Friday, March 24, 2006


The above headline is a note to myself, a reminder not to give in to any more books in the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. I swore up and down the last time, after Blow Fly, that I wouldn't read them anymore, but on my last visit to the library, the latest in the series, Predator, was on the New Books shelf, so I checked it out along with Trace, the prior book in the series and one I had avoided reading. Well, I should have left both of them there. It's really sad how far downhill this series has gone. All of the main characters are completely unbearable, especially Pete Marino. Back when I used to read the new ones as soon as they came out, there was usually atleast a year lull in between books. Reading these two back to back was worse. In Trace, Lucy's company The Last Precinct is still up and running and her right-hand man, Rudy, is a main character and the only person Lucy trusts. In Predator, there's no mention of The Last Precinct or Rudy; instead, Lucy and Kay are running a National Forensics Laboratory that the local police in Florida are just all too happy to have butt in and do all of their crime scene work. Completely unbelievable and inconsistent!

The dialogue in both books is stilted and repetitive. Lucy, Pete and Kay live in a cocoon where everyone around them is evil and against them and out to get them. The way they treat other characters in the book, even the good guys (see Pete and Reba's relationship in Predator), is pretentious and induced eye-rolling from me on several occasions. And I can do without all of the descriptive text about how many expensive cars, motorcycles and other "toys" they all own. Again, pretentious.

So let's move on to some much better books I've read since then. Starting From Square Two is the second novel from Caren Lissner, author of Carrie Pilby, which I read back in 2004. I don't know why it took me so long to read this one, I guess because I needed to request it as an ILL from the library, but I finally did and breezed through it on Tuesday and Wednesday (it was the book I took with me to the hospital). If you're not reading Caren's blog, Addled Writer, you should be.

I also discovered a new author this week, thanks to a comment in an online chat Jennifer Weiner posted. Sarah Dessen is a YA author based in North Carolina and I just finished Keeping the Moon, which I read in about two hours yesterday. She also has an online journal and website, so check her out. I like her, even if she is a Tarheel fan. As part of my renewed interest in the YA genre, I plan to spend the next few weeks devouring her other five books (my library branch has all of them but one, which I'll have to get through ILL), maybe even before her new one comes out some time in April.

Also, right before I lost myself in the insane world of Dr. Scarpetta and friends, I read Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. If Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird is one of your favorite characters in literature (as she is for me), then go read this book. You'll love Swede as much as you love Scout.

That brings me up to 17 books read so far in 2006.


Anonymous said...

She is getting to me, In Black Notice Benton has been dead a year:
In trace written AFTER Black Notice he is alive and well. Either I missed something in intervening books or Cornwell has lost it. I really enjoy the books but it is sad.