‘Cruel and Unusual’ by Patricia Cornwell

My Review (5 stars out of 5)

When convicted murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell dies in the electric chair, Dr Kay Scarpetta doesn’t expect his fingerprints to turn up at a time scene. And why does that particular crime scene – the death of a young lad – seem to mirror Waddell’s modus operandi? Together with Detective Marino and FBI pal Benton Wesley, Scarpetta tries to work out what’s going on. After another person is found dead, the diligent doc ropes in her niece Lucy to deal with a possible hack of the morgue’s computer system. And then another body is found…

This is book 4 in the Scarpetta series and it’s a good one. The plot is complex and intriguing with lots of twists and turns. What I particularly enjoyed was some of the dialogue between Scarpetta and Marino. At times, the words sizzle and crackle like the best Raymond Chandler one-liners and Marino’s newfound insight into his friend is also very interesting. Some reviews say this is the point where Ms Cornwell should’ve taken the chance to alter Scarpetta’s character for the better, but to me, I like her fine the way she is – cold and clinical (in a nice way).

As always, this is a well-researched and detailed tale that shows Ms Cornwell’s increasing ability to tell a damn good story and hold the reader’s attention to the bitter end.

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  2 comments for “‘Cruel and Unusual’ by Patricia Cornwell

  1. 30/12/2022 at 3:28 PM

    A good recommendation, Colin, I’ll get this for my mom. She is a Cornwell fan.


    • 31/12/2022 at 9:24 AM

      Joly good – her books just get better and better.


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