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Hornet's Nest [Hardcover]

Patricia Cornwell , Walter Harper/John Earle
2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (344 customer reviews)

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That morning, summer sulked and gathered darkly over Charlotte, and heat shimmered on pavement. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars did cornwell really write this book?? March 10 2004
By finn
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i'm skeptical that patricia cornwell actually wrote this book. i think Putnam hired a third-rate ghost writer OR published a manuscript she wrote when she was 6. okay, so i didn't read the dust jacket to learn this book introduces a new cast of characters in charlotte, VA so it was a bit of a shock to meet some reporter dude named Andy Brazil, who's playing side-kick to deputy chief Virginia West. i don't mind my train derailed by a new characters, but the writing in this book is simply awful. granted, i read only 50 pages, so perhaps something magical happened on page 60, but i found the plot a flimsy backdrop for an inevitable sexual tangle between andy and virginia, who're both preternaturally attractive, according to their descriptions. i'm no prude or PC advocate, but i was disturbed by peeks of thinly-veiled homophobia -- and indeed the whole tone of the book (or the first 50 pages) seemed mean and rough, with little accompanying graces. again, thank god for the library, cos this book SUCKED and i experienced no qualms of regret giving up on it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag March 6 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book obviously didn't have Kay Scarpetta as the main character and based on many of the previous reviews I guess some people had difficulty adjusting. The main characters in this book were Police Chief Judy Hammer, Deputy Chief Virginia West, and Andy Brazil the volunteer cop/newspaper reporter. I DID NOT LIKE the parts of the story where the cat's ESP led to solving part of the puzzle... stupid, unrealistic, oh really now! Also didn't see the reason for inclusion of Bubba in the story. It only seemed that PC wanted to add him as a red herring but wasn't successful in this regard so to me he was a waste of space (pages) in the book. Although the plot and characters were a bit of a stretch I thought they were interesting. And who's to say big business doesn't have control over most things in this world now. This was entertaining (with the exceptions noted above) and with the specific references to brands such as Izod, etc. you get a real feel for the characters in the book. Some feel the references were an unnecessary stress on product placement but I felt it added to the setting of city and era, and character development including economic and social status. If you're looking for light reading for the commute to work or for a lazy, rainy weekend, go ahead and buy this. If you're looking for a serious and technical, believable mystery, forget it! Hope this helps....
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3.0 out of 5 stars Still pondering. June 16 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was warned about this but I couldn't remember which title until I was about four pages into the book. It was a great (big)departure from the Scarpetta series that I had gotten used to. The characters were great in and of themselves. They interacted well. The story was alright but not terrific. I found it lacking coming from Cornwell but I have to remember that it was NOT a Scarpetta story. As much as it pains me as a woman to say this, it kept creeping into my mind that Cornwell was having the same hot flashes that West had throughout the book.
The beginning to about 3/5 in was overtly sexual in tone, all the descriptions of persons for one and most characters being either wildly homosexual or homophobic, then it leapt to kooky when she began telling parts of the story from the point of view of characters who mattered little and do I have to mention the cat? Then it was back to the heavy sexual tones and interlaced with kooky feline perspective that was rather distracting and detracted from the main story.
The book is not great. Like I said, I can imagine this being written under the Change or a menacing deadline, maybe even as an exercise to vent gone weirdly awry. While not told in a very Scarpetta way, it was okay. If anyone paid attention to the beginning of the novel and the explanation about the Hornet's nest and takes that into the account through the rest of the book, it makes an insane sort of sense.
I was not thrilled with the ending and would have thrown the book had I not feared harming someone else in the room. I don't recommend buying the book. Check it out from a library if you're curious. Or, if you have to buy it, make sure you have the address where you can sell it back. It will help pass the time of two days, I guess I read it rather quickly, and lend to some interesting psychological profiles but other than that... I can't say the book would do much for diehard Scarpetta fans.
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1.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK WAS DOA... Oct. 20 2002
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read a number of other Patricia Cornwell books from her Dr. Kay Scarpetta series. While they have all varied in quality, they usually range from good to excellent. That is why this book was a complete shock, as it is one of the worst books that I have read in a long time.
This book is not a Dr. Kay Scarpetta series book. Instead, it is a police procedural that focuses on three individuals: Charlotte's stalwart Police Chief Judy Hammer, her drop dead gorgeous Deputy Chief Virginia West, and Andy Brazil, an intrepid, young news reporter. Unfortunately, while the premise may have been inspired, the book fails in its execution, with characters that never quite work, relationships that are far fetched or never quite gel, a plot that lacks focus and fails to capture the reader's imagination, as well as an excess of mediocre writing in need of serious editing.
This audio book also suffers from a painful reading by noted actor Chris Sarandon, whose performance on this audio book is almost embarrassing. Narrated in a precise, almost prissy manner, his performance lacks a certain grit that is almost demanded by a police procedural. Moreover, his segues into the different characters are done in a way that grate upon the ear. Chris, a word to the wise...don't quit your day job.
Readers beware. This book was DOA. Do not spend one cent on this turkey. If you feel the urge for turkey, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Be thankful that you have not wasted your money on this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars More about characters than story
If you're a fan of the Kay Scarpetta series, it's hard not to be disappointed going to Hornet's Nest. The writing in the beginning of the book hit me strange, almost non-cornwell. Read more
Published on March 29 2004 by Patty Philbrook
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY ENJOYABLE
I nearly didn't buy this book because of the reviews,well I loved it.No it is not like the Kay Scarpetta series which I also am enjoying. Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2003 by B.Lofts
1.0 out of 5 stars Pointless
This has to be the worst of Cornwell's novels. I love the Scarpetta series, but I will never buy anything that has the name "Hammer" in it.
Published on May 27 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars suprisingly enjoyable
I first received this book years ago and, because of the bad reviews, I let my girlfriend read it first. Read more
Published on March 28 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Was this really written by Cornwell?
I can not believe that this novel was written by the same woman who has given us the Kay Scarpetta series. This book was boring and lacked plot and substance. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible disappointment.
After reading this novel, I had to ask myself "why was this ever even published?" I've enjoyed Cornwell novels immensely over the years and was horribly disappointed in this piece... Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2003 by K. M. Chance
1.0 out of 5 stars In a Word: Terrible.
I've heard good things about Ms. Cornwell's books. Perhaps I started at the wrong end of her literary scale. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd read these reviews first
I, too, am a huge fan of Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series. I mistakenly thought Hornet's Nest was part of that series. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2002 by T. Dysert
1.0 out of 5 stars Scarpetta, this ain't.
A diehard fan of Cornwell and Scarpetta, I bought this book without reading the flyleaf. After my initial disappointment due to the absence of Scarpetta, I went back to the... Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2002
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