Fiction Reviews

From Potter's Field

(1999) Patricia Cornwell, pub, 5.99, pbk, pp. ISBN

The sixth Dr Kay Scarpetta mystery is still reading as much like SF as ever, is still extremely well-written (there are phrases in this book I'd kill to have the intelligence and imagination to come up with) and is still thoroughly enjoyable.

Unfortunately for those who didn't join in back on the first novel Postmortem, things here will appear very complicated. What this book does is resolve a plotline regarding a serial killer, Temple Gault, who has appeared in three of the previous four novels - the good guys don't always get their man, you see! There is also far more character development; the soap-opery element of the book is in fact quite good, with a cast of believable characters who are endearing in their own (American) fucked-up way.

I know that starting on these mysteries now would represent quite an investment, though all five of the novels are available in paperback, but I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone who enjoys "police procedural" type crime books. And the SF element is high, provided by all the forensic technology, described with loving detail.

Tony Chester

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