Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
The 17th entry in the popular Scarpetta series (after Scarpetta) finds the Massachusetts medical examiner investigating the death of jogger Toni Darien in Central Park-and finding suspicious similarities to a case of a missing financier. She also must contend with a suspicious package delivered to her apartment, the possible theft of her BlackBerry, menacing communications from a former psychiatric patient of husband Benton, and the reemergence of notorious characters from past cases. Never-before-seen glimpses into the innermost thoughts of key characters Pete Marino, Benton, and niece Lucy Farinelli intensify the plot. Verdict A finely crafted, pulse-racing thriller that readers won't want to put down. Scarpetta fans will notice more pages devoted to character development and less to the autopsy room. [Main selection of BOMC, Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Mystery Guild.]-Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Bestseller Cornwell's solid 17th thriller to feature Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after Scarpetta) finds Scarpetta-who's the senior forensic analyst for CNN-probing the murder of a Central Park jogger as well as looking into the disappearance of Hannah Starr, a wealthy financial planner. Quizzed on-air about previously undisclosed details of the perplexing Starr case, Scarpetta realizes that the tentacles of the case reach further than she imagined. Her niece, forensic computer whiz Lucy Farinelli, has her own reasons for digging into Starr's disappearance, along with Lucy's girlfriend, New York County ADA Jaime Berger. NYPD Det. Pete Marino, another series staple, is also in the loop as a member of Berger's task force. But it's the dark past of Scarpetta's psychologist husband, Benton Wesley-particularly his presumed death in Point of Origin and shocking reappearance five years later in Blow Fly-that binds the disparate pieces together and make this one of Cornwell's stronger recent efforts. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Once upon a time, the Kay Scarpetta novels were sharply written, character-driven crime stories. But lately, like Scarpetta herself, the series has changed. As the medical examiner has moved from Virginia to Florida to South Carolina to Massachusetts and New York, the stories have become slicker, more formulaic, less interesting. The newest Scarpetta novel, which finds Kay juggling a homicide and a missing-person case (not to mention her duties as a CNN forensic expert), is a pretty bland affair. Perhaps it's because the author has taken the character too far from her roots when the series began, Scarpetta was Virginia's chief medical examiner or maybe it's simply because Cornwell has replaced creative storytelling with assembly-line formulas. Either way, the book feels dull, lacking dramatic spark or clever plotting not bad, exactly, but thoroughly uninvolving (which is odd, considering that it explores new territory in the relationship between Kay and her once-presumed-dead husband, Benton Wesley). Crime series often grow tired after periods of sustained success, but in this case, the lead character feels every bit as tired as her series. It's not a good combination and will require the allegiance of Cornwell's devoted fans.--Pitt, David Copyright 2009 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
A Manhattan waitress's murder kicks off yet another round of forensic-driven navel gazing for Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her friends and enemies. Toni Darien's mother insists her daughter never would have gone jogging in Central Park on a rainy night. Nonetheless, Toni's corpse is found just inside 110th Street, raped, bashed to death, then strangled. Despite the best efforts of Scarpetta to keep the open case off The Crispin Report, the program she frequents as CNN's senior forensic analyst, a relentless barrage of leading questions from Carley Crispin links the case on live TV to the disappearance of sexy financial titan Hannah Starr. When a furious Scarpetta demands she be released from her TV contract, Carley's producer offers her her own show instead. But there's no time to waste on such frivolity when Hannah's client Hap Judd, actor and pervert, needs to be questioned about a case of necrophilia; his self-avowed aunt, demented Dodie Hodge, is stalking Scarpetta's husband, former FBI profiler Benton Wesley; and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Warner Agee, Wesley's old nemesis, is clearly getting inside information about the investigation and passing it on to Carley. Could all these outrages possibly be connected? Only if they're being perpetrated at the bidding of the archfiend Cornwell brings back in lieu of developing the regulars, who seem condemned to keep recycling the same dialogue in every installment, or resolving the initially promising complications of the mystery. A helpful appendix lists the seven previous novels (Scarpetta, 2008, etc.) related to this one. Readers who don't know them will be baffled; readers who do will be exasperated. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.