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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book Review: Cruel and Unusual by Patricia Cornwell



Patricia Cornwell weaves a grisly case around a recently executed murderer whose fingerprints  turn up at a new crime scene.

Genre: Fiction (murder mystery)

Language used: Medical terms used but they are easily comprehensible.

Our say: One-time read



The book begins with with Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Med. Examiner of Virginia, examining the corpse of a gruesome, manic killer, Ronnie Joe Waddell. Things get suspicious when fingerprints found at a crime scene are traced back to the now dead, Ronnie Joe Waddell. This is followed by more mysterious murders, including one of Kay's assistants, all of whom were oddly connected to the dead man.  Knowing a dead man cannot be responsible for this, Kay and her crime fighting team work along a tortuous path to solve these puzzling murders.

The protagonist Kay Scarpetta’s character comes across as very bold, intelligent & well constructed – the veritable heroine of the story. 

Patricia Cornwell
The plot is laid in an interesting set-up but Cornwell has failed to retain that flavour through the book. A higher degree of substantiation (read: more interesting & concrete evidence, hair-pin bends in the story) would have helped the book become more engaging.

Everything that the author has written is convincing, as true as it can happen for real. However, it would have helped had the ending be peppered more.

If you are looking to satiate the thirst for “bloody murder”, then this Cornell book is a bit away from it. But change from reading fiction, it doesn't make that bad a choice!

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