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BOOK REVIEW: Flesh and Blood

Kerre McIvor reviews Patricia Cornwell's new novel, "Flesh and Blood".

By Kerre McIvor
I have read every single one of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels and I’ve enjoyed some more than others. As with other successful authors, Cornwell can sometimes write like she’s going through the motions and is simply banging out enough words to fulfil her publishing contract.
Because of this, I approached Flesh and Blood, the 22nd novel in the Scarpetta series, with caution – but ultimately it’s a great holiday read. All the usual suspects are there – Dr Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner, pathologist, fine cook and cold fish; her handsome, urbane and independently wealthy FBI profiler-husband Benton; Scarpetta’s on/off investigating partner Pete, who’s recently rejoined the police force; and Kay’s brilliant, helicopter-flying, Ferrari-driving, gun-toting, billionaire niece Lucy.
Kay and Benton are planning a rare holiday away when Kay’s phone rings. A man has been shot in his driveway, with extraordinary precision, and yet no-one heard or saw a thing. As a second victim surfaces, it appears as though the team is investigating a serial sniper with exceptional talent.
Meanwhile, Kay has been receiving anonymous cryptic messages and finds out that her credit card has been hacked. A seasoned pro, Kay is used to weirdos trying to freak her out, but when seven pennies appear on the wall of her house, it’s a step too close.
Kay enlists the help of Lucy to find both the provocateur and the sniper, but as more evidence comes to light, it begins to point to Lucy – the only person with the know-how and the ability to commit either crime.
Kay, Benton and Pete suspect that Lucy is being set up, and proving her innocence becomes a race against time. There’s a huge climax at the end of the novel, so there’s sure to be a 23rd Scarpetta story. I won’t be counting sleeps until it’s published – but I’m not going to miss it either.

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