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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Scarpetta series Books 15-17 by Patricia Cornwell

I have gone from really enjoying this series, to being glad I've read the last book. When another is released I do not believe I will buy it. If someone else offers it to me to borrow, I'll read it, but I won't buy another one. The first books were incredibly well done. And the last two books in the series were getting close to the enjoyment level of those first books. But, not enough to make me anticipate the release of the next book.

I said in my last review of this series that I wasn't convinced that these books are being written by the same author who wrote the first four books of the series. The voice is different, the dialogue is different, the plots aren't anywhere near as well thought out, the procedures aren't being handled the same way within the text... they don't feel like the same series. Is that because the author has changed so much in the time since she wrote the first book? Probably.

Book Rating: Book of the Dead: 7 of 10
Book Rating: Scarpetta: 7 of 10
Book Rating: The Scarpetta Factor: 8 of 10

Series Rating: Kay Scarpetta Series: 6 of 10

As you can see, these latter books are getting higher ratings than some of the previous books in the series. But I didn't raise the series rating. Considering that the first six books in the series had five 9's and one 8 - that tells you that the series has gone through some drastic changes.

I do enjoy reading about how computers are being used to solve crimes. I've also enjoyed reading about various other crime fighting tools. And I love that Ms. Cornwell sometimes makes people's names fit their profession, and how Marino always points that out. There are parts of the books that I really enjoy. Unfortunately, the storytelling part has changed, and that's a pretty big part of why we buy books.. the author's voice, the character's dialogue, how many "threads" we are expected to keep up with at once. I suppose it's a given that as an author grows and changes that her work will as well. I've seen it with the Anita Blake series and with the Stephanie Plum series, too. Of course, I'm mostly okay with the changes in the Anita Blake series... but the Stephanie Plum series has gone from funny to silly, which hasn't worked for me. So, I guess it's just one of those things: Any series that spans 15 or 20 years of an author's life is going to go through changes, because the author is not the same person now that he or she was 15 or 20 years ago.

1 and 2. The Scarpetta Collection Volume I: Postmortem and Body of Evidence
3 and 4. Scarpetta Collection Volume II: All That Remains and Cruel & Unusual
5. The Body Farm
6. From Potter's Field
7. Cause of Death
8. Unnatural Exposure
9. Point of Origin
10.Black Notice
11.The Last Precinct
12.Blow Fly
15.Book of the Dead
17.The Scarpetta Factor

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