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Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell
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Aug 15, 12

Read in January, 2012

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

In this book, Scarpetta thinks Bentley is dead. Definitely a downer.

The initial event that triggers the book's action is discovery of a dead, murdered stowaway in a container on a trans-atlantic cargo ship. Turns out the body is made up to suggest, falsely, that "Wolfman" Jean-Baptiste Chandonne is dead.

Scarpetta goes to Paris, where she is taken in by Jay Talley, an American who's working at Interpol (who later becomes a king-size sicko in "Blow Fly").

Talley does not disclose that he's Wolfman's brother.

Cornwell lets the book's key (and mandatory) violent confrontation with the main bad guy (in this book, the Wolfman) go until the last handful of pages: Scarpetta blinds the attacking Wolfman by throwing a forensic preservative acid on his face. (She just happens to have a jarred specimen of evidence in acid at home with her -- just like she always has homemade gourmet desserts and stews in her freezer, ready to pop out at a moment's notice.)
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