As a lifelong follower of this series, I buy and read book after book, year after year. Towards the end of "Dust," I came to the realization that I am...moreAs a lifelong follower of this series, I buy and read book after book, year after year. Towards the end of "Dust," I came to the realization that I am not getting an ounce of enjoyment from these books any longer. Nothing about the Scarpetta saga interests me anymore. Not the crimes or the villains or the forensics or the characters. Likes the similar "Bones" books, it's been so long since I enjoyed one of these installments, I no longer remember what I used to like about them. I should list why every aspect of this series bores me to tears but I can't even be bothered. Consider me done with Scarpetta and crew and in search of a new series to fill this void.(less)
A disappointing step back in the Scarpetta cannon.
I thought Cornwell made some real breakthroughs in her last two novels, 'Scarpetta' and 'The Scarpet...moreA disappointing step back in the Scarpetta cannon.
I thought Cornwell made some real breakthroughs in her last two novels, 'Scarpetta' and 'The Scarpetta Factor.' Aside from their generic titles, I thought our main characters turned some important corners that enhanced our being able to relate to them and generally improved this series' readability.
I was especially pleased with the arcs given to two of the series' most interesting characters, Lucy and Marino. For too long, my affection for these characters was frustrated and tested in book after book after book. Cornwell had been sending Marino to increasingly darker places for a while. He was sleeping with murder victim's mothers and suspects, bringing girlfriends into the morgue after hours and abusing alcohol and steroids in frightening degrees. When this bad behavior culminated in his shocking assault on another lead character, it was almost as if Cornwell was intentionally trying to alienate as many devoted readers as possible. Personally, I almost gave up on the entire series at this point.
I thought Lucy, too, was being sabotaged. No longer the scrappy underdog we were protective of, her erratic behavior and poor judgement increased alarmingly with every new publication. By the time Cornwell had turned her into an assassin making hits in other countries, Lucy seemed just a sad parody of the strong independent woman we used to love.
Although not as extreme a derailment as Lucy and Marino, NONE of Cornwell's lead cast ever seemed to experience a moment of joy or accomplishment. No one was happy, everyone was miserable, no one trusted anyone, no one had any faith in anyone. With the exception of generally positive Jamie Berger, Scarpetta and friends had evolved into the most depressed and self-loathing group of people this side of a Bret Easton Ellis novel. Yes, I get that real is like this for many and no, I don't want cliched heroics and unearned happy endings clogging up my fiction. But there needs to be a compromise between presenting a believably realistic world in all of its complexities while still giving the reader someone to root for. Cornwell allowing EVERYONE to fail seemed so lazy to me.