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Blow Fly: Scarpetta (Book 12) (The Scarpetta Series) [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Cornwell
1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (532 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Please don't go there. The past is the past," sighs New York Assistant District Attorney Jaime Berger, who herself was introduced in Cornwell's last Kay Scarpetta novel, The Last Precinct (2000). Alas, many of Cornwell's fans are bound to agree. One fascinating nonfiction bestseller (Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed) later, Cornwell now returns to Scarpetta, formerly Virginia's chief medical examiner. From the start, however, the formidable author is up against the equally formidable task of getting her charismatic main character off ice and back in action. We encounter Scarpetta languishing in a crumbling little rental house in Florida. She has taken refuge there and become a private forensic consultant after she was driven from her job for her alleged involvement in the murder of a deputy police chief. The violent death of her lover, Benton Wesley, the brilliant FBI psychological profiler, has left her filled with an unappeasable grief. When the coroner in Baton Rouge asks her advice on a cold case concerning an affluent woman found dead of a drug overdose in a seedy hotel, it seems little more than a diversion. Yet it becomes clear that the overdose may be related to a fresh string of serial killings. Also disturbing Scarpetta's somber peace is a troubling letter from someone out to kill her, the sick and obsessed death-row inmate Jean-Baptiste. When Scarpetta is at last allowed to get back to business, she is a feisty, independent powerhouse whose capacity to concentrate and observe rivals Sherlock Holmes's. But too much of this book is bound up in retrospective musings about events in previous books. The great Scarpetta, her fiery crime-busting niece, Lucy, and a colorful supporting cast deserve better.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Kay Scarpetta fans will miss their favorite forensic pathologist in this new thriller, as Cornwell cedes much of the spotlight to other characters in the long-running series. Lucy, Kay's defiant niece, and Marino, the bad-tempered, opinionated cop, are here, as are several familiar depraved psychopaths--among them, "Wolfman" Jean-Baptiste Chandonne and his twin brother, who first surfaced in Black Notice (2000). It appears that Chandonne, whose execution date is drawing near, wants to see Kay, ostensibly to reveal information about his family that will ensure the collapse of their Mob cartel and to have her administer the drug that will end his life. But, as usual in Cornwell's more recent books, absolutely nothing is what it seems. Granted, there are some compelling (and gruesome) moments, and a few loose ends from previous books are finally taken care of... Otherwise, though, this is a murky stew, indeed, with action careening in way too many directions. Oh, for a return to the Cornwell who created the tough but vulnerable Scarpetta, who, at center stage, used her intellect and forensic training to solve a more straightforward mystery. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1045 KB
  • Print Length: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (Sept. 7 2004)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (532 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,692 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of paper Oct. 19 2004
The early Scarpetta novels were ground breaking. Since the appaearance of the WolfMan and his jolly family, this series has gone down hill and beyond. It is doubtful that had this been an unknown author's work, any publisher would have picked it up.
The plot, such as it is, is nonsensical. We are supposed to believe that Benton Wesley's death was faked, for the benefit of Scarpetta, with the long term aim of using Kay to bring about the demise of the Chardonneau family by means of convoluted false messages, red herrings etc. At the end of the day, Welsey simpy goes to their home in Baton Rouge and kills some of them - why did he need to forge various pretexts to get Kay there etc, when all he had to do was burst in a la Rambo and shoot 'em up?
Underneath this slapdash writing lurks some dodgy political views, namely that good people are justified in doing bad things to bad people if it removes the bad guys (the references to Iraq and 9/11 telegraph this unsavoury viewpoint several times).
Clearly Cornwall has nothing more to say about Scarpetta, Marino, Lucy et al and should stop this series now. Sadly, the ludicrously unlikely escape of the Wolf Man means that more yawn inducing antics involving Wolfie going after Kay will ensue..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading July 18 2004
I normally enjoy Cornwell's novels as light relief on a plane, but this one was seriously disappointing. There's only one crime scene investigation, towards the end, of a largely irrelevant murder, and the rest of the book seems to be made up of the guilt and neuroses of the central characters as they all move away from the professional orbits that (once) made them so interesting. The Wolfman (yawn!) and his twin brother Jay are trotted out YET AGAIN as the bad boys of the piece, only to be despatched 'offscreen' at the end. I agree with other readers that the ending was sudden and flat - I convinced myself that I had missed a chapter and resorted to shaking the novel to see if the extra pages would suddenly materialise, explaining what went down at the shack and how Benton killed Jay and what happened to the Wolfman. No such luck. This didn't seem like a cliffhanger, more like a "I can't be bothered" from the author. I shall seriously debate buying any future Cornwell books - "Jack The Ripper" was a shoddy piece of scholarship, and this was lazily written throughout, lacking the taut plot and original characterisation that made the others in the series so enjoyable. A real shame.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! July 10 2004
I purposely did not read the reviews on this one before I gave it a read. Patricia Cornwell has certainly disappointed her fans. The characterization was flat throughout. I kept thinking this has to get better. The ending came abruptly, and afterwards I felt cheated! I have read all of Cornwell's novels and this by far ranks as the worst ever. I think a lot popular authors become more concerned with pumping books out for the (...) than anything else. I mean when you are already rich and famous...why bother entertaining others? I will read reviews on the next Cornwell novel before I plop down my good money.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Ending is HORRIBLE July 12 2004
This book completely drags through the chapters. The characters are maudlin and fail to even encourage involvement with their varying emotional traumas. Then you are rewarded for hanging on through the entire book to an ending that makes you want to throw the book through the closest window.
Ms. Cornwell sadly uses Marketing 101 tactics to pump up sales for the next Scarpetta novel with an abrupt, "cliff hanger" ending that seems to almost stop midsentence. I've been a devoted reader but, honestly, don't know if I'll buy the next one. It's too bad Ms. Cornwell that you're willing to sacrifice the excellent writing skills that brought us to you in the first place just to meet your publishing demands. Am I the only person out there who thought a natural progression for Kay would be to join Lucy in her "below the radar" organization to begin solving some really interesting crimes? Ms. Cornwell I truly hope you are reading your reviews and comments from readers--we deserve better than "Blow Fly."
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the worst book I've ever read July 7 2004
I feel the Scarpetta series has slipped a couple notches with the last 2 or 3 books. Before starting this book, I read all the bad reviews so I tried to keep an open mind and low expectations. Even with that, this book left a lot to be desired. This one finds Scarpetta trying to pick up the pieces of her life after leaving her job in Virginia. It once again features Jay Talley, aka Jean-Paul Chandonne, and his wolf-like brother, Jean-Baptiste, who now sits on death row in Texas. I didn't think the book started out too badly until I reached the point where Cornwell resorted to a plot device commonly used in soap operas--someone was brought back from the dead. At that point, I almost threw the book down in disgust. I kept on, however, despite that, the weak plot and the almost pointless presence of Lucy and Marino. Marino in particular had little to do in this book except pout about not being the love of Scarpetta's life. The ending was completely anti-climatic and worse, left the door open for another book featuring Jean-Baptiste as the bad guy killer. Overall, it feels like this series has turned into a bad soap opera. Scarpetta's personal life features too prominently in the story. Cornwell should get back to letting Scarpetta solve crimes and leave her personal life more in the background.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Horribly dark and gruesome
This was the first time reading this author, and I did not enjoy it one bit. None of the characters had any redeeming qualities, and I could not sympathise to any degree with any... Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2012 by Jan
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for first me
Ok, apparently this book isn't as good as her others. I've heard, mostly, positive things about the Scarpetta series and hadn't read anything by her before. Read more
Published on June 8 2006 by April
1.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all...
This book truly does blow.
I have been a pretty loyal fan, although I was getting really tired of Scarpetta letting every psychopath & his dog into her impregnable... Read more
Published on June 3 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, Scarpetta's back
I have read this series from the beginning and have been disappointed the past several years. But this book redeems those bad ones. Kay Scarpetta is back, stronger than ever. Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2005 by Jackie Mattox
5.0 out of 5 stars Part of the missing link
I disagree with most of the other reviewers here! I enjoyed this book thoroughly. If you follow Kay Scarpetta then this book serves not only to answer some questions but to set the... Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2004 by Debbie
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh!
Early Scarpetta novels were gruesome yet literary. Kay was likeable, human. In this latest novel, Cornwell seems absolutely obsessed with torture and sex, preferably together. Read more
Published on July 15 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Not half bad
I had a difficult time figuring out if I liked this novel or not. On one hand, I felt that many events were just excuses for not having enough to write about (like Benton being... Read more
Published on July 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Any reader of Patricia Cornwell should buy this book. It is thrilling and one of her well written pieces. I love Patricia Cornwell! Read more
Published on July 1 2004
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