Monday, February 16, 2015

Review of Dust

Book #7. Dust, by Patricia Cornwell. Unabridged audio.

Picking up where her prior novel (The Bone Bed, reviewed here) left off, Cornwell’s Dust finds longtime friend Captain Marino not working for Kay Scarpetta anymore, but because of who he is, he can’t stay away from her. Scarpetta’s husband Benton Wesley is continuing to have problems with his FBI office, and her niece Lucy is still as enigmatic as ever.

When a woman shows up dead on the rugby field of a local university, her body arranged ritualistically, Scarpetta is called in to investigate. She finds traces of fluorescent dust that links this case to three others. Unfortunately, the other link is through her husband, Benton Wesley. Wesley arrived in Boston shortly after the murder, while the other three deaths occurred while he was in Washington. The concern is that someone is stalking him, using his writings on serial killers as inspiration.

Benton works the case with his wife, despite the fact that his FBI supervisor doesn’t want him to. All suspect that this is for nefarious reasons, as if the supervisor is trying to divert the investigators’ attentions. Facing that kind of pressure, Scarpetta and her team try to find the killer before he strikes again, and before they are pulled off the investigation. 

Dust is another fine Scarpetta story, one of the better ones from the past decade. The focus in this one is on the plot, while the character beats take a back seat. And that was a nice change of pace. The dramas with Marino and Benton and Lucy that have been present in prior novels are still here, but it was nice to have a story again that focused on the case at hand.

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