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Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta Book 22) Kindle Edition
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In this Kay Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper.
It’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s birthday, and she’s about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.
The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta’s own flesh and blood.
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"This is in many ways the best of the recent Scarpetta novels, boasting an involving story and some fine writing. Kay has finally found her voice as a first-person narrator. . . . Readers will give this one an enthusiastic thumbs up."--Booklist
"Everyone knows Scarpetta; she has the wit, intelligence, and strength that any forensic sleuth should own. This never-stop action plot is yet another gift to readers from Patricia Cornwell-a literary artist that is never going to stop writing some of the best and most memorable thrillers out there."--Suspense Magazine
"Cornwell is still the ace of forensic science mysteries. Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her family and friends just keep growing as characters, and Cornwell's plots are still taut and tangled. . . . With Flesh and Blood, Cornwell is at the top of her game."--RT Book Reviews
"The ending is unseen and unexpected-and terrifying. VERDICT Deduction is the key to solving this mystery, and Scarpetta fans will relish this nail-biting novel, Cornwell's debut with publisher Morrow."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Readers should be both thrilled and jolted..."--CT Post
"Dr. Kay Scarpetta... [is] an awesome force in the field of forensic science."--New York Times Book Review
"From its opening pages, Flesh and Blood offers an adrenaline-fueled yet cerebral chase for a serial-killer that opens Scarpetta and her entourage to mortal danger. . . . Another chilling, delicious ride."--Chapter 16
"Bestseller Cornwell's thrilling 22nd novel featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta . . . pits the chief medical examiner against a threat uncomfortably close to home. . . . Series fans may be pleasantly shocked."--Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
It's Dr. Kay Scarpetta's birthday, and she's about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids' game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.
In this 22nd Scarpetta novel, the master forensic sleuth finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper. The shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death. The victims appear to have had nothing in common, and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast of South Florida, where Scarpetta investigates a shipwreck, looking for answers that only she can discover and analyze. And it is there that she comes face to face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno genius niece, Lucy, Scarpetta's own flesh and blood.
Includes an exclusive excerpt from the riveting next novel in the Kay Scarpetta series, DEPRAVED HEART.--CT Post --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00ICN2Z78
- Publisher : William Morrow (November 11, 2014)
- Publication date : November 11, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1589 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 385 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #44,634 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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When I began reading Flesh and Blood, I could only think of how very elitist, arrogant and egotistical Scarpetta has become.And how Lucy and Benton have both grown so very elusive and taciturn. And I grew so weary of the petty feud between Marino and Machado that I finally just gave up. As authors become more established, their editors must back off. The first one-third of this book is so repetitive, with Scarpetta commenting (to herself or the reader) that Marino is not aware of what is going on. Over and over. I cannot believe a competent editor would pass on it. And Marino's bullish incompetence stretches credulity. Why would anyone employ such an idiot? Yet she praises his investigative skill while she portrays him as a dunderhead.
Cornwell often uses a present tense narrative device as means to create tension and immediacy. In this book, it only creates boredom and confusion. I surely will not buy another Scarpetta/Cornwell novel.
This would be a four or five star rating if the climax and ending weren't so awful. Kay ultimately confronts the antagonist, but you don't find out the how she survived until she relays the story later -- so you don't experience the climactic battle first hand. The resolution isn't satisfying -- there are multiple unresolved threads, personal and professional, and I got the distinct sense Ms. Cornwell just ran out of steam here. Finally, amidst all the non-resolution, Kay and her husband go to bed, she turns out the light..then the last line of the book..."and then I heard it...SNAP". That's it. SNAP what? SNAP, a bomb goes off? SNAP, a reaction to her husband's good night comment? What??? Very confusing and disappointing.
For true Scarpetta fans, I'm sure there is some value here. For me, it's a disappointment.
The loathsome entitlement and self-pity of Scarpetta's character have never been more apparent. The book begins with her plans for a vacation with Benton, her husband, and bemoaning that they hardly get to spend time together. Never mind that this is the result of their professional choices. That these choices are freely made doesn't seem to register with her. Nor does it occur to her that her subordinates could act as more than glorified assistants to her genius, allowing her to take a day off (most of these subordinates will, over the course of the book, be revealed as venal or incompetent or even venally incompetent -- maybe Scarpetta should spend some time examining her recruitment and talent evaluation processes?).
Scarpetta is called to a crime scene by Marino and the tedious dance of their relationship, explored to death over the past few books, is renewed. She can't stand him, but is unable to contemplate a life without him. Her contempt for him is wearying. I actually think most of the first half of the book is just the two of them conversing in the car or at the crime scene. I am now convinced that the Marino/Scarpetta/Benton triangle is more about Cornwell exploring her own issues than anything else. This clearly resonates deeply with her -- there is no way that any reader can be as fascinated by the trio and their murky aggressions and complusions as she is. She has an endless appetite for scenes where Marino and Scarpetta talk around their bizarre connection, scenes where Marino pulsates with rage while Benton flexes his cold, WASPy, cryptically phrased disdain. What is wrong with these three? I can't even begin to imagine a legitimate explanation for their profound dysfunction. As Benton grows increasingly bloodless and Scarpetta increasingly icy, Marino has become the locus of the trio's emotions -- and, in the world of this series, emotions are never anything but negative. Rage, jealousy, crude joy, pride -- Marino is a vessel for all of these so Benton and Scarpetta can live in a zone where risotto and chilled white wine is a substitute for authentic emotion. Lucy also continues devolving into an emotion-free state -- a more violent version of Scarpetta's super-achieving ice princess persona, but with more expensive cars.
I was shocked to see the beginnings of an intriguing plot emerge in the first half of the book and thought we may have the rare treat of a bad guy who wasn't a super-genius with no motivation beyond hurting Scarpetta (the most famous and obsessed over medical examiner in the history of medicine or examining). Unfortunately, my hopes were dashed more quickly than Kay and Benton's vacation plans. Cornwell has never been particularly insightful about why people choose to hurt others, but the muddled motivations in this book were a low point even for her. She loves Scarpetta and her associates, therefore bad people must hate them and want to hurt them. It truly goes no deeper than that for Cornwell.
After the train wreck of the previous book, I didn't think it was possible for things to get worse. Oh, I was wrong. Scarpetta spends less time than ever actually doing her job. Her contempt for everyone except for Benton and Lucy grows thicker with every book and it's unclear what is driving it since there is no true insight into her as a character on display in these pages. It's important, I think, for Cornwell to build these people up. Unfortunately, she doesn't know how to do that without tearing down the characters that surround them, sometimes for reasons that are utterly trivial or even unclear. Example: she judges her subordinates for learning more about the crimes they are investigating, thinking this will cloud their findings. But she is unable to apply that to herself, when she spends the day interviewing suspects or discussing theories of the case with Marino. Foregrounding the relationship between Marino, Scarpetta, and Benton was the worst thing to ever happen to this series. At this rate, the next book will consist of someone getting shot, Benton and Marino having a fight, and then 300 pages of Kay and Marino driving to the scene while Kay frets about why Benton isn't answering his cell phone.
This series was much more fun when Scarpetta was human.
Top reviews from other countries
The kindle book had a preview of the next book in the series but it didn't tempt me to buy.