Friday, June 10, 2011

Flashback Friday - Kay Scarpetta

I often get it into my head to reread old favorites, especially long-running series. The profusion of medical examiner dramas on television made me want to revisit Scarpetta. I hadn't read the last couple of books, having been disappointed in more recent installments, but Port Mortuary was suggested as a good Scarpetta novel, and I enjoyed it. I decided to start the series from the beginning. How fun! First, DNA testing is still relatively new at the start of the series, and the first few books provide a brief history of forensic science, with DNA results taking weeks in the first book, and pre-DNA database, only serving a purpose when there's a suspect for comparison. Soon, PCR testing has made DNA testing much faster (and therefore more useful in solving crimes), and DNA information begins to be stored. I was able to pinpoint the book at which my interest began to wane: BLOW FLY, in which Patricia Cornwell switches to the third person and seems to hate her main character. I was happy to see that by THE SCARPETTA FACTOR, Cornwell seems somewhat less hostile toward Scarpetta (though I still miss the first-person narrative) and PORT MORTUARY is almost even enjoyable. There are some major character inconsistencies throughout the more recent books, but PORT MORTUARY sort of made up for those. At any rate, even if you don't hang in until the end of the series, the first few books are well worth reading.

The books in order:

Postmortem (1990)
Body of Evidence (1991)
All That Remains (1992)
Cruel and Unusual (1993)
The Body Farm (1994)
From Potter's Field (1995)
Cause of Death (1996)
Unnatural Exposure (1997)
Point of Origin (1998)
Black Notice (1999)
The Last Precinct (2000)
Blow Fly (2003)
Trace (2004)
Predator (2005)
Book of the Dead (2007)
Scarpetta (2008)
The Scarpetta Factor (2009)
Port Mortuary (2010)

1 comment:

Marce said...

Point of Return is where I think I gave up, the beginning books were amazing. I have Scarpetta, need to try to get back into this series.