Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

Cornwell is the master of mystery and her ability to weave such an intricate and detailed plot is astounding.

9780732299149The 22nd novel in the ‘Kay Scarpetta’ series by Patricia Cornwell, ‘Flesh and Blood’ will have you guessing until the very end to find out who the elusive Copperhead is.

Rather than celebrating her birthday, Dr Kay Scarpetta discovers seven pennies on the wall of her yard, all polished and dating from 1981, just before getting called out to attend a homicide five minutes away from her home.

A high school music teacher has been shot in his front yard.

With an astonishingly perfect shot, no witnesses and little to no evidence left at the scene, Kay and the team are going up against what could be the most calculating murderer they have ever faced.

As the case progresses and more victims are discovered, it becomes clear that the killer- dubbed Copperhead- is playing one ruthlessly dangerous game.

When Kay realizes that – even distantly – she is the common denominator linking the victims it leads her to the question, could Copperhead be someone she knows?

I found it a bit difficult to get into ‘Flesh and Blood’, mostly due to the fact that Cornwell has written in Stream of Consciousness. This decision is a double edged sword; the constant observations running through Kays mind make the novel appear to drag on, however it does allow fantastic insight into how Kay thinks

and the mind of an investigator- fitting for a crime novel- and the originally lethargy quickly passes once you get further into the plot.

One of my favourite things about Cornwell is her attention to detail and the authenticity she is able to bring to her novels. It is clear that Cornwell has had experience in the forensic field, with her time working in the office of the Virginian Chief Medical Examiner, and in-depth research into forensic technologies allowing her to create novels that ooze realism.

Despite being the 22nd novel in the series, ‘Flesh and Blood’ can be read as a stand-alone novel. However I would encourage you to start at the beginning so you can truly appreciate the dynamics between the characters as well as experience the apprehension and foreboding Cornwell creates as the team try to uncover who the murderer is before one of them becomes the next victim.

Ending with a cliff hanger, ’Flesh and Blood’ was a compelling and anticipative read. ‘Flesh and Blood’ is an undeniably brilliant edition to an enthralling series.

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