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sarahf1984

Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 13 - Your Favourite Writer

Postmortem - Patricia Cornwell Body of Evidence: A Scarpetta Novel - Patricia Cornwell All That Remains  - Patricia Cornwell Cruel and Unusual  - Patricia Cornwell The Body Farm - Patricia Cornwell From Potter's Field - Patricia Cornwell Cause of Death - Patricia Cornwell Unnatural Exposure  - Patricia Cornwell Point Of Origin  - Patricia Cornwell Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta, #10) - Patricia Cornwell

This is really hard to choose, because I have favourite authors in most genres.  So, how can I choose between my favourite crime writer and my favourite fantasy writer?  The fairest and easiest way to decide is to work out whose books I have read the most.  That's reasonably easy to work out - Patricia Cornwell.  I have all but one of her books in my library and have read all but the last three in the Scarpetta series and those that I've read, I've read more than once.  Below I've included my reviews of the first two books in the Scarpetta series (the only ones I've read since beginning to review seriously).  I've linked the first ten (as many as the system will allow) Scarpetta books above, the series is 20 books long now.

 

Postmortem

12/3 - I've read this numerous times over the past 15 or so years, too many times to count in fact.  But I hadn't read it recently enough to write a proper review my way, that is reviewing as I go, so after I joined GR I promised myself I would re-read in order to write a review more detailed than "I love it and have read it many times".  I am now re-reading it, so here comes the review.

A number of the reviews I've read mention the dating of the book because of the frequent discussion of the technology used in those days - especially the early use of DNA identification and unusual sounding computer technology which doesn't seem to be the predecessor of any of today's computer technology.  Even when I read Postmortem the first time around back in '98, the computer speak was completely unrelated to what we were learning in my Computer Tech class at school.  The old-fashioned technology doesn't date the book for me, in fact it makes it even more interesting in some ways, looking back at what they did in the old days, how they had to wait for the advances in DNA testing and every thing else that has moved forward since then.  If I was a little older (I was only 5 in 1990), I might even feel nostalgia for those less technologically complicated and connected days.  This is one of the first realistic crime thrillers that I read and so I think it's made a lasting impact on me, I still compare all new crime thrillers to the early days of Cornwell - those were the days when Cornwell and Scarpetta were at their best.  To be continued...

13/3 – Knowing who did it in this murder mystery isn’t a detraction to this book for me.  I can still enjoy the hunt, the exact method of catching him, the profiling technology and very simplistic DNA testing used.  I’m also enjoying looking back at the beginning of the three main characters’ relationships and how they’ve developed over the last 23 years.  The way Marino treated Scarpetta, and looking for subtle hints of the beginnings of a relationship between her and Wesley.  To be continued...

18/3 - When I'm reading a book I often associate or envision a character with an actor whose tv/movie personality seems (at least to me) similar to the totally unrelated character from the book I'm reading.  For the Scarpetta books I've always seen Marino as looking and acting a lot like Skipp Sudduth's character John "Sully" Sullivan from the crime drama Third Watch crossed with a bit of Danny DeVito's frequently, slightly greasy appearance.  I see Kay as looking a lot like her creator.  As for Benton, I've never really gotten a good enough feeling for him to have an actor's face make up the majority of my imagination - he's just a vague impression mostly made up of the description of his clothing for the particular scene with a blurry man's head on top.  To be continued...

21/3 - There's not much more I can say.  I mean how many ways can I say Cornwell is the best and I love her books?  Got to read them all over again, in order, now.

 

Body of Evidence

31/3 - Another great Scarpetta story.  I haven't read this one as often as Postmortem, so I don't remember the complete story like I do with Postmortem.  As I'm reading a new detail of the plot will come to me just a page or two before I read it.  Instead of anticipating each twist and turn of the plot, I'm almost surprised by them.  Re-reading the books as an adult, I do find it a bit unlikely that one Chief Medical Examiner could get into as many scrapes as Scarpetta does.  Fortuantely I'm quite good at suspending disbelief inspite of illogical situations, and so I can jut ignore the sense of disbelief that rings at the back of my mind while I'm reading of the latest attempt on her life.  To be continued...

2/4 - As with Postmortem, Body of Evidence ends with a the bad guy making a concerted, but ultimately failed attempt on Scarpetta's life.  This time, at least, Marino isn't the one to come barging in gun blazing, her own gun does the blazing and she's able to save herself.  I still love these books and the character of Kay Scarpetta, but at the same time I can see where some of the complaints of clichedness come from, now.  When I read them as a young teenager I just read them as a great, slightly violent (for a 13-year-old) crime thriller (some of my first real, adult books).  Now, with older, more cynical and informed eyes I can't quite read them as subtext and message free - I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.