Book Review: Dust by Patricia Cornwell

Dust (Kay Scarpetta #21)

Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has just returned from working one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history when she’s awakened at an early hour by Detective Pete Marino.

A body, oddly draped in an unusual cloth, has just been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT and it’s suspected the identity is that of missing computer engineer Gail Shipton, last seen the night before at a trendy Cambridge bar. It appears she’s been murdered, mere weeks before the trial of her $100 million lawsuit against her former financial managers, and Scarpetta doubts it’s a coincidence. She also fears the case may have a connection with her computer genius niece, Lucy.

At a glance there is no sign of what killed Gail Shipton, but she’s covered with a fine dust that under ultraviolet light fluoresces brilliantly in three vivid colors, what Scarpetta calls a mineral fingerprint. Clearly the body has been posed with chilling premeditation that is symbolic and meant to shock, and Scarpetta has reason to worry that the person responsible is the Capital Murderer, whose most recent sexual homicides have terrorized Washington, D.C. Stunningly, Scarpetta will discover that her FBI profiler husband, Benton Wesley, is convinced that certain people in the government, including his boss, don’t want the killer caught.

In Dust, Scarpetta and her colleagues are up against a force far more sinister than a sexual predator who fits the criminal classification of a “spectacle killer.” The murder of Gail Shipton soon leads deep into the dark world of designer drugs, drone technology, organized crime, and shocking corruption at the highest levels.

With unparalleled high-tension suspense and the latest in forensic technology, Patricia Cornwell once again proves her exceptional ability to surprise—and to thrill.

Review:
This is my first time reading a novel my Patricia Cornwell and I was excited because I’d heard great things about the Kay Scarpetta series. Unfortunately, this book was a let down for me.
The characters are all well established, have a history with each other, and a pattern of behaviour, which is fine. Old tensions and rivalries are brought in quite a bit.
This novel takes place over the course of one day and yet there is very little actual action. Scarpetta spends a lot of time going over things in her head, so much time that things get very repetitive. And I mean really repetitive. I almost didn’t make it through the book. She explains old rivalries between the characters several times, she looks at the evidence, figures it out, talks about it, explains it, then thinks about it again.
And, I have to say, that it bugged me that Scarpetta was hungry all the time but barely ever ate. And that they were sometimes in a hurry, but it would take two chapters of thoughts and contemplation before they actually left the room.
Right from the start, Scarpetta’s husband and FBI profiler, Benton, seems to know there’s a cover up and who’s doing it and much of the rest of the book is finding ways to use the evidence against him.
It is obvious that the author knows a lot about forensic science and all of the techniques and gadgets and that was interesting, however, the story was so slow and repetitive that author knowledge couldn’t compensate.
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Author Interview: Anna J. Adams

Today I am happy to introduce author Anna J. Adams to my blog.

Lane_Changes_Cover_FiverrTell us about your book. Is there one in particular you are promoting right now? What is it about?

LANE CHANGES is the first in a series of books and is out right now.

The first one begins with Lane Meyers, Rob Holland, Samuel Seeley and friends who are high school seniors. Rob is a new student, a foster child of a local doctor and his wife, and when Lane sees him it’s love at first sight, although she doesn’t realize that yet.

Sam has known Lane since seventh grade and has been annoying her since and now begins to pick on Rob as well. As all of this is happening, Lane is trying to figure out who is leaving unwanted gifts in her locker, at her house and these soon escalate into bigger incidents as the year comes to an end. She is sure it isn’t Rob, not sure if it’s Sam or someone else. As she is dealing with trying to obtain a swimming scholarship, a fellow student who miscarries, a new boyfriend, college looming…she feels like she is going to crack under the stress.

Basically, she is dealing with many scenarios real students have to work through and as she does this, she realizes who really cares for her and who was just using her. Read more

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Character Interview: Grape from Welcome to Sortilege Falls

Today I have the opportunity to interview Grape Merriweather from Libby Heily’s novel, Welcome to Sortilege Falls, which is due out this June.

SortilegeFalls-frnt copyHello, can you tell us your name and a bit about yourself.

Hi! My name’s Grape Merriweather. I’m a junior in high school. We used to live in Watts Landing in Virginia but we moved to Sortilege Falls, Missouri a few days ago. So far, so bad. About me…hmm…well, I want to be an actress for sure. I love acting. It isn’t just about being on stage and all the attention. I love becoming a character. It’s an amazing feeling. I love Lance Irving, he’s my favorite actor. I’ve seen every episode of his show, Stone Huntington, Teen PI. I guess private investigator would be my next choice of possible careers. OMG, and I talking too much? I know it, I’m sorry. Ugh. Embarrassing.

Where are you from and what is it like there?

I’m from Watts Landing, VA. It’s nothing special, I guess. It’s a town well south of DC. There’s an airforce base nearby and a cool mall and a lot of parks that my brother likes a lot. All my friends are there and my memories. It’s weird, leaving the place you grew up. I mean, yeah, I’d rather forget the time I tried to do a trick on the swing set at Oskabee Park and I fell and skinned my knees, but I’m going to miss walking past that park and laughing a little at the memory, you know? Watts Landing was home.

Now, I live in Sortilege Falls and nothing here feels quite right. There’s a guy who works with my mom who totally wants to be a vampire and the kid down the street has about a billion lawn ornaments and he tried to serenade me outside my house one night. Oh yeah, my math teacher looks like a witch and did I mention that there are a ton of professional models in this town? I swear, the models have mind control over all the students at my high school. It’s insanely creepy. So yeah, I miss Watts Landing. Read more

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Author Interview: AR Simmons

Today I welcome author AR Simmons to my blog.

DaughterCoverAW2What genre(s) do you write in? Who is your audience?

I write mystery/suspense. I couldn’t term them “police procedurals,” “cozies,” or “hard-boiled.” They are an amalgam of all these embedded in the narrative of a young couple’s evolving relationship.

My audience. Let me see. They are probably twenty-five or older (I hope not exclusively), they love to solve puzzles, identify with complex characters, and vicariously escape terrifying threats. They might even “take up residence” in Hawthorn County and make personal connections.

Tell us about your books. Is there one in particular you are promoting right now? What is it about?

My books comprise a series of stand-alone stories featuring Richard and Jill Carter, who have come to a small Ozark town to escape celebrity/notoriety stemming from their encounter with a serial killer in Michigan. Richard (now a rural deputy) is a former marine, haunted by guilt and suffering PTSD. Jill, dealing with PTSD of her own, is the “rock” of the family (their precocious daughter Mirabelle is the third member).

The latest book is “The Daughter.” Shara McGregor has it all: brains, beauty, and a well-connected family friend (former Senator Willis Sparkes), who intends to see to it that she gets into a prestigious law school. When Shara, the town’s “golden girl,” disappears on her way to visit a university, only her blood-stained car and discarded phone are discovered. Suspects abound, including an ex-boyfriend, several would-be boyfriends, a boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, and the family friend who continually inserts himself into the investigation. Imagining his own daughter at Shara’s age, Richard becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl.

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