Kay Scarpetta

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hc4361 | 21:46 Wed 10th Apr 2013 | Arts & Literature
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I have enjoyed reading these books in order but I'm nonplussed as to why Cornwell has switched from writing in the first person to the third person in Blow Fly, the 12th in the series.

Is there any explanation for this? I've just started Blow Fly and the whole tone of the narrative has changed because of it.


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I found it a bit off putting to be honest. I liked the first person view.
Question Author
Me, too, 2sp.

Lee Child did the same in his Jack Reacher novels but he did explain that writing in the third person for some of the books enabled him (the author) to give the novel a more story led aspect that writing in the first person would have constrained.
That is understandable with such a closed and solitary character as Reacher.

I can't find an explanation from Cornwell. It has thrown me.
Blow Fly was the last book of hers which I read .I didn't like the way it was written in the third person either and quite frankly the next book Trace was chronic .I gave up half way through and have never read any more of her books She went off the boil completely .Preposterous plots .Benton Wesley coming back from the dead ,wolfmen etc .Total rubbish and her first books were so good .
Question Author
I'm really disappointed to hear that, Shaney. I was really looking forward to the rest of the series - not prepared to give up yet.
If you put Patricia Cornwell into search hc'll see I'm not alone in my thinking .Her later books go rapidly downhill and it's a shame .
Each time a new one comes out I read the Amazon reviews and there's an awful lot of disappointment.
Happy reading though :)
And the characters age at a different rate as well. What you see below comes from the Scarpetta Wiki page. It's not my writing.

"Lucy's chronological age does not correspond with the time between the publication of each book. (Other characters' ages are similarly mixed up; e.g., Kay Scarpetta is supposed to be around 40 at the beginning of the series, meaning she is 30 years older than Lucy. However, by the time of the novel Blow Fly, Lucy is almost 30, while Scarpetta is still 46 rather than a more realistic 60."

I can't stand reading in the historic present tense. It gets terribly muddled when a previous past event has to be described. I, too, have given up on her.
i read on buying them as i've followed the series from the start but i'm starting not to enjoy them anymore :-(
Question Author
Perhaps Cornwell ought to have abandoned Scarpetta and developed a new character.
In the book I'm currently reading the author doesn't seem to like Scarpetta at all.

Oh, well. Any suggestions for a new series of books?
Kathy Reichs books are similar hc .But she went off the boil too .
The character is a forensic anthropologist . It spawned the TV series Bones .
But you may like her first ones .I got as far as Flash and Bones then gave up .
It must be difficult for these authors to keep such successful characters going .
I couldn't write for toffee and admire people that can ,but you can flog a horse to death and sometimes I think they should just kill them off and end it while the going is good .
Ohter series which are good and consistently good are
Donna Leon ..Inspector Brunetti
Peter Robinson ..Inspector Banks
Peter James ...DS Roy Grace
James Lee Burke ..Robicheaux ..set in New Orleans
Christopher Fowler ..Bryant and May .
You can look them up here
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Thanks, Shaney - I've read all the Reichs books but will certainly look at the others.

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