This is the worst of the Scarpetta series. which is quite an achievement seeing as all the others are brilliant. My favourites being the claustrophobic "The Body Farm", and the superbly dark "Point of Origin". I have loved all the Scarpetta's, and read them at least twice over, and i still think this is the worst.
The plot was very complicated, and it all seemed a bit of a mess. The characters were nothing special, and i this is the only book in which Cornwell manage to bore me with her normally insightful computer terminology. It's too long, and basically i dont think it has any substance. There is a great potential. The idea for the plot is superb, and could well have been one of the best, but somewhere along the line it all slips. I cant put my finger on it, but i just didnt come away from this with the satisfaction i normally get out of a Kay Scarpetta book.
Nevertheless this is still a necessary book to read if you intend to read the entire series. It is one of the major turning points. The first book to feature Temple Gault, who would later lead to Carrie Grethen, Newton Joyce, and all the other catastrophic events which culminate in the next turning point of "The Last Precint". each one has signalled a new era for Patricia Cornwell, and each one has not been quite as good as the others. But The Last Precint was still much better than this. It is, admittedly, very clever, but far too complicated, and im surprised it got the CWA's gold dagger.
nevertheless, i have given it two stars purely because it is such a major point in Scarpetta's life. You must read it if you intend to read the entire series, but dont expect to enjoy it as much as you do the others.