Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell

I am one of those who actually liked the ‘new’ third-person style and also found Blow Fly, Trace and Predator surprisingly good, after a long pause from the Scarpetta books. So I was looking forward to this new one, and the first few pages are promising. Until you reach the first dialogue between Kay, Benton and their Italian colleague. Scarpetta and Benton are in Rome to help local police and forensics solve the murder of the American tennis star Drew, who was murdered in a horrendous way a few days before. The dialogues (of which there are MANY in this book) are slow and boring, and I actually found the storyline very confusing. Back in Charleston Scarpetta has her problems with Lucy and Marino and local coroners and funeral home directors and the story moves slowly forward. We are inside the murder’s mind, which is also boring, and Lucy and Marino behaves so annoying, that you lose all you might’ve felt for them before. Scarpetta herself is trying to keep her emotions in check, making her look like the icequeen par excellence. And then add the psycho-psychologist Marilyn Self, some doctors from Benton’s hospital (he is not FBI anymore, but a psychiatrist at a famous hospital) plus Scarpetta’s secretary, her new gardener, Marino’s trashy girlfriend and you have an extremely confusing and disappointing story, which really doesn’t go any where and which presents the characters in such an irritating way, that you couldn’t care less what happens to them in the end. It is almost like P. Cornwell has grown completely tired of those characters and doesn’t care about them at all. This is only recommended for real fans who must read all the Scarpetta books. It cannot stand alone.