Crime & Thrillers Dust Omnivore

Published on December 8th, 2013


Dust by Patricia Cornwell

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Blurb: After working on one of the worst mass killings in US history, Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta returns home to recover, but an unsettling call drives her straight back to work. The body of a young woman has been discovered inside the sheltered gates of MIT, draped in an unusual cloth and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer’s first strike. A preliminary examination reveals that the body is covered in a fine dust that under ultra-violet light fluoresces blood-red, emerald-green and sapphire-blue, and physical evidence links this to another series of disturbing homicides in Washington, DC. (Little, Brown)

John Sutherland, The Times

Dust is the 21st of the Scarpetta series. She’s taken the number seriously. Remember how the trailblazer, Postmortem (1990), started? Kay Scarpetta in bed, dark rainy night, phone rings, body discovered covered in a mysterious dust visible only under fluorescent light — a “chemical fingerprint”. A predator is loose. Dust starts in exactly the same way. In Postmortem the killer is Mr Nobody. In Dust it’s the Capital Murderer. Cornwell, we realise, is revisiting the scene of her first crime novel. Over the decades the principals have aged. But Scarpetta still struggles, vainly, with the demons that originate in her Florida childhood (unsurprisingly, it corresponds with what one knows of Cornwell’s background).”

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