Dr Kay Scarpetta investigates the murder of a 13 year old boy which has striking resemblances to another homicide. The snag, the killer has just been executed on death row. The story unravels as she tries to find out truth, all whilst dealing with suspicious computer activity that could potentially destroy her career. Touching on her personal life we see the challenges linked to inter-departmental relationships and what happens when they go awry.
Bearing striking similarities to All That Remains, I found this book to be rather formulaic and there is little character development - unless you consider Scarpetta’s neice Lucy, who seems to be the only ageing character in the series so far. The time line between the third and fourth book is the main issue I have with this book and it is not just in relation to the character’s ages. For me it messes up the entire continuity of the series and creates unnecessary confusion. The main aspect being Mark’s death. We have no prior warning and it’s as if it had dropped out of nowhere. Usually I like the unexpected but since Mark was not a very big character, it felt as if Patricia Cornwell had become fed up of him and decided to throw him out with the trash. I had to go back and check that I hadn’t missed out a book but no, there was just a really big gap between the two.
I’ve lost a bit of respect for this series because I used to like it a lot. Whether it’s because I’ve discovered other amazing crime novelists within the last few years, these books have left me wanting so much more than they have given.
My rating - 2/5