My original plan after the last reads was to crack on slightly belatedly with The Cellist of Sarajevo by Stephen Galloway as the final read of the Richard and Judy Challenge. However, when I was just getting to the tube station I stopped and looked in my bag… no book! There is a very well situated Charity Shop just opposite so I dashed in for a 50p find. I wanted something I hadn’t tried before but also something that was different from my recent reads and my eyes fell upon Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell someone I have been meaning to read for ages as she is one of the biggest selling crime writers of the present day. Also with my love for crime fiction and of course the great Tess Gerritsen this looked like it would be right up my street. Plus it is the first in the series, and one of my pacts with myself is only to by a book in a series if it’s in order and have read the last one… or like this it is the first one. There is also the fact that I cant read books if its not in the correct order, I am not saying its wrong to do that, I just like to follow the journey as the author intended even if the books are stand alone novels as well.
Postmortem was Patricia Cornwell’s first published novel and was also the first in what has become the multi-million copy shifting Kay Scarpetta series. In Richmond, Virginia a serial killer seems to be on the loose three women have died and as we join the story Dr Kay Scarpetta has been woken with the news there is now a fourth. Now it’s a race against time and more killings for these crimes to be solved and the killer to be caught. Scarpetta is not the detective in the scenario though she is the Chief Medical Officer and through this we get a lot more of the science of crime scene investigations (which of course with the TV now is an incredibly popular angle though this book came out long before) as well as the detective work to find the killer.
While all this goes on of course we are given an insight into the personal life of Scarpetta which isn’t simple either. She cannot stand the detective (Marino) with whom she has to liaise with on these cases. It appears her peers and bosses aren’t sure that as a woman she is capable of the job. One of her peers has become a very complicated possible lover. On top of that she has her niece staying with her who thinks of Scarpetta as a surrogate mother. That’s a lot of stuff going on. Yet oddly, despite the fact you have all this I didn’t feel like I knew who Scarpetta was. I know she liked to garden and she liked to cook, though I wondered how she had time, and that her family history is Italian. That was about it maybe that will come with the books as I go further along the series which is something I definitely intend on doing.
Have any of you read the series, is it worth going on with at the moment I am thinking it is. I just think that Tess Gerritsen has an edge on Patricia Cornwell in terms of her work being slightly more gripping and page turning however I am further along in that series. Plus Speaking of series are there any crime series I am missing out on, I read the Gerritsen’s, M.C Beaton’s and Susan Hill’s what others would you recommend? I have heard that Mankell’s Wallander series is very good, do let me know.