I decided to read Postmortem because of how often Cornwell and Kathy Reichs are compared. And I can see the reasons for the comparisons. Both are writI decided to read Postmortem because of how often Cornwell and Kathy Reichs are compared. And I can see the reasons for the comparisons. Both are written in first person, the narrators are forty-something, divorced, blond and handsome professional woman, and they become personally involved with the death and mayhem that they work with day to day.
In terms of writing style, I prefer Reichs. Despite her overuse of similes, she has a nice light descriptive tone that softens the horrors she writes about. But as for plot and characterisation, Cornwell seems to have the upper hand. Kay Scarpetta is not as impetuous as Reich's character Temperence Brennan, and she appears to have more common sense. Her personal involvement in this case was not her overstepping her bounds as is often the case with Brennan, but rather a direct result of her doing exactly what she should be doing. Also, and thank god, the cop who rescued her wasn't dead sexy, because *barf* at how many times good and bad guys are differentiated by how they look. Pete is a good cop, and Kay owes him her life, but he is still a bit of a pretentious a**hole and he's got the belly and everything.
While I may not be inclined to buy the rest of the series straight off, I won't be avoiding them either, because they are worth a read based on this first book....more
**spoiler alert** A charming story but a little too preachy for my tastes. The girls always have to 'learn their lessons', which is all fine and good**spoiler alert** A charming story but a little too preachy for my tastes. The girls always have to 'learn their lessons', which is all fine and good in books when handled well and subtly, but in this case it was like being thwacked over the head with 'be good, be kind to your husband, keep a hold of your temper, God loves all his children, but you must soldier on with all your burdens'. Plus, some of the characters were amazingly dull.
Meg being case in point. She seemed there simply to be pretty and get married. Jo had her books, Beth her music, Amy her painting, but Meg had no passions. She looked pretty at balls, she sewed, she cooked, then she got married and had children. Were she a real person I'm sure she'd be charming and lovely, but none of that came across in the novel. She was just there to be Mrs Brookes. I did like Mr Brooks, and Demi and Daisy though.
Jo though was a very lovable character. I was especially impressed that she said 'no' to Teddy. This is a girl who knows the difference between childish affection and romantic love. Who refuses to be defined by the man she marries. And she and Mr Baeher were very sweet together.
Beth is also an adorable girl, but I was disappointed in her death scene. It was so preachy that I didn't feel sorrow for the character at all. I was more moved earlier in the novel when they were talking about their castles in the sky and Beth's foreshadowed her coming death. Maybe it was comforting to others, but I don't enjoy death scenes that are all about peace and heaven and such. It just seems so ...sugar-coated. And while this is on the whole a sugary novel, I was still hoping it would be better handled.
I was surprised by how much I liked Amy. I went in expecting to hate her, seeing how annoying she was as a child, and knowing that she married Teddy, but I found her very sweet and charming and likable, though I was not impressed by her continuing desire to be a queen of society. But everyone has their passions I suppose, and that was Amy's.
Teddy was abhorable though, in my view. Maybe as a child he was a sweetie, but he grew up to be such a prat. Honestly, forgetting about Jo in a matter of months and falling for her younger, prettier sister. Sure he and Amy were better suited, and I was fine with their eventual union, but the way he went about it was so irritating. 'If Mozart can make do with the sister than so can I..." Grrrr.
I should mention as well that the copy I read was in dire need of a competent proof-reader. I am not a spelling Nazi by any means (though I do feel the compulsion to attack errors with red pens) but when they crop up two or three times a page (and I am not exaggerating), it is very distracting. Names without capitals, words without spaces (to me and 'tome'), and errors such as they'll as they''. Very very distracting and disappointing. ...more
**spoiler alert** The Light of Day is not my kind of book. Which isn't to say it is a bad book - I found it to be well written and probably would have**spoiler alert** The Light of Day is not my kind of book. Which isn't to say it is a bad book - I found it to be well written and probably would have enjoyed it immensely were the subject matter to my liking.
The theme seems a little cliched. The protagonist is an Private Investigator, an ex-cop (wow, really?) who was chucked off the force because he was dirty, except he wasn't really firty, just doing his job (who'd have thought?). His wife left him (duh) and he falls in love with a client (oh, th suspense) after only having met her a few times while he followed her cheating husband, whom she then kills (because that's what betrayed housewifes do, I guess...)
So, the story is cliched, and the main characters are cliched - George the ex-cop, Sarah the murderess, Bob the cheating Gyno husband - and all three aren't particularly likable. It's the supporting cast who interested me; George's grown up daughter Helen, Helen's girlfriend Claire, and George's secretary Rita. See, I like Rita a lot, and I cannot understand how George falls for Sarah (who seems amazingly bland) when he has smart, feiry, attractive Rita right there ready to become more than work-mates. George is an idiot.
The writing style is interesting, told from George's point of view, skipping perspectives from two years after the murder, to the murder, to before the murder, but these changes are easy to follow, and make the story more interesting than if it was told linearly, because I knew from the beginning what was going to happen, no need for the suspense of keeping the murder to the end.
And speaking of, I found the end to be amazingly anti-climatic. Like...there's an actual final chapter or two missing, because it just ends. Nothing new happens, it's just George, thinking that maybe in another eight years, if he's good and visits every second Thursday, maybe they'll let him take Sarah home. Coz, gee wow, I didn't already know that, having read about it for 250 pages...
But still, just because it wasn't to my liking, doesn't mean it's a bad book......more
I enjoyed the plot, and while I didn't particularly like any of the characters I did sympathise with them,**spoiler alert** A rather depressing book.
I enjoyed the plot, and while I didn't particularly like any of the characters I did sympathise with them, and I could relate to them.
The two main things that disappointed me about this book were the ending, and the lack of speech punctuation.
How did society recover after all that death and mayhem? Was the blindless restricted to the one country, or was the whole world blind? Why did they become blind, and then suddenly they can see again? What happened to the little boy? Was his mother alive or did the girl with the dark glasses and the man with the eye patch take him in? Did the dog of tears stay with the doctor's wife?
And as far as the punctuation goes, I do consider myself a rather open minded reader, and I could navigate without the punctuation, but it did make the conversations that much harder to work through. And I don't understand the reason behind it. I can understand stream of consciousness and other experiments with expression, but this just seemed lazy, because everything else was rather normal, style wise.
Anyway, a good book, one I looked forward to picking up every time. I do advise reading something a little more cheerful when you're done, though....more