Summary and book reviews of Southern Cross by Patricia Cornwell

Southern Cross

By Patricia Cornwell

Southern Cross
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 1999,
    359 pages.
    Paperback: Dec 1999,
    400 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Patricia Cornwell has a sixth sense about the men and women in blue. In Southern Cross she leads us through a story of corruption, scandal, and robberies that escalate to murder. Her setting is Richmond, Virginia, where Charlotte Police Chief Judy Hammer has been brought by an NIJ grant to clean up the police force. Reeling from the recent death of her husband, and resented by the police force, city manager, and mayor of Richmond, Hammer is joined by her deputy chief Virginia West and rookie Andy Brazil on the most difficult assignment of her career. In the face of overwhelming public scrutiny, the trio must bring truth, order, and sanity to a city in trouble.

Excerpt
Southern Cross

The last Monday morning of March began with promise in the historic city of Richmond, Virginia, where prominent family names had not changed since the war that was not forgotten. Traffic was scant on downtown streets and the Internet. Drug dealers were asleep, prostitutes tired, drunk drivers sober, pedophiles returning to work, burglar alarms silent, domestic fights on hold. Not much was going on at the morgue.

Richmond, built on seven or eight hills, depending on who counts, is a metropolitan center of unflagging pride that traces its roots back to 1607, when a small band of fortune-hunting English explorers got lost and laid claim to the region by planting a cross in the name of King James. The inevitable settlement at the fall line of the James River, predictably called "The Falls," suffered the expected tribulations of trading posts and forts, and anti-British sentiments, revolution, hardships, floggings, scalpings, treaties that didn't work and people ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
People Magazine

[P]uts laughs ahead of logic....Cornwell has done better.

The San Francisco Examiner - Bobby Hess

Move over Carl Hiaasen, you have company. Patricia Cornwell, known for her forensic thrillers, has switched to Mr. Hiaasen's world of black humor and nearly conquers it in the hilarious Southern Cross.

The Durham Herald

No matter how the explicit language, the graphic details, the unlovely characters, may repulse you, you're mesmerized by her awe-inspiring narrative skill. You'll stay with it, hanging on for dear life, proud of the guts it took to stay the course.

The Denver Post

Patricia Cornwell, known for her forensic thrillers, has switched to Carl Hiaasen's world of black humor and nearly conquers it. Judy Hammer, the police chief of Charlotte, N.C., has accepted a year's commission to overhaul the Richmond, Va., police department. It is rich in eccentric characters and raucous language. This is a really funny, satirical takeoff on the murder mystery genre.

Publisher's Weekly

It's fortunate that Cornwell has a new Kay Scarpetta thriller (Black Notice) coming out in July, because this second novel featuring southern police chief Judy Hammer is as disappointing as last year's Hornet's Nest.

Reader Reviews
Cloggie Downunder

Lesser Cornwell
I read the 3 Andy Brazil books against advice from more than one person. I wanted to see for myself if they really were that bad. I liked the Scarpetta books (although I thought that the endings of some of those books were too rushed, too contrived)....   Read More

Stryder

Southern Cross-Dont bother
Southern Cross was one of those books that you want your time back after reading it. The story line reaches and stretches to make everything come together. I feel that all of the characters (adult and young alike) have this awkward teenage angsty ...   Read More

Anonymous
Frustrated
I have read most of Patricia Cornwell's novels and love them. I even like this one, however, there are so many spelling errors (words transposed or sentences not making any sense) that I have had to put the book down. Because of these errors the ...   Read More

Cari
As another had said, wish I could get my money back after buying and reading Southern Cross. What a disappointment after reading all of P. C's. Dr. Scarpetta books. Just because I bought, felt I had to read it and could not keep an interest. Don't ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Southern Cross, try these:

  • Grave Secrets jacket

    Grave Secrets

    by Kathy Reichs

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Dr Temperance Brennan finds herself in a dangerous web that stretches far beyond Guatemala's borders in a powerful, page-turning book that combines riveting authenticity with witty, elegant prose.

  • Sick Puppy jacket

    Sick Puppy

    by Carl Hiaasen

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Brilliantly twisted entertainment wrapped around a powerful ecological plea, Sick Puppy gleefully lives up to its title and gives us Hiaasen at his riotous and muckraking best.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.