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Review: Red Mist

February 23, 2012

In an effort to find out what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, Kaye Scarpetta has agreed to meet with an inmate at the Georgia Prison for Women.  When she arrives in Savannah it seems that forces are working against her, but she is determined to figure things out and meets with the woman who is a sex offender and the mother of a murderer.  With the information she gains at the prison, Scarpetta makes a couple discoveries that help her solve some brutal crimes.

Red Mist is Patricia Cornwell‘s latest Kaye Scarpetta novel and I enjoyed it, but wouldn’t say that I loved it.  I used to devour each new addition to this series but felt the series jumped the shark several years ago, so I gave up on it.  A friend told me that she thought the series has gotten better, so I thought I’d give it a try again.  I wasn’t disappointed, but don’t feel the series has gotten back to its former glory yet.

The mystery involved in the story was pretty good, but the way Scarpetta pieced everything together seemed a little far-fetched to me.  Even after the mystery was solved, I wasn’t quite sure how she came to some of her conclusions.  I also found it a little odd that her presence wasn’t met with a little more resistance from the local authorities.

I listened to the audio version which was narrated by Kate Burton.  She does a great job, but a few of her voices grated on me.  I’ve heard these characters in my head for years and some of the voices didn’t seem right to me.  Having said that, I think her narration was what kept me invested in the book.   Red Mist is on 11 CDs and last about 13 hours.

Lucy of The Reading Date sent me her copy of this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2012 8:06 am

    Sounds like a decent potboiler thriller. I’ll try Scarpetta one of these days!

  2. February 23, 2012 8:50 am

    I haven’t been back to these books in years. They were always a good “go-to” series though in a pinch, but it sounds like not anymore!

  3. February 23, 2012 9:23 am

    I read a few books in this series many moons ago, and while I liked them, I never really got into the series as a whole and decided to read all of them. I think it’s inevitable that at some point a series like this would start to be repetitive or less original, so I can see where you are coming from. I’m sorry this one wasn’t a stellar read for you, but I enjoyed reading your honest take on it!

  4. February 23, 2012 9:40 am

    I don’t think I have tried any of her books. I don’t read many mystery/thriller books.

  5. February 23, 2012 9:55 am

    I felt the same as you did on this one. I loved the early books but drifted away from the series the past few years. This one was good but not like they used to be. Maybe I just don’t like the way Scarpetta has changed.

  6. February 23, 2012 10:44 am

    I haven’t read these books, but my mom has enjoyed this series in the past

  7. February 23, 2012 11:17 am

    I haven’t read anything in this series in years. It looks like I haven’t been missing much.

  8. February 23, 2012 11:31 am

    Like you I used to love her but I have heard the last 2 maybe 3 are good and I think I want to try again also. This one sounds like a great read to me even though you question how she came to some conclusions.

  9. February 23, 2012 11:45 am

    Maybe I’ll try Cornwell again one of these days. I had drifted away too but I do enjoy the forensic thing.

  10. February 23, 2012 12:11 pm

    I’ve read a few of her books before, like thrillers.

  11. February 23, 2012 12:11 pm

    My husband and I both use to devour Cornwell’s Scarpetta books too but it’s true, they’ve lost their flavor. Plots and characters just got too farfetched.

  12. February 23, 2012 12:15 pm

    I haven’t read a Scarpetta book in years. One of these days I’ll have to pick one up again.

  13. February 23, 2012 12:21 pm

    I was totally addicted to this series for awhile, but just like you said, it wandered way off the path and I lost interest. I mean, how much can you really milk this relationship between Kay and Jack anyway??? My mom just listened to this audio, and said she had some issues with it too, both with Kay’s logical processes and the narration. But I have it here, and I’m sure I will get to it.

  14. February 23, 2012 12:48 pm

    I haven’t read any of the books in the series, but I checked out her website and it’s awesome! I just couldn’t find a link to any other books than Red Mist. I would like to read this series, but she’s on the 19th book and that’s a little overwhelming for me since I already have a huge tbr stack.

    Sorry the book wasn’t as good as you’d have liked.

  15. February 23, 2012 1:06 pm

    I feel the same way about the Scarpetta books. I imagine that it’s very difficult to keep a long series going, but it’s still a real disappointment. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  16. February 23, 2012 1:30 pm

    Kathy, thanks for your honest review of this audio book. 🙂

  17. February 23, 2012 1:46 pm

    I haven’t read any of this series. It just never grabbed my attention.

  18. February 23, 2012 3:18 pm

    I know exactly what you mean…I loved the early books…but I have not read her stuff in ages…I probably won’t in the future either…I love your jumping the shark thought.

  19. February 23, 2012 3:22 pm

    I have been enjoying the books more now that she switched back to 1st person, but I miss the pow the first handful of books had. I want more in the field, more technology, more not-tied-to-Scarpetta-personally drama.

  20. February 23, 2012 3:46 pm

    I’ve never read one of her mysteries. I know lots of people enjoy her series. I’m still working on the ABC murders by Sue Grafton. I luv those mysteries.

  21. February 23, 2012 3:50 pm

    13 hours of audio, so very long 🙂

  22. February 23, 2012 4:49 pm

    I think I have a similar feeling as you about this series. I used to love them.

  23. February 23, 2012 6:13 pm

    I thought the series “jumped the shark” too (love that phrase!) but I don’t think I’ll give it another chance.

  24. February 23, 2012 6:41 pm

    I read several of the early Scarpetta books and really enjoyed them. I think sometimes it is hard for a writer to sustain a series like this one….I hope they will continue to get better. I was working as a bookseller when Patricia Cornwell dropped in unannounced one day. She was extremely pretty and petite, and perfectly charming. She signed a huge stack of books, and then bought several copies of her own book, signed them, and gave them as gifts to the booksellers. One of the most gracious authors I ever met….

  25. February 23, 2012 6:51 pm

    Your review has confirmed that I did the right thing by giving up on this series!

  26. February 23, 2012 11:00 pm

    I have never read Cornwell. And now I need to Google “jump the shark” to see what that means….LOL

  27. February 24, 2012 6:27 am

    Nice of you to read a book in a series you’d given up on. I think grating voices of some characters would have been my undoing.
    I wonder if/when Sheila will use the “jumped the shark” phrase? 😉

  28. February 24, 2012 11:46 am

    I don’t read many mystery books, but if I were to read one of these, I’d stick to the earlier books since it sounds like those were better.

  29. February 24, 2012 3:35 pm

    i feel the same way about this series. I loved the early books and couldn’t wait to get them but then they went off course. (Jumped the shark!) I eventually read a few more and they got better but I haven’t been back for the last few books. I’m glad to hear you liked the audio version, for the most part. 🙂

  30. February 24, 2012 9:03 pm

    I too gave up on Cornwell’s books years ago…and find little reason to try them again.

  31. February 24, 2012 9:05 pm

    Not a series I’ve even started yet, though now I’m not sure I want to. I’m one of those that if I start a series, I need to see it all the way through. When newer books don’t live up to the older ones, it makes that process painful at times.

  32. February 25, 2012 12:20 am

    I am so with you on the Scarpetta novels – I think the last one I read was when her niece had just started working with the FBI or something and Scarpetta was going to leave her position as ME…goodness that was years ago and probably about 10 books ago!

  33. February 25, 2012 8:15 am

    I never began this series and have no plans to change that.

  34. February 25, 2012 10:40 am

    I used to read all of hers as well until they started not being so good anymore. I’m glad to hear they’ve gotten a bit better again but I don’t think I’ll be picking one up anytime soon.

  35. February 26, 2012 7:16 am

    I agree with Darlene. I used to love her books till I came to the last two I read which were so disappointing. I will give this one a go anyway.

  36. February 26, 2012 5:22 pm

    Jason and I listened to a few on road trips way back when but I never felt compelled to go on with the series, which is weird cause it has lots of the stuff I love.

  37. February 27, 2012 4:16 pm

    It’s a bummer but I find that when these series go on for a long time they all seem to jump the shark and go downhill at some point. I’ll stick to reading the earlier ones.

  38. March 2, 2012 10:36 am

    It is so sad when a beloved series stops bringing what you expect from it.

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