Summary and book reviews of Southern Cross by Patricia Cornwell

Southern Cross

by Patricia Cornwell

Southern Cross
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  • First Published:
    Jan 1999, 359 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 1999, 400 pages

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Book Summary

A story of corruption, scandal, and robberies that escalate to murder set in Richmond, Virginia, where Charlotte Police Chief Judy Hammer has been brought by an NIJ grant to clean up the police force.

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 ...

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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

Christos Kotsis

There is alot i can say about this book but i only need to say one, and that is that this book is the best book i ever read. The main reason that this book got my attention and a high rating is because i could really see where the charators are ...   Read More

Eva

I like Cornwell's Scarpetta books, but I've read so many of them now that I'm beginning to feel I know the pattern. This is something totally different. I loved the characters, especially the cat :)

Anonymous

As usual I enjoyed the book. I have yet to read a Cornwell book that I have not enjoyed. I liked the humor of the animals and the characters. They are very lifelike and I would recommend the book to anyone.

billy bob thorton

the plot was absolutely fantastico!

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