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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 (782 )
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  •  
    Maureen Anderson 03-06-14 Member Since 2012

    Don A

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    "Concerns about Sandy Hook CT content"
    Would you try another book from Patricia Cornwell and/or Kate Reading?

    I have read all the other Cornwall books; I did not care for this one. I'm not done yet, but the initial incorporation of the tragedy at Sandy Hook CT into the story line distresses me immensely. This tragedy was real enough for those of us who had family and neighbors directly involved, and has no place in a fictional crime novel just a year after it happened - it feels like sensationalism and just a way to sell books. A fictional scenario could and would have been just effective to the story line. Cornwell tries to portray Scarpetta as extremely upset about the incident and to show how this impacts her behavior but it still trivializes a very real and very tragic massacre into a work of "fiction".

    In addition, the first five chapters were extremely hard to follow when I was listening. Place and time jumped about and it was very difficult to follow.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Take out the references to Sandy Hook; try fictional writing for real and have pity on the survivors of Sandy Hook - its just brutally unkind and really not necessary.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Chipley, FL, United States 02-14-14
    Linda Chipley, FL, United States 02-14-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Everyone's Angry"
    What made the experience of listening to Dust the most enjoyable?

    The narration by Kate Reading is spot on.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting was that Kay Scarpetta was human and came down with the flu. The least interesting or should I say the most disturbing was the mentioning of the true Newtown killings. Not a subject that I liked hearing about in a book of fiction.


    Which character – as performed by Kate Reading – was your favorite?

    Wesley Benton


    Any additional comments?

    The Scarpetta books have become to angry. It is like no one likes each other. They are always mad with each other. There is no fun or happiness in any of their lives.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 01-19-14
    Cindy 01-19-14 Member Since 2013

    alwaysreading1

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    "Way too much angst"
    What disappointed you about Dust?

    There was so much self talk that the story got lost. I couldn't remember where I was, in the morgue, at the scene, at Scarpetta's home? She would go on about things past or what she was worried about or how someone else might feel ad nauseum. It isn't that I wanted a cold just the facts story but it was so lengthy and the whinneyness of it got overwhelming.Cornwell has been moving in this direction for some time now and this was just too much. I didn't want to listen to it anymore at one point. I stuck it out and it got a little better near the end.


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

    This book could have been several hours shorter easily. I would not cut out any of the storyline but an editor should have slashed heavily at all the inner dialogue that went on. Yes Lucy has a big truck, great, I'm got it, I don't need to be told 16 times.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I have a windows phone and I can't change the speed so that colors it somewhat for me. If I could have sped it up I think I would have had no issues with the narrator. At the speed I have listen it was too slow.


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

    It has the characters that we've come to know so well. But it just didn't hold my interest.


    Any additional comments?

    So far my least favorite of the Scarpetta series. If this had been the first book I would not have bought others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 11-27-13
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 11-27-13 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "Better than the last book"

    The story opens with Dr. Kay Scarpetta recovering from a bout of flu after a weekend working the mass killings at Sandy Hook elementary School in Newton Conn. The action opens on a dark and stormy winter’s night on the eve of Benton’s birthday with Detective Pet Marino waking Scarpetta at 4:30 a.m. to go to a crime scene. She feels she is being watched and takes her gun to let the dog out in the back yard ---are you starting to get a feeling here---the story does not let up until the end of the book everything taking place within a twenty-four hour period. The main characters in this story are Dr. Kay Scarpetta, her niece Lucy Farinelli, FBI profiler husband Benton Wesley and Detective Pet Marino. Cornwell used ideas right out of the news and included her own experience suing a money management corporation, along with her usual serial killer, and a corrupt FBI agent. I was less interested in the psychology of the FBI profiler and more interested in Lucy’s cutting edge technology and her forensic app. The book bogged down with all the back stories and repeat of information. Most of us have read all her books and do not want to waste time reviewing the stories of the past books. I think Cornwell did a better job with this book than the past 5 or so. Hope she gets back to the standard of her first books and please no more serial killers. The book was narrated by Kate Reading who did a good job.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheryl 11-29-13
    cheryl 11-29-13
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    "This book just drones on and on."
    Would you try another book from Patricia Cornwell and/or Kate Reading?

    No more Scarpetta books for me. The characters have been done to death.__Scarpetta should retire.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Patricia Cornwell again?

    Yes


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Reading?

    Kate Reading is ok. She works with what she's got.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Princess Mommy 11-29-13

    PrincessMommy

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    "I may be parting ways with Kay Scarpetta"

    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...

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorelei Houston, TX, United States 11-28-13
    Lorelei Houston, TX, United States 11-28-13
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    "Same old, same old"
    Would you try another book from Patricia Cornwell and/or Kate Reading?

    I would rather try a book by anyone else. I couldn't tell the difference from Cornwell's last five books.


    Has Dust turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, just from the author.


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

    I had no problems with the performance, just the content of the novel.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dust?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your time!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal West 11-26-13
    Crystal West 11-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Professional woman, reading constantly

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    "Stop Already!"

    I find myself drawn to Patricia Cornwell's books about Scarpetta because I loved, say, the first ten in the series. But, too late, after starting this one, I remembered why I wasn't going to read them any more. They have become boring and mundane, egos clashing, history repeated, and story line just okay, but somewhat repetitious. Didn't care for the 'choppy" narration either, when depicting Scarpetta.......and I feel at this point that Kay should be a chef and give up the dead. That's it though........no more Scarpetta. Onward and upward.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary San Jose, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 11-12-14
    Gary San Jose, Virgin Islands (U.S.) 11-12-14 Member Since 2010
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    "All the characters are unlikeable"
    Would you try another book from Patricia Cornwell and/or Kate Reading?

    I have read and or listened to all of the Scarpetta mysteries, and this will be my last.


    Has Dust turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I still love mysteries and thrillers.


    What three words best describe Kate Reading’s performance?

    Does her best.


    What character would you cut from Dust?

    All of them.


    Any additional comments?

    All of the characters have become someone that is unlikeable. Scarpetta is now whiney, and honestly, when is the last time you've ever heard of any forensic person being famous, much less the subject of every newspaper and serial killer? Marino is an ass, Benton is pretentious, and Lucy has become someone no one wants to spend time with. The mysteries are formulaic at best. Cornwell needs to get back to the basics and make these people redeemable and someone you would care about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ramjam84 08-11-14
    ramjam84 08-11-14 Member Since 2002
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    "It is a book you can turn off"
    What disappointed you about Dust?

    The book just rambles. The sentences never ended. I usually enjoy her books. I have had this one for months and can not finish it.


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

    not write it


    Any additional comments?

    Wish I had my credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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