Monday, September 8, 2014

Flesh, Blood and the Bard

Patricia Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta have been a formidable team for many years - twenty-two books worth, to be exact.  Having been a fan of the "Quincy" TV show, these novels filled a void for me when the show ran its course and was cancelled.  Cornwell's series began with the aptly titled Postmortem, and introduced the smart, tough, and ever on duty medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta.  For a while, I was loyal and grabbed each new book as soon as it hit the shelves, but then, something happened.  Scarpetta got an IPhone, a computer, a notebook and all sorts of other gadgets and a flurry for techno plots emerged.  I moved on and discovered new writers and challenging themes.

But last week this new novel appeared in my mailbox and so I gave it a try.  What a refreshing reunion this has been.  Are the books all I remember them to be?  Well, the base characters have evolved - nice to see that, and the opening scenes show a softer Scarpetta than I recall.  The plot began quickly incorporating contemporary themes including racial profiling, terrorism and 911.  Scarpetta herself appears to be in imminent danger, and if you are a fan, you know that her niece, Lucy is sure to play into things - Lucy being the "Blood" in the title. 

In the opening pages, Kay Scarpetta finds herself in the unsettling pursuit of a serial sniper who leaves no incriminating evidence except fragments of copper.  The sniper's shots seem impossible, yet they are so perfect they cause instant death.  The victims appear to have nothing in common and there is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next.  First New Jersey, then Massachusetts and then the depths off the coast of South Florida where Scarpetta investigates as shipwreck.  It is there that she comes fact-to-face with shocking evidence that implicates her techno-genius niece, Lucy.  I will say no more!

Between murders, I am trying to read Unbroken, our book club selection for next week.  That one is not going well.  I'll blame it on lack of concentration due to our upcoming Heart-A-Rama/UW-Manitwooc show.  Tickets are still available.  Hope to see you on Friday or Saturday night. For more information go to

Thanks for stopping by.