It is hard to believe that Patricia Cornwell, who wrote the first ten books in the Scarpetta series, is the author of Predator The beautiful sentence structure and descriptions have morphed into something with a repetitive Dick and Jane feel.
"He kicks and kicks with his big boots until his legs are too tired to kick anymore. He slams and slams her with the stock of the shotgun until his arms are too tired to slam anymore." What???
One of the great things in the earlier books was how Cornwell introduced all the scientific knowledge. It was done in an artful way that made sense. This reads more like a technical manual where the info is just dumped on the reader. There is a multi-page description on how to make gelatin shooting blocks.
A number of the behaviors don't make sense. Lucy, the computer genius, apparently never updates her passwords for a year. Like the previous book, Lucy involves Benton in another secret that is kept from Kay. Once again this further damages Benton's relationship with Kay. At one point Benton and Kay have a long discussion about splitting up and Kay starts planning on taking her belongings. A few chapters later they are suddenly discussing what to have for lunch and everything is okay.
Marino is an incredible jerk to everyone, to the point where Kay considers firing him. He behaves in a degrading fashion to a local female cop who forgives him the minute he can spit out a coherent sentence. The characters are two dimensional, there are only the most remote forms of relationships, and there are a plethora of secondary villains with little resolution. The plot twists defy logic and there are enough loose threads to knit a sweater.
Scarpetta herself says it best:
"“I’m getting tired of coincidences. There seem to have been a lot of them lately." I totally agree!