Friday, May 18, 2007

Trace - Patricia Cornwell

Although I'm a big fan of Cornwell's Scarpetta series I had great trouble getting into this book.

Scarpetta goes back to Richmond after 5 years to help solve the case of a young girl found dead in her bed. She is called by the new Medical Examiner who reveals himself to be a less than competent man with a few skeletons in his closet. At the same time Benton is in Aspen trying to help a member of Lucy's team who was attacked in Lucy's house, having had to cancel the vacation plans he had with Scarpetta.

I think my main problem with this book is one that I have been feeling in the last books I read in this series. What I enjoyed the most was Kay's observations about life and people, her private life details like cooking or choosing the right wine, it gave the books a sort of an intimist feeling that I enjoyed very much, unfortunately that is absent here.

Then I never quite understood about the new medical Examiner - Dr Joel Marcus - what's his agenda, what is he hiding? There's some build up regarding his character in the beginning but then nothing. And Lucy keeps getting into to trouble and trusting/loving the wrong people. I have some trouble believing someone as smart as her, that has already been burned once by a sociopath lover would fall for that again. And asking Benton to solve her problems for her. I'm a bit annoyed with the Benton character, he is supposedly in love with Kay but he has pretended to be dead for a number of years leaving her to mourn and now he cancels a vacation to spend his time trying to help someone less than worthy, it seems everyone is important except for Scarpetta.

And the mystery about who was behind those deaths was a bit lost in the middle of all this. I never did understand the murder's motivation and there were too many loose ends that seemed to be important and were never tied up at the end. A C.


  1. I've only read one Patricia Cornwall book and I was less than impressed! The one I read was Blowfly. At one point I read an interview with her where she said that it was an accessible point for someone who hadn't read any of the other books. I was flabbergasted because it is so not true!

  2. I only read the first one in the series, Post-Mortem, and I loved it. But I've heard the fans say that the books are losing quality!

  3. Marg,
    I don't know why she would say something like that because it's really not true in the sense that what made me enjoy the series is absent in that book. I didn't much enjoy that one either...

    I loved the first books, they are keepers for me but these last ones I've read just aren't the same thing. I have Predator in the TBR pile so maybe I'll grab it one of these days to see if it's more of the same...

  4. My problem with Cornwell is that she's been recycling her plots. I mean is Kay really that hateful that she has to deal with office sabotage in But sigh, I keep reading, although she's strictly a library author for me.

    Oh, and in case anyone cares - I think she hit her stride with From Potter's Field - after that it starts to slide downhill......

  5. Hi Wendy,
    Have you read Predator? Is it just more of the same? I also have Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross in the TBR but I've been hesitant to try those. Would you recommend them?

  6. Ana:
    Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross is her other series, and those I haven't read. So sorry - I'm not help there.

    Predator is pretty much more of the same - except the last 100 pages ROCK! That said, you have to wade through the first 300 to get to the pay-off, so you'll have to decide if investing the time is worth it. Plus, it's more sad-sack Marino, and personally I'm more than little peeved with Cornwell for neutering him.

    I wasn't disappointed that I read it - but very happy I checked it out from the library.

  7. Wendy,
    I just love Marino!! It's awful to see what she made him go through in this book.

    I am happy to know that at least the last pages of Predator rock :-)
    That's more than I can say for Trace. And I guess I'll just have to take my chances with the other 2 and pick them up one of these days.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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