Scarpetta (and thus Cornwell) are back on form in the latest gritty, tense and multi-dimensional bestseller; ‘Predator’. As the name suggests, yet another killer is stalking the seemingly innocent and disposing of them in disturbing and horrific ways. Lovers of the famous ‘Dr Kay’ will not be disappointed by her new position as Consultant and Director of Forensic Science and Medicine at the National Forensic Academy. She may be away from the politics and in-fighting of the Coroner’s office, but she is not short of enemies and still fights daily to ensure her high standards are kept, even when those closest to her seem to be working against her, with only their own agenda in mind.
Benton is also back in this fast-paced novel. His research program, that causes some serious moral issues as far as Scarpetta is concerned, becomes the key feature in the search for the psychopath that has turned Florida into his new hunting ground.
Scarpetta’s troubled, but ever resourceful and techno-mad niece, Lucy, features strongly. The relationship between the two is strained almost to breaking point as secrets are revealed that shake Scarpetta to her core and make her doubt her allegiances to those she loves. Lucy’s own difficulties become an integral part of the story as she battles her own demons and tries to understand the woman she has become.
The redoubtable Marino also plays a large part, the last of the four, whose interplay always makes Cornwell’s books an addictive pleasure. His undying feelings for Scarpetta are still evident as he seeks to protect her and Lucy from the killer that seems to have embroiled himself in the everyday lives.
This is a must-read, must-own, never lend book that will endure on my shelf for the foreseeable future. I suffered the problem of wanting to find out what happens but not wanting the story to end.
Never let it be said that Cornwell doesn’t pack a punch, this one still has me reeling.