25 May 2006

Book Banter -- All That Remains

Title: All That Remains
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Length: 373 pages
Genre: mystery
Plot Basics: Young couples are being killed but their bodies aren't found until months later, making it difficult for Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta to identify cause of death. In the most recent slayings, one of the victims is the daughter of a prominent Washington DC player in the war against drugs. And her involvement starts leading Scarpetta and others to wonder if the killer had an ulterior motive.
Banter Points: Cornwell does a good job of forcing her characters to grow and adapt as people too in her books. Her main characters have lives outside of the office that interfere with their investigations, rather than having them be investigators only.
Bummer Points: Cornwell started the series back in the early 90s and it shows, only because of the technology that shows up in the books. For example, Scarpetta has to get the computer analyst to get her a printout of something. Also, there's a big leap ahead in time from the first two Scarpetta books to this one.
Word Nerd recommendation: Cornwell's not funny like Evanovich, but the crimes Scarpetta investigates also seem more plausible (and more gruesome). Since the characters do grow as people, it may behoove a reader to read the series in order.

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