Sayonara, Patricia Cornwell

It’s hard to watch someone going downhill, especially authors you love.

I used to enjoy reading Patricia Cornwell. Her novels featuring the heroine Dr Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner were brilliant. But she has deteriorated. Lately, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series has lost lots of its luster.

Between three pages of Book of the Dead Cornwell wrote

“…he’s done the unthinkable.”

“…he might be capable of the unthinkable.”

“…not if he did the unthinkable.”

“He may have done the unthinkable.”

“…she hopes … that the unthinkable hasn’t happened.”

“Assuming he’s done the unthinkable…”

What many of her fans are thinking is this: what’s unthinkable is that this mess got through the editing process. Is there no one ballsy enough to stand up and say, “Wait, wait, wait, this just won’t do. Bring it back when it’s worthy to print or get a ghost writer.”?

Book of the Dead, Cornwell’s is without question the worst entry in the entire series. No matter how badly written a book is, I usually force myself to finish it. With Book of the Dead, I just couldn’t. I threw the book away. I did not go on to read Cornwell’s next installment in the Scarpetta series, simply entitled Scarpetta.

Author Jonathan Kellerman once said “I begin each day by rewriting yesterday’s output. Then I rewrite again. And again. Then the manuscript is reviewed by my editor. Then by me, again. Then by a copy-editor, paid to nitpick. Then by me, again. Then, it goes to the typesetter. And I check it, again.”

That’s a rigorous process which must have escaped Patricia Cornwell.

This entry was posted in The Reader. Bookmark the permalink.