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Dust: Kay Scarpetta, Book 21 | [Patricia Cornwell]

Dust: Kay Scarpetta, Book 21

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (785 )
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3.7 (682 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MARRILEE KENNESAW, GA, United States 11-14-13
    MARRILEE KENNESAW, GA, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
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    "Part Great, Part Tired"

    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!

    22 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eva 11-16-13
    eva 11-16-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Narration leaves much to be desired"

    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.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 02-28-14
    Amazon Customer East Hartford, CT, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2010

    I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "I give up"

    I keep trying new Scarpetta books, Cornwell is just too full of herself to write an engaging mystery...the series that made her. The story wasn't bad, if it hadn't been for her need to write an epic novel maybe she could get back to basics.

    I suspect the over inflated ego and self importance of Kay Scarpetta is a reflection of the writer. To bad, but I won't be wasting anymore time or money on Ms. Cornwell's literary illusions.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 11-13-13
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 11-13-13 Member Since 2012

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Scarpetta at her best -- Back in the saddle"

    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!

    33 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda 02-07-14
    Brenda 02-07-14

    I am a retired Court Reporter and I LOVE books. All kinds of books but my favorites are mysteries and period books. I like civil war books and some biographies.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What happened to Scarpetta?"

    I was terribly disappointed in this book. I've read everything by Ms. Cornwell and I love this series. This took several chapters of "the poor little me's" to get to the story line. After the story started to unfold, it was good. But really I almost stopped listening before the story was to the point it was like it should be. I hope the next book will be better.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie H New York, NY 11-26-13
    Annie H New York, NY 11-26-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A Disappointed Fan"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend. The characters are the same and have not evolved. Kay is worried about Lucy; Kay is arguing with Marino; Kay loves Benton but he's distant. The plot is boring and flat and I had to listen to the first 10 chapters or so three times before I almost cared about the story line. Basically, it did not "grab" me like some of her prior books.


    What could Patricia Cornwell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Have Kay do something other than "stew" and "worry" about what everyone else is doing. Come up with an intriguing story that makes me want to go on to the next chapter. Give the villain or killer some depth. Finally, the mention of Newtown was unnecessary and gratuitous.


    What aspect of Kate Reading’s performance would you have changed?

    I like the way Kate Reading changes accents and voices for each character and I've liked her performances in the past. She seems as bored performing this book as I was listening to it.


    Could you see Dust being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    In its present form? Absolutely not!


    Any additional comments?

    I was very disappointed in this book. Sometimes I re-listen certain books later on but I don't think I'll be doing that with "Dust." In fact, about half-way into the book I started to "dust" the furniture to amuse myself. A sign of a lackluster story for sure.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 11-17-13
    Robert 11-17-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sounds exactly like every other Scarpetta story"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different plot, a different reader and some new ideas


    What could Patricia Cornwell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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


    What didn’t you like about Kate Reading’s performance?

    Monotone, uninterested, flat, boring reading.


    What character would you cut from Dust?

    All of them


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    libgil 11-18-13
    libgil 11-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "TERRIBLE!!!!!"
    What would have made Dust better?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    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.


    What does Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her characterizations are good.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narrator


    Any additional comments?

    Hope people take my review to heart and listen to something else.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivian 11-17-13
    Vivian 11-17-13
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    "Too few good parts"

    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.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma Coventry, CT, United States 11-20-13
    Emma Coventry, CT, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Not worth the credit"

    I've been reading Scarpetta since the start. The stories are getting stale. The use of the Newtown shooting is gimmicky and in terrible taste. The narrator is fine as Scarpetta but sounds like a rejected SNL cast member when she puts on her Marino voice. I'm a pretty avid Audible listener and I've already fallen asleep twice trying to get throughout this book. I wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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