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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwall

Port Mortuary (Kay Scarpetta Series #18)Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The most disjointed book by Cornwall that has ever come out. It is a fascinating story, but too much. It is hard to feel for the characters because they all veer on the side of being too flawed at this point, almost like a mid-life crisis. The demons of the past have cropped up in so many stories, now the past IS one of the characters. Fielding's past was de rigueur, as was the recent Briggs connection. Unfortunately, the whole locked box/apatheid story could have been a completely different narrative; too many elements all crammed into one made it a convoluted and tangled mess.

I am not used to being disappointed by this particular author and everyone knows I am going to snap the next novel up, but I can not help but point out that I was at times frustrated by the pace and the enormity of detail that all takes place in a two-day period. I do believe the assumption that Scarapetta could go from a pcp-induced rant to being able to sift through data and remains without sleep or food is expecting too much. I want to be clear, each story line and detail was good, just not this particular amalgam in a miniscule time frame. It would be nice to stay within the realm of possibility and not be removed from all the action at the same time. Expecting us to believe that Marino, Lucy and Benton and other staff would knowingly allow so much to go awry in Scarpetta's absence is not bearable either. She was blinded on such a monumental scale that we lose faith in the character. It may also be time for Scarpetta to be able to work a crime scene or case without being in physical danger or under threat herself. The helicopter inspection didn't really connect to anything later in the story. It was setting us up for Lucy to be in danger ...and then...fail.



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