Rated of 5
by Jay Walker
I didn't realize how involved this book was with Black Sunday until I was a good 40-50 pages into the book. Fortunately Cornwell does a decent job of filling in details around the story, so I do feel like I can understand the main plot of Black Sunday. Unfortunately, I have just been unable to get used to Cornwell's style. The book is plodding and overwritten. It takes her 60 pages to describe something that it would take Patterson or Sanford 20 pages to do. It is filled with reflection and thoughts to the point that the only way someone could even read some passages would be if they were die-hard Scarpetta fans. If you are a first time Cornwell reader, don't even try this book - it is for serious fans only.
By the time I was halfway through the book I was pretty tired of Kay Scarpetta's sudden realizations of the obvious, and rehashing of the same emotions and ideas. I found myself continually glancing through 6 and 8 pages at a time to skip the endless reflection so that I could get back to the plot. The characters are mostly interesting, and Cornwell does add some good insights that help make them unique, especially Marino and Anna. At the same time, other characters who are supposed to be important, like Lucy, come across as shallow and thin - perhaps relying on information from earlier books to give them context. Unfortunately, a couple interesting characters cannot carry what is otherwise a tiring read. This is complicated by the fact that some of the reflections just seem out of context. You are given the feeling that Cornwell wrote the book, then went back and added some "personal insights" so that fans could feel like the really learned something new about Kay and the other characters. If you really think you need to read this book, find an abridged version somewhere.