Monday, October 27, 2014

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta, #22)It's Thursday, June 12, 2014 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr Kay Scarpetta is physically still at home though her mind has already left for the Florida vacation she had planned along with her FBI profiler husband, Benton Wesley. She's in a celebratory mood as it's her birthday and didn't quickly notice the bright copper coins that flashes like shards of aventurine glass on top of the old brick wall behind their house. Dr Scarpetta feels a chill at the edge of her thoughts. Is it someone merely playing a game with pennies or is there more intent to it than meets the eye? Why would someone leave seven shiny Lincoln pennies, all heads up and all dated 1981? Instantly, she realizes that her birthday plans are about to go off beam.

When a deranged sniper is on the loose, Detective Pete Marino of the Cambridge Police insists Scarpetta to examine the scene of a shooting close to her home, not willing to settle for any of her medical examiners or her deputy chief Luke Zenner. The sniper's victim is identified as a high school music teacher, Jamal Nari, who recently shot into the limelight when he was inadvertently placed on a terrorist watch list.

What is baffling about Jamal's death is the tweet announcing it. It came about 45 minutes before he was actually shot. To add to this weirdness is the admission made by one student to the crime, though no one is willing to believe it. Did Leo Grantz really kill Jamal? What is the motive? As Scarpetta and Marino delved deeper into the case they unearthed startling evidences that established connection between a series of deaths in New Jersey and the killing of Jamal Nari in Cambridge. And it is up to Scarpetta and Marino to find out the killer and bring the case to its logical conclusion.

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell is the twenty-second book in the long-running Kay Scarpetta series. This installment is a notch better than the twenty-first book, Dust (A Scarpetta Novel), though it is nowhere near the readability of the earlier books in the series. While the plot in itself is engaging and the author's fine writing style keeps one going, there are a lot of unnecessary details forcing me to skip pages and paragraphs at regular intervals. If Flesh and Blood were trimmed down to about three hundred pages or less instead of its present staggering 384, I honestly believe that it would have been one of the best Kay Scarpetta novels Patricia Cornwell has written. Sadly, in her bid to write a heavy tome of a book she has added details that are annoying and frustrating for a reader like me.

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