I finally finished Book of the Dead.
First off, it's not quite as terrible as the Amazon reviews would lead you to believe.
Still, it's hard to avoid damning it with faint praise. What's sad is that there is a great story buried in this book. It's just not exactly worth spending $35 to get there.
General observations, both good and bad.
1. The bad guy and the way he kills his victims are great.
2. There is a new major character (not a bad guy) who is fascinating and all of the parts involving him are wonderful. I hope she keeps him in the next book.
3. I really, really don't give a shit about Lucy or Benton anymore. In the early books they were fine because they were just plot devices - Benton helped her profile killers and Lucy could do weird computer shit. Now, she tries to devote extended sections of the book to how Benton and Lucy feel about life. It's pointless. Benton is a morose one dimensional FBI dude. Lucy is a one dimensional creepy vigilante.
4. I still like Pete Marino. In fact, I would have been happy with more Marino stuff in this book.
5. A major plot twist depends on the concept that Scarpetta doesn't like Marino. I call shenanigans. Kay has always liked Pete and Pete has always liked Kay. You can't undue a major theme of the past 14 books just because it makes it easier for you to make an important plot transition.
6. Patricia, you've cried wolf before, so I don't really believe that you've killed off a major character at the end of this book. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.
7. There are actual typos in this book. How does that happen in a major hardcover publication?
8. Also, there are obvious gross editing errors. It reads like a first draft. Again, how does that happen? Is there no one at the publishing company who reads/edits this stuff before it goes into print?
9. The ending is horse shit. If I'm going to have to spend pages and pages reading about Lucy's existential angst over her brain tumor at least give me a fucking nice payoff when it comes time for Scarpetta to confront the killer.
10. I'm really uncomfortable with the way she portrays lower class white people in the South. I'm sorry but not everyone white who works blue collar jobs are white trash meth heads.