Barbi's Reviews > Port Mortuary

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell
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Jan 29, 12


After discovering and devouring Patricia Cornwell's "Postmortem" (now 20 years ago), my family and I have been huge fans of the Kay Scarpetta novels. Over the years, we eagerly awaited the release of Ms. Cornwell's next novel, always confident that it would surpass her last. Until something changed and Ms. Cornwell forgot how to tell an interesting story. Instead of flying effortlessly through her books, I now find myself slogging through them, falling asleep over them, yawning through endless pages of dreary detail and introspective angst. I keep hoping that the books will get better, but they don't. I gave up halfway through "The Scarpetta Factor" (2009), but actually read all of "Port Mortuary" (2010). Like "The Scarpetta Factor," Ms. Cornwell's latest offering is a self-indulgent bore. This book features mysteries within mysteries that are not revealed until the bitter end. By then, I didn't care. There's no suspense, no thrill, no passion. The characters that formerly had been drawn with such precision and care are now lackluster at best. Throughout the book, Kay can't figure out how to ask a direct question nor get a direct answer from anyone, including but not limited to Benton (her husband) and Lucy (her niece). That Kay seemingly has so little self-esteem that she would accept everyone's lack of forthright responses is completely contrary to her former strong, confident and capable self. After finally (FINALLY!) reaching the end of "Port Mortuary," I was disconcerted by the complete change of voice in the last few pages of the book. It's almost as though Ms. Cornwell's editor compelled her to tack on a page or two to make it appear that Kay has a soul after all. Ms. Cornwell, please bring back the Kay Scarpetta we used to know and love!
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message 1: by Alex (new) - rated it 1 star

Alex I couldn't have said it better myself. I remember reading some time ago an interview with PC where she had taken on board a commment from a reader who thought the characters were getting stale. PC in her wisdom decided to give them all a 'makeover'. As far as I can tell this is the point that the Scarpetta series took a nose dive! This is the last PC book I will be spending my hard earned cash on.


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