Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review of Flesh & Blood

Book #23.Flesh and Blood, by Patricia Cornwell. Unabridged audio.

I consider myself a big fan of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels. I started reading them I (and Cornwell and Scarpetta) lived in Richmond, Virginia. We have all moved to other towns since then, but I continue to read the novels, and generally to enjoy them. I reviewed the novels immediately preceding this one here and here.

Kay and her FBI husband Benton are headed out to vacation, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their home. The oddity of the situation is compounded when a high school music teacher with a history of antagonizing Scarpetta is killed five minutes away.

When other people connected to Scarpetta and the case are killed, the team realizes that they have a serial sniper on their hands. Scarpetta’s niece Lucy is implicated in the killings, but that is all part of the mystery.

The solution to the mystery involves a person from much earlier in the series, who although presumed dead, obviously survived. As a comic book reader, I am used to the concept of “if you don’t see the body, you can’t be sure the person is dead.” It was a surprising reveal, no doubt, but made sense in the context of both the series and the novel. And the absolute ending of the novel demonstrates character growth for Scarpetta, Lucy, and others, while also setting up future books in the series. This mix of plot moments and character moments is a strength of the novel, and makes this a very enjoyable read.

This is the first Scarpetta novel I’ve listened to you that was not narrated by Kate Reading. Lorelai King does a fine job, but I confess that it took me until halfway through to be disappointed every time I started a listening session and remembered that Reading was not doing the voice work.

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