Patricia Cornwell Message Board

Eve Steele posts on 1/12/2007 11:56:28 AM Joe, what a perceptive and fascinating post. And your observations are even more prevalent in her earlier works. I agree about the gore - it makes for a truly enthralling read. My favorite book in the series is Body of Evidence. I enjoyed seeing the story of Beryl Madison unfold and develop. Cornwell vividly brought a dead character to life through Kay's eyes. I also immensely enjoyed the background of Keywest for much of the telling.
Joe posts on 1/11/2007 7:50:21 PM The Scarpetta books come out of an obviously fascinating and complex mind, and that is what makes these stories so enthralling -- not the gore, which is what the troll was saying. I've read a little about Patricia Cornwell, and from what I've read, I get glimpses of what makes up that fascinating and complex mind and the stories that come out of it. For example, I read she was anorexic when she was young. This youthful anorexia of Patricia Cornwell makes Kay Scarpetta's intense interest in food very interesting, by contrast. Also, anorexic girls are said to often be ultra-competitive (losing weight becomes an extreme competition), and Kay is ultra-competitive (as is Lucy). The sensual pleasure Kay gets from food (and from drink and sometimes from sex) counterpoints the physical pain going on around her. This combination of sensual pleasure alternating with physical pain is a gripping aspect of the Scarpetta stories (as it also was in the James Bond stories, which I once read.) -- sensual pleasure as a temporary escape from a world of physical pain. Also, I read in an interview with her where she said she has a condition that essentially is bi-polar (manic- depressive cycles of extreme hyper activity followed by dark depression). This too is prevalent in the Scarpetta stories -- both in the stories and in Kay herself. And finally I also read that her father was a brilliant legal mind (a supreme court clerk, and they are the smartest of the smartest law students) but a cold and detached father to Patricia. Again, this quality is present in the stories and in the characters. In my opinion, if Patricia Cornwell didn't have such a fascinating and complex mind, her Scarpetta stories wouldn't have near the force they do. It goes well beyond her familiarity with the subject matter of the medical examiner. It's her total experiencing of that world through her complex and fascinating mind.
Eve Steele posts on 1/6/2007 4:52:39 PM Hmmm, never saw a troll in a book discussion forum before.

TJ in IN posts on 1/6/2007 10:58:42 AM RE: Mr. Walker... If you are going to come on the PC board and cast dispersions on her books...why, pray tell, would you do so in your own name?? And then have the gall to promote your own books...I definitely see something wrong with this picture. Assume an alias for god sake!! You could have easily promoted your own books and not come off looking so cheesy to the PC fans.
Eve Steele posts on 1/5/2007 7:24:23 PM Yes, Pete Marino is a very complex character - one that would be very interesting to explore. I liked it how in the last few Scarpetta novels Cornwell had Pete get in shape and take better care of himself. He even went to a therapist! That perhaps was the biggest shocker of Predator! However, his physical improvements and therapeutic efforts didn't seem to temper his gruff attitude much. Huh, as Pete would say.
Joe posts on 1/5/2007 5:23:31 PM I got a different take on Marino the second time I read PREDATOR (after having read it first and then reading the rest of the series in reverse order and then coming back and reading PREDATOR a second time). Marino now seems to me to have a case of shell shock (which is an old term that first applied to soldiers coming back from the trench warfare of WW1 and is now called post traumatic stress syndrome. I heard a military psychiatrist talking about it once on Nightline). It's not surprising after all Marino has seen and had done to him, as well as what he's done to others throughout the fourteen books (Those are the things the military psychiatrist said causes shell shock). At the core of his mind, he's still a great detective, but the outer areas of his mind seem to be unraveled and in some areas shattered. It only seems to be his laser sharp focus on the concrete details of his detective work that keeps him from losing it completely. (Eve, thanks for the news on the next Scarpetta book. At least I now know the title.)
Eve Steele posts on 1/5/2007 4:47:34 PM Yesterday, I found out that Cornnwell's newest book in the Scarpetta Series, Book of the Dead is not going to be released until fall 2007. Huh. I thought it was due out by Christmas of '06 and have been awaiting its release for a couple of months. Regarding Mr. Walker - I like his comments and find them informative and interesting.
Joe posts on 1/4/2007 8:46:25 PM Kris10. I recently read a book by Davic Baldacci titled THE HOUR GAME that has the same basic subject matter as the Scarpetta series (serial killer and a medical examiner that is a prominant character, though not the main character), but I didn't like it nearly as well as the Patricia Cornwell books. One thing it did do was give me a better appreciation for her stories, even PREDATOR.
Kris10 posts on 1/4/2007 2:38:31 PM Thanks for all the suggestions - I'm heading for the library!
Joe posts on 1/3/2007 8:44:49 PM I finally went back and finished PREDATOR the second time (after first reading it and then reading the rest of the Scarpetta series backwards to POSTMORTEM and then again starting PREDATOR for the second time and not liking it nearly so well as the first time and finally putting it down after about 100 pages). This time when I got to about page 170, the story finally kicked in. FINALLY at about page 170, Kay went into a crime scene and started untangling the forensic nightmare. So all in all I ended up liking PREDATOR again, but not as much as some of the early ones in the series where the story starts with Kay getting a call to the crime scene instead of starting off with a 170 paqes of peripheral (mostly meaning Lucy and her academy) stuff. I understand how all the early stuff ties into the story, of course, but I really do think the stories work better when they start off with Kay being called to a crime scene and then after that all the peripheral stuff starts coming in. (By the way, I have no problem with Mr. Walker's posts, and I even looked for one of his books in the bookstore the other day.)
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