Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Review: Post-Mortem by Patricia Cornwell

Post-Mortem by Patricia Cornwell

Review by Lauren

I bought this, but all opinions are still my own

Official Summary: Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a human monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralyzed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues. With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it’s being sabotaged from within—and someone wants her dead.

Review: This was another title that I read for my detective fiction class and it's a change in the books we read before because Kay Scarpetta isn't a detective. She's a medical examiner who becomes involved in the case due to the string of murders. It makes me think of Rizzoli and Isles actually (never read the books, but I've seen the show).

Anyway, Post-Mortem was a nice way to end the semester (as it was the last book we all read as a class) since it was a more modern take on detective fiction. It's still dated compared to today and all the CSI and Law and Order shows we have now, because Post-Mortem takes place where DNA is just coming about, so you get some explanations that are common sense these days.

Regardless, it's still a good novel and I would definitely recommend it. My class had some qualms about Scarpetta as the heroine, since some believed she was too weak or too much of a coward. I didn't have these issues, though I can see how some might, because she isn't the detective. Her job isn't to investigate killers, but rather examine the dead bodies. It makes sense that she would be a bit less hardened than the other detectives we've read about. This is also the first in a long line of Scarpetta novels, so I'm sure she changes as the series goes on.

I do have an issue with one character in the novel, though I can't say too much, for fear of giving away the surprise. Let's just say, I don't think justice was completely served. And as for the end, I was bummed, I have to admit. The big reveal didn't lead where I figured it would...and it's not a twist that makes the book better. It's still a good and interesting novel overall, but be prepard if you decide to read this. You might not like the end. I would still be willing to check out other Scarpetta novels, though, so it least caught my interest enough for that.


Liviania said...

Hmm, makes me think of Body of Evidence (or whatever that Dana Delaney show is called). I know this series has been popular a long time, but I've never read any of them.

Aylee said...

This sounds like a fun novel to be reading as part of a class! Most of the books I had to read tended to be a bit on the boring side, I have to say. Too bad about the ending though!

Sam said...

I've been craving a good crime fiction novel recently as it's been far too long since my last one. This sounds brilliant! Great review. :)

Jasprit said...

You have a detective fiction class? that is so awesome. This sounds like the perfect book for that class. I agree I like twists in a book but only if they make the book overall a lot better. I hope this twist isn't too bad! Wonderful review! :)

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I am still in envy that you got to take such a cool class. I have been wanting to try a Scarpetta book and it is on my wish list. I am glad this was a solid read for you, Lauren

elena said...

Even though it's dated, it sounds like a good book overall. Your class sounds awesome!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I used to love this series so much! (It lost some steam after book 12, to be honest). I love Kay, Lucy and Marino, but I have the biggest crush on Benton. There's something about a man in Hugo Boss that is simply irresistible.
I realize these are pretty outdated, but I still reread them occasionally, and definitely read on when you get a chance, they're awesome.

Vegan YA Nerds said...

I went through a stage where all I read was crime fic and I have read almost all of Patricia's books apart from a few of her latest. I can't remember much about this but Scarpetta definitely grows stronger and I enjoyed reading about her a lot. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series (there are plenty for you to get through!!)