Sunday, November 29, 2009

A second dose of the fabulous freakish truth (Patricia Cornwell)

From London City AM --

A second dose of the fabulous freakish truth --

29th October 2009 --

EVERY crime book these days seems to be a “bestseller” but one writer who in a league of her own is Patricia Cornwell, who counts Demi Moore among her friends and has a past that includes a drunk driving conviction, a lesbian marriage, anorexia and an abusive relationship with her late father. More importantly, her crime writing is based on genuine experience, first as a crime reporter, then as founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine.

Cornwell’s onto her 17th Kay Scarpetta novel and the heroine – a forensic specialist – is just as stressed and hard-nosed as ever, as rigorous in her analysis of the bodies that come her way as some women might be with a potential pair of new Jimmy Choos. It’s the week before Christmas and the recession has prompted Dr Scarpetta to offer her services pro bono to the New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

In doing so she sets an unsettling chain of events in motion, starting with the suspicious bomb-like parcel waiting at her apartment after she makes an appearance on a chat show to discuss a sensational case. She soon finds herself in a dark plot involving a famous actor accused of a heinous sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionaire.

Cornwell is a master of detail and the lurid business of crime and death in New York is skillfully integrated with a complex, shocking plot and a deeply sympathetic heroine. Cornwell fans will settle right in, newcomers won’t believe what they’ve been missing. Zoe Strimpel

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