Charlynn's Reviews > Point of Origin

Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell
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's review
Aug 13, 2012

liked it
Read in August, 2012 — I own a copy

Benton Wesley has retired, Lucy has switched alphabet agencies – now working for ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) – and is flying helicopters, and Kay is about to go on vacation to Hilton Head with Wesley when a case comes in that she just can't ignore – an arson/homicide at a horse farm belonging to one of Virginia's most influential men, a polarizing media magnet whom Kay has gone up against in the past. Nothing about the fire makes sense, though, and things only get more complicated when Kay discovers a related pattern of past crimes and a similar case surfaces in Lehigh, Pennsylvania. Add to this a deranged and looking for revenge Carrie Grethen, recently escaped from her high security psychiatric prison, and Point of Origin spins out of control with yet another death which touches close to home for Kay and culminates in a fiery helicopter chase. It's a must-read in the Scarpetta series.

Contrary to my pessimistic predictions, Cornwell did revisit past plotlines in Point of Origin. Unfortunately, however, their inclusion seemed rushed and too convenient... as if the author was using her heroine's greatest enemy to write off all unsolved cases. As for why this novel is an essential piece of the Scarpetta series, it's not because it has the most intricate plot or the most chilling villain but because of the feelings it evokes. A major character is murdered, not only changing the future landscape of all subsequent Scarpetta novels but also resonating emotionally for readers. Bottom line, it's a game changer. Not only will the series never be the same again but neither will Kay. For this alone, if you're going to read one of Cornwell's Scarpetta books, Point of Origin should be on your short list.

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