Newest Review: ... deaths from the GPFW and their use of the death penalty. First up is the suspicious death of Barrie Lou Rivers - convicted as sh... more
Red Mist - I'll give it a Miss!
Red Mist - Patricia Cornwell
Member Name: MsTricia
Red Mist - Patricia Cornwell
Advantages: good storyline
Disadvantages: takes too long to get going, not a page turner, no anticipation and quite repetive
Now lets fast forward.....its now September 2012 and I only just finished this book yesterday after starting it in the beginning of the new year! It has taken me over 8 months to plough through it as it just so slow, so repetitive and takes ages to build up to some kind of interesting storyline and I just kept putting it down in interest of a magazine or listening to music on the way to work. Nevertheless it does sound interesting as a concept so here's my balanced review of this book.
- Storyline -
We meet our usual main character Kay Scarpetta, a forensic scientist and a post-mortem and investigative expert. She is on her way to the Georgia Prison For Women (GPFW) to meet the Kathleen Lawler who is the mother of Dawn Kincaid (the woman who tried to kill Kay in the previous book). Dawn Kincaid is also the child of Jack Fielding who is Kay's work colleague, sexually assaulted aged 12 by Kathleen and she killed Jack in the previous book too. (Anyone else confused?! lol)
Nevertheless, at the GPFW things all seem a bit dodgy. In a suspicious conversation with Kathleen she is passed a note to meet her old friend Jamie Berger who is also lurking down south trying to uncover some suspicious deaths from the GPFW and their use of the death penalty.
First up is the suspicious death of Barrie Lou Rivers - convicted as she ran a sandwich business in which she poisoned her customers who ate her tuna fish sandwiches she suspiciously chokes on a tuna fish sandwich (how ironic!) as her last meal before she is to undergo her execution.
Next we have a woman who strangled her children to death and was suspiciously found from strangling herself with a pair of trousers in her room. In addition to a woman found supposedly drowning in her toilet bowl in her room thought to have been throwing up and inserted her head too far in after being convicted of drowning others.
Most suspiciously of all is the case of Lola Daggette. In 2000 an affluent doctor Clarence Jordan and his wife and twin 5 year old children were all stabbed and murdered in their sleep. Mum and dad were found in bed but it seems our young 5 year old Brenda put up a struggle and is found at the bottom of the stairs, her pyjamas stained in blood. Down the road in a halfway house, is our teenage Lola Daggette a drug addict with a low IQ of 70 found naked in the shower washing their blood off their clothing. She has always said someone called "Payback" has set her up. None of her DNA is ever found at the scene, only multiple fingerprints which are not a match for hers and the only connection is the clothing. With such uproar in Savannah and people wanting justice she is due for execution on Halloween which is upcoming.
With Jamie Berger investigating all these mysterious cases she calls for Kay's assistance alongside the help of detective Marino. But as they get in over their heads, more suspicious murders occur around her looking to put Kay in the frame. Can she solve and stop these killings and solve the past without getting herself in more trouble?!
- My Opinion -
Needless to say this isn't one of those books you just can't put down. I kept starting and stopping it, putting it down and really just continued reading it as I hate starting a book and never finishing it and really wanted to see it through to the end.
Written from Kay Scarpetta's point of view, it gives quite a in depth description but whereas I have read previous book written in the third person I thought it gave a more balanced approach to the storyline. From Kay's point of view it all seemed very contrived and self-centred and she seems quite whiny and focused on herself throughout the whole book. From quite a strong assertive character, in this book she seems to doubt herself and her judgements far too much and I was quite disappointed at Patricia Cornwell's new writing style in terms of her demeanour.
In terms of the storyline I found the premise quite intriguing and the blurb made it sound exciting and thrilling but disappointingly it was none of the above. The plot line kind of dragged, and they spent about 3/4 of the book going over the same old cases, trying to find the missing pieces to the puzzle and seemingly having the same conversation all over again. There are about 5 characters in total that have any relevance and a minor 3 that seem to just be over glanced and mentioned here and there and it gets a bit of a snooze fest reading Kay's dialogue with the same people.
Some of the relationships are explored such as the lesbian relationship between Jamie Berger and Kay's niece Lucy but similarly in this book as in the previous books I read from Patricia Cornwell in this series they are only really explored on the surface level and there is not much light shed on the emotive and evocative dynamic between the two people, and I feel the author only ever mentions it in passing to try and bring a new dimension to the book but it never quite grasps my interest to invoke a feeling of empathy or understanding or even interest in their relationship!
I also felt the ending was particularly rushed and it is literally the last chapter everything is solved and brought to a really abrupt end! There isn't particularly much explanation for the killings, and no in depth analysis to the killer's personality and motive but tries to hard to make it all relative and tie in with the current themes of the book and past revelations. There is all of a sudden a brief mention of terrorism and trying to exaggerate the intensity of the killings when in all honesty I found them quite arbitrary and mundane.
- Overall -
Sadly I found this to be a disappointing read, not memorable in the slightest and not on par with some of her previous books she has written. Trying to get through it is difficult without wanting to give up altogether. At times I just wanted to skip to the end of the book just to find out the answer, and in all honesty you could read the first chapter of the book and read the last and it would pretty much sum up all the drivel in between. Not so sure I would recommend it to anyone else as I wouldn't want to torture others with the same ordeal! The writing style is articulate and promising just the delivery isn't a page turner and so in my opinion Cornwell could do much better.
Summary: a disappointing and sub standard book from Cornwell