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BLACK NOTICE – “Not Dead on Arrival”

March 13, 2011

Black Notice

by Patricia Cornwell

Penguin Books, $9.99

529 pages

From the female side of this novel we get emotion, relationships, dynamics below the surface, all making waves in a traditionally male world of police procedures, crime and avarice. Tough stuff and great dramatic contrast. But you’ll keep the pages turning late into the night to unravel a macabre story that gets stranger and stranger.

Cornwell is a master storyteller. I dislike watching CSI on TV but somehow her medical examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a badly decomposed body in a shipping container, a friend who’s a suspended detective, internal political corruption and a niece who accidentally shoots her lesbian lover get into our blood and show us the world as we don’t ordinarily see it. And let’s not forget a real-life, French werewolf!

Tight dialogue, sterling credibility and succinct description that sets the scene: “I listened to silence and became acutely aware of the sounds of it. I heard the wind, the faint clicking of numbers rolling on the digital clock, heat blowing, my own breathing.” In spite of an abrupt ending (that somehow seems right and very satisfying) this is a long book that seems it really should go on forever. Maybe the series will.

Buy this directly from amazon for $9.99. Click here: Black Notice (Scarpetta)

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