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
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.
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.
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.
The narration by Kate Reading is spot on.
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.
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.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
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.
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!
Professional woman, reading constantly
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.
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