Title: Body of Evidence
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner of Virginia and heroine of Postmortem , gets involved in the case of a brutal stabbing death in Richmond of romance writer Beryl Madison. Now Madison's greedy lawyer accuses Scarpetta of losing his client's latest manuscript, an autobiographical expose of Beryl's early life as protege of a legendary novelist. As more deaths occur and the killer closes in on her, Kay suffers palpitations over the sudden and devious reappearance of long-lost lover Mark but still finds time to provide forensic details.
My Thoughts: I read another book in this series and kind of liked it, so I wanted to try and read them in the order that they were written. This is the second in the series (I wasn't able to find the first). I really didn't like it. I realize that it's dated (book was published in 1991) but I found it hard to read when one character kept using derrogatory names for a certain group of people. That may have been ok in 1991 but not so much anymore. And, thinking back, I'm not even sure it was ok in 1991. There were a bunch of things like that that bothered me. Scarpetta smokes and in the book she lights up everywhere - at home, at work - everywhere. Again, this isn't the author's fault, but mine for not being able to get past it. I'm going to stick with it. I got another book in the series from book mooch. I'm going to start it soon.
Title: The Twelfth Card
Author: Jeffery Deavers
Lincoln Rhyme, Deaver's popular paraplegic detective, returns (after The Vanished Man) in a robust thriller that demonstrates Deaver's unflagging ability to entertain. But even great entertainers have high and lows, and this novel, while steadily absorbing, doesn't match the author's best. Geneva Settle, who's 16 and black, is attacked in a Manhattan library while researching an ancestor, a former slave who harbored a serious secret (not revealed until book's end). Amelia Sachs, Rhyme's lover/assistant, and then Rhyme are pulled into the case, which quickly turns bloody. After Geneva are a lethally cool white hit man and a black ex-con—but even when they're identified, their motive remains unclear: why does someone want this feisty, hardworking Harlem schoolgirl dead? To find out, Rhyme primarily relies, as usual, on his and Sachs's strength, forensic analysis; the book's tour de force opening sequence consists mostly of a lengthy depiction of their painstaking dissection of evidence left during the initial attack on Geneva, and every few chapters there's an extensive recap of all evidence collected in the case. Deaver offers more plot twists than seem possible, each fully justified, but this and the emphasis on forensics give the novel more brain than heart. Geneva, a wonderful character, adds feeling to the story, and there are minor personal crises faced by other characters, but as the novel's focus veers from police procedure to odd byways of American history, execution techniques and one more plot twist, the narrative loses grace and form.
My Thoughts: Again, I read another book by this author and loved it, so I thought I would check out some more of his stuff. The book that I read was an extension of this series, so I tried to read earlier novels in the series. I loved this book and will continue to read more of Deavers' work. I was captivated by the mystery and the storyline. Can't wait to read more!!