Ellen's Reviews > Port Mortuary

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell
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's review
Apr 16, 2010

did not like it
Read in December, 2010

What happened? Patricia Cornwall seemed to have rebounded with most recent Kay Scarpetta books, after a few misfires but she proves her inconsistency again with Port Mortuary. Is it that she is using a ghostwriter? A different ghostwriter? No ghostwriter? Whatever the reason, the usually exciting adventures of Kay, Benton, Lucy and Marino hit a brick wall with Port Mortuary. I rarely bail out on a book yet half way through I couldn't bear to be bored to tears any longer.

Everything in Port Mortuary seems to have been assigned an acronym which is repeatedly explained. Okay, we get it. Additionally, the story progresses sooooo slowly through dialogue instead of the exciting narrative we expect from Cornwall. Yet the conversations are unnatural and stilted and are not true to the characters we have come to know over the years.

It is preposterous that Wesley Benton would, in casual conversation with his wife, Kay, remind her in detail (page after page after page!) about what she did recently or personal issues she has with one of her associates. Perhaps this would work if the usually brilliant Dr. Scarpetta had amnesia, or had suddenly suffered a mental impairment so he needed to speak to her as if she were mentally incompetent. However. she has not, is not and, in fact, has a whole new military background. Ha! You think you know someone after 20 years...

Even if you are a huge fan, pass on this one. If you need a Scarpetta fix, go back and re-read one of her earlier novels, like Black Notice. Or start reading Jonathan Kellerman's "Alex Delaware" series or Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" series. If you must, read the back of the cereal boxes you have in the pantry. Anything is better than this.

Someone needs to call TOD on this series.

I'm ready to call TOD (time of death) on this series.

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03/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Dave Hersch Very astute observations, at least in terms of Port Mortuary.


Rebecca Innes I agree!!! pages and pages of thoughts and maybes bored me to tears!!!


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