Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: Trace by Patricia Cornwell

Trace (Kay Scarpetta, #13)Trace by Patricia Cornwell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just don't know. This is the second Scarpetta book I have read (admittedly out of order), and there's something I'm just not getting.

This one begins promisingly enough, with Kay and detective Pete Marino heading back to Virginia to help solve the mysterious death of a 14 year old girl. We meet some creepy people- the new chief medical examiner, for one, and our real bad guy, Edgar Allen Pogue.

"Trace" centers around trace evidence found at three seemingly unrelated crime scenes. One of these, of course, involves Kay's niece Lucy. Lucy has a wicked intellect and is about as self-absorbed and destructive as a PMSing teenager.

The story surrounding the crimes is actually pretty good- but there is too much distraction for this to be a really good book. The CME is thrown in as kind of a red herring- he has some skeletons in his closet, but we never reslove anything with him. You can feel Kay and Benton (her, what? Boyfriend? Husband? I'm not sure what he is at this point) struggling to bury their hurtful past, but no one talks about it and there is no confrontation. Some opportunities for real drama are just skated over.

I've heard the earlier Scarpetta novels are better, but I think I'm done.

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