"In most cases of seppuku, the cause of death is cardiac arrest due
to sudden cardiac collapse due to a sudden drop in intra-abdominal pressure due
to sudden evisceration."
That’s a line from Kay Scarpetta in Cornwell’s latest novel PREDATOR, as quoted by Marilyn Stasio in the NY Times.
16 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Reading Patricia Cornwell…”
Ms. Cornwell missed the most important step. The brain hypoxia caused by that cardiac arrest, caused by circulatory collapse…
Brain hypoxia, the number one killer of mankind since, well, since we had a brain.
All of a sudden, someone suddenly needs a sudden new editor.
And a thesaurus.
Now I’m curious: what’s the cause of death in those other suppuku cases — blunt-force trauma from your severed head hitting the tea table?
So, in Mark Terry-ese, you slit your gut open, but your heart stops before you bleed to death because of the sudden drop in blood pressure … assuming you’re conscious from the pain, shock, or your “second” hasn’t cut your head off as is tradition.
I gave up on years ago when her description of mass spectrometry read exactly like the catalog brochure. It was such a bunch of nonsense.
I, happily, haven’t read her stories in a while. Underdeveloped characters and artifical plots I can handle, if the action and suspense keep me reading. However, when she tried humor, dear me.
I now buy a debut novel whenever one of hers comes out–figure I’ll find better writing, and help someone along who doesn’t have a franchise including cookbooks. I might buy a pair of Scarpetta scrubs, though . . .
I thought her cookbook was decent.
i have like 3 books of patrcia cornwell and i have no intentions of reading them for the meantime. this is a good review tough.i’m thinking whether or not i should read them.
There are always critics who try to make themselves looker better (or smarter) than the gifted in the spotlight. I have all of Cornwell’s books (with the exception of the cookbooks), and live for the next one. She is the only author I keep up with on a consistent basis, and I love her style. She does a marvelous job expressing Kay’s point of view as well as the details in the story. You guys are missing the point all-together.
Patricia, you are truly gifted. I love your books, and would love to meet you personally someday.
Patricia Cornwell’s books just about have a cult following at the central Missouri high school where I teach. I love the intrigue of her plots, and I happen to think she does an admirable job with characterization. I was not quite as fond of Predator’s ending as most of her other books because it all wrapped up so concisely and neatly–like she was tired of writing the book.
Hi, I used to be an avid fan of Cornwell and loved the Kay Scarpetta stories, however from Blowfly on, she changed the from the first person format, which totally ruined the feel, realism and overall credibility of all characters and plots. I am sure I am not the only one who is disappointed in Patricia’s change or writing. I felt Trace to be boring and written purely as an excuse to publish another book. The story was lathargic, had little depth, bugger all conectivity and the ending was rushed. It simply didnt click. bring back the old kay Scarpetta style Patricia!
If I remember correctly (I don’t have the book with me), that quote was from an exasperated Kay Scarpetta to an underling who was trying to show her up, and it worked in that context. It’s not gracious for one writer to snatch a random bit of someone else’s work and say “look how bad they write.”
i love her books no matter what other people say about it.i also saw the program where she talks about jack the ripper and i think that shes right.maybe becuse no one thought about it they say shes wrong.well ithink they are jelous,she came up with an answer,after all these years.
Hey, Maritza, pray tell what did she say about JTR?
all of her books contain negative connotations about pit bulls. having rescued two of thesemuch aligned dogs, i feel she is feeding into the negativity surrounding the breed. the breed is not necessarily evil – however – owners can be. i have read her books for years and own all those in print, but i will no longer purchase her workks and enrich her further so that she can spread bad karma so randomly and irresponsibly.
It’s been many years since I read Post mortem, but I remember that Scarpetta was a recovering alcoholic in the first few books, and when I started reading Kathy Reichs series of books her heroine also was a recoving alcoholic, also divorced, also around the 40’s age bracket, etc, etc, etc,
Is this correct or is my memory failing me??
Agreed. I was very disappointed by the change from first person. I loved seeing things from Scarpetta’s view point. I’ve not even read the last 2 or 3 PC books because of this. They’ve been lackluster and just…bad. She butchers all her endings, making them into huge anti-climaxes. I wish she’d get her enthusiasm back.