Book Review: Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

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Flesh and Blood (Kay Scarpetta #22)Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Kay Scarpetta series clearly shows the work of a brilliant imagination, clever plotter, intelligent and savvy mind who understands people, and intense soul. After 22 books, I’m unable to put them down… and knowing what it’s like to write a series, I’m in awe of Patricia Cornwell’s talent. With Flesh and Blood, the 22nd of ~25, she continues building and developing a set of characters I often feel are so real, they’re sitting in my living room or bedroom as I’m reading… being their usual sarcastic and bitchy selves… poking a stick in my direction to do more with my life… urging me to push the boundaries. That’s the kind of character I love to experience.

So… why just 3 stars? I think the question for this book and my opening paragraph really goes back to the definition of a book review. Is it an honest opinion of a standalone book? An opportunity to highlight what you liked about it so others might read it? A chance to just complain because you prefer to focus on the negatives? A comparison of it to other books in its genre? A focus on its place within the entire series? A commentary on how well the author conveys something (a) new, (b) different, (c) above standard, (d) comforting, (e) I could go on forever… I often see other people’s reviews and wonder… what were they thinking? do they just like to be mean? Are they so easily contented they give high ratings because they love the author? I’m not judging anyone at all, I’m merely highlighting different ways of writing a review.

That said, I ask again… why just 3 stars from me? To me, a 3 star book is one that is a good read, has interesting parts, has not so interesting parts, doesn’t stand out from the rest of its genre/series/author/type, has no egregious errors, and leaves me feeling okay but not thirsting to read a sequel or another book by the author. Given I love this series, I will read them all, but I might think twice about picking up a different series.

Flesh and Blood has all the gore, science, technology, and deep-rooted psychology I’ve come to adore in the author’s style and books. The writing is good, but not stellar. It didn’t force me to read more chapters, but I didn’t feel it was painful to read. I think it fell prey to average plot with no standout characters other than the main 4 (Benton, Lucy, Marino, and Kay). If we had a powerful viewpoint from the killer, or a strong secondary character who was loved or hated by one of the main ones, I might have latched on a bit more.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I wouldn’t rate is one of the higher ones in the series. I didn’t rush at night to get to bed to read. Thankfully, it was a buddy read with my friend Medhat which is always fun… so that helped since we could discuss it along the way. I’ll still be borrowing the next one from the library in March, so stay tuned for more on this series from me.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


19 thoughts on “Book Review: Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell

    Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta said:
    February 7, 2019 at 9:48 PM

    Just finished my first Kay Scarpetta. Enjoyed reading your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 7, 2019 at 10:05 PM

      Oh, great. Did you read the first one or a different one?


        Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta said:
        February 8, 2019 at 12:39 AM

        I picked up From Potters Field for 50 cents at the local market. I will chase up others at the Library:)

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        February 8, 2019 at 7:31 AM

        That’s an earlier one, I think still strong. I’d have to go back and check, but I think the first half of the series is spot on.

        Liked by 1 person

    By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff said:
    February 7, 2019 at 9:49 PM

    I’m sorry this was a bit of a disappointment for you Jay. I have to admit I stopped reading this series 4-5 years ago. I just wasn’t getting into the books as much as I used to.🤷🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 7, 2019 at 10:06 PM

      I know what you mean! I’ve got that crazy addiction forcing me to read them all! 🙂 it happens.

      Liked by 1 person

    lghiggins said:
    February 8, 2019 at 4:35 AM

    I enjoyed your thoughts on book reviewing. I’m sure there must be various sets of “rules” about the perfect book review, but I’m thankful that the Internet has freed us up to pursue more individual approaches than were available when print was King.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 8, 2019 at 7:39 AM

      Exactly! I often have a tough time with a book series because of how much I try to compare.

      Liked by 1 person

    watchingthedaisies said:
    February 8, 2019 at 6:25 AM

    I read a good few of Patricia Cornwell’s early books, and really enjoyed them. Then I discovered Kathy Reichs, and sadly did not read any more on Kay Scarpetta. I have read all of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels bar his latest.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 8, 2019 at 7:42 AM

      I need to try a few other authors in this genre. I have 2 more to finish in Scarpetta, then I’ll pick a new one. Which should I start with?


    Ethan S. said:
    February 8, 2019 at 11:34 AM

    I agree with your review on this one. I feel like the book didn’t truly grab me until the final confrontation. That said, this starts a three book narrative that is pretty satisfying!

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    February 11, 2019 at 4:18 PM

    Uh oh, this sounds like what I was saying after your last review. I still want to read them, but I do not run to the library when one comes out. This begs the question, When is a series too long? Glad that you are still able to enjoy them, even if they are not as good as the first ones. I also enjoyed reading your musings about reviews. I often think about my ratings. I have said before, I rate different genres differently because my expectations are different. Not sure if that makes sense or not.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      February 11, 2019 at 7:02 PM

      Such a great question… thank yo so much. I agree with you on rating by genre. I do the same. A 5 in a cozy and a 5 in historical fiction can be very different… it doesn’t mean they have equal literary merit, but I did like them equally as much!

      Liked by 1 person

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