Review: Scarpetta – Bored To Tears

June 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm by  

Many consider Patricia Cornwell to be the best of the best when it comes to crime writing. She is widely known for her novels featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, ME. I have to admit, I was once on the Scarpetta bandwagon. I devoured each and every book based on the character. Then it finally dawned on me that each book had the same story line, written over and over; Cornwell just invented a new name for the same cunning, vicious, and intelligent bad guy. And with each book, Scarpetta’s niece began to develop almost inhuman superpowers! Lucy is a jack-of-all-trades. She’s a whiz computer geek; she’s a millionaire; she can fly; she can shoot; she’s a spy; she’s a murderer. She was such a bad-ass, the FBI didn’t even want her. I don’t find her to be a believable character and I expect Lucy will be revealed to be an alien in some future novel.

Let’s have a look at the synopsis for Scarpetta:

Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital’s psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk—and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.

The injuries, he says, were sustained in the course of a murder . . . that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The one thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered—and more violent deaths will follow. Gradually, an inexplicable and horrifying truth emerges: Whoever is committing the crimes knows where his prey are at all times. Is it a person, a government? And what is the connection between the victims?

In the days that follow, Scarpetta; her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley; and her niece, Lucy, who has recently formed her own forensic computer investigation firm in New York, will undertake a harrowing chase through cyberspace and the all-too-real streets of the city—an odyssey that will take them at once to places they never knew, and yet much, much too close to home.

Throughout, Cornwell delivers shocking twists and turns, and the kind of cutting-edge technology that only she can provide. Once again, she proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall.–

Yes, the gangs all here. Marino is struggling to stay sober. It pissed me off that Cornwell turned Marino into a wimp…taking away his true identity. I liked Marino drunk, it made him funnier. Now that Kay and Benton are actually married, instead of carrying on a lurid affair, they have no idea how to live with each other. Lucy, as usual, ends up being the hero.

This book has everything; murder, conspiracies, bad cops, and a GPS chip installed in a midgets butt, etc. What I found most interesting was the fact that the story revolved around a website similar to my beloved Dreamin’ Demon. The website, called The Gotham Gotcha, was developed by an unknown and mysterious man. The intent of the site was to bash misbehaving celebrities…Scarpetta being one of them.

What is also has is pages and pages filled with boring, over-descriptive crap. Not just crap, crap that has nothing to do with the story at all. At one point in the book computer fonts are discussed at length. The size, type, bold-face or italicized. This meant absolutely nothing in the whole scheme of things, it had no bearing on the story. As a matter of fact, if you removed all the crap, the 500-page book would probably be reduced to about 250-pages. Scarpetta was almost painful to read, if I could keep my eyes open long enough to get through three paragraphs, that is. There were times my eyes would roll back into my head and I found myself sighing, in pain. I feel that Cornwell just whipped up a bunch of nonsensical crap, slapped the name Scarpetta on the title, and sat back and waited for the money to pour in…which, I’m sure it did. I, for one, am pissed off that I paid full price for the hardcover instead of waiting for the paperback to hit the BOGO racks at the grocery store. I do believe I am finished with Patricia Cornwell.


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