“Scarpetta” by Patricia Cornwell
Published in 2009 by the Berkeley Publishing Group, 432 pages

After I had enjoyed “The Last Precinct” I was happy to see the new one of the Scarpetta series being sold at the little bookstore I stopped at during my commute. I knew that I was missing some books in between “The Last Precinct” and “Scarpetta” and although I love to read series in the chronological order I decided to buy it nonetheless. What a mistake. For the first 100 pages I was disturbed that Benton Wesley was alive – a huge part of “The Last Precinct” was Scarpetta mourning his death. I checked over and over again if I had bought a book that was supposed to take place before “The Last Precinct”, but that would not work out as well as incidents and people from “The Last Precinct” were mentioned and the relationship between Kay and Pete had changed dramatically. After some searching on the internet I found an answer: Benton was not murdered, and Pete as well as Lucy knew it. Especially their knowledge felt so fake to me. If you as the author kill a protagonist – let that person stay dead and not suddenly appear again with some wired explanation (unless it is a ghost story in which case I probably won’t read it anyway.)

This bothered me quite for a while, and it took me a couple of evenings to finally finish this one. It got better after I forgot about Benton having been murdered and I started to enjoy reading it again. A _very_ brief summary: Scarpetta is asked to examine someone who might have murdered his girlfriend. Lots of rumors about Scarpetta appear on the internet. Together with her friends Scarpetta solves the case.

The first three sentences:

“Brain tissue clung like wet, frey lint to the sleeves of Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s surgical gown, and the front of it was splashed with blood. Stryker saws whined, running water drummed, and bone dust sifted through the air like flour. Three tables were full.”