or was she? It will require the usual ensemble of characters to find out the truth, including Scarpetta's sidekick Pete Marino, who has undergone a drastic change in his life that places him center stage in a Cambridge investigation that puts everyone at risk.
©2013 Patricia Cornwell (P)2013 Penguin Audio
The technical & procedural parts of the Scarpetta stories are fantastic but I am so tired of the depressing Benton, the desperate Marino, and the dysfunctional Lucy. I would love for Scarpetta to be dropped into a location where none of the usual cast are present and she has to solve a murder. But, the Benton, Marino, & Lucy characters got stale 10 stories ago.
Hey Patricia, enough is enough!
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This novel opens with Scarpetta and Marino contraposed in time to series novels of old. Early in the series, Marino was a Richmond Detective and Scarpetta was the Richmond Chief Medical Examiner. In this novel, Marino has left Scarpetta high and dry after 10 years of service and gone to work as a detective in Cambridge while Scarpetta is Chief for Medical Examiner for Massachusetts. One should take note that Cornwell is returning to strong roots that made this series great - it is about time!
Kate Reading does a fabulous job in narration -- as always. She has been narrating since book 10 and as Dust is book 21, she has mastered the characters and all their nuances.
A murder takes place on the MIT campus. Cornwell does her setting research thoroughly describing the university campus-- an area I know well. Finally, the old gang of characters we enjoy so much is externally focused on solving a murder and mayhem that is not of their own doing or within their ranks. Sure, there are still plenty of interpersonal complications as we have come to expect from the author -- nevertheless, this novel is much stronger and puts the series back in the right direction.
This novel will appeal to the loyal followers who have hoped for better from Scarpetta and is finally getting it. Also, it is okay to read as the first in the series, it will entice you to go back and read the first of this series and to follow through with the rest. I give it a big thumbs up!
The narrator ruined this book for me. It was truly difficult to concentrate on the story with a narrator reading like an amateur delivering the evening news. As for the storyline, I have always enjoyed the Scarpetta books, but Cornwell has turned the characters into a bunch of snooty, arrogant whiners. Hidden conspiracies run amuck.
Just too unbelievable, too gory, and I really do not like the snotty know it all characters. The story had some good points ,but to few to get me past the unbelievable TV like forensics and access to information. Doesn't really happen.
A different plot, a different reader and some new ideas
Spend less time rehashing prior story lines and relationships. We now the characters, we understand the history, why spend half the book restating the same old stuff over and over
Monotone, uninterested, flat, boring reading.
All of them
This author needs to find a new character and a new storyline - this is definitely my last Scarpetta book, I hope it is her last one too.
As soon as this book grabbed your attention, there would be so much time spent on wordy descriptions that my mind would fog over, the subject would move on and i would realize that I was totally lost. Never had an audio book that I had to rewind to find my place as much as with this one. Predictable ending, no energy, ridiculous conflict between benton and Marino that suddenly was gone...or was it? I can't even remember.
Nothing by Patricia Cornwell. I have read all of her books and if this is the direction she's headed in, I'm going down another road.
Her characterizations are good.
Hope people take my review to heart and listen to something else.
Those who like to wallow in the depression of the protagonist.
The plot could work for those for whom character is not important. Continuation of past stereotypes & story lines like past books with this weak cast.
Do not think I could take hours more of her whining narration.
My biggest problem with this book revolves around one dimensional Characters.Kay is too vulnerable and sentimental to be an interesting protagonist.Benton is too perfect except for melancholia. Poor old Marinio is Falstaff without redeeming humanity. He has degenerated into a foil for the perfection of Kay and Benton.
No more Scarpetta books for me. The characters have been done to death.__Scarpetta should retire.
Kate Reading is ok. She works with what she's got.
I have listened to all of the books in Cornwell's Scarpetta series and have been gradually disappointed as the story goes along. I do believe #21 has done it for me... I am vigilantly trying to get through this book but I'm ready to give up. Most notably, my increased irritation comes from the grandiose description of the characters while trying to depict them as humble. Cornwell doesn't succeed and I get no sense of humility in her characters-- only how each of them are the very best at what they do-- have a lot of money and everyone else in their lives are pretty much beneath them. Her excessive description of the undying "thing" Marino has for Scarpetta as well as his "obvious jealousy" of her husband is just annoying. Don't get me started on Lucy... I'm thinking we are supposed to get the idea that she is this scary, dangerous element-- ummm... no--- again just really annoying.
It's possible that the narration is exaggerating the details I find so irritating but I think Cornwell has began focusing way too much on the inter-workings of the relationships between these characters rather than on the story itself. That works in a lot of books-- but not this one and not in the past 3 or 4 books she has written. I listen to crime novels for the elements of the crime-- not to hear the main character go on and on...and on about how wonderful she is. So, it's goodbye for now, Kay...
I would rather try a book by anyone else. I couldn't tell the difference from Cornwell's last five books.
No, just from the author.
I had no problems with the performance, just the content of the novel.
I would have had the author try and come up with something new and not just rehash previous books. No originality and I just didn't care what happened to any of the characters.
Don't waste your time!
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