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Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell

Red Mist” is about the 19th in Patricia Cornwell’s “Scarpetta Mystery” series.  Kay Scarpetta has become the director of the Cambridge Forensic Center in Cambridge, MA but all the action takes place in Savannah, GA where Scarpetta visits to follow a lead in the murder of her deputy chief, Jack Fielding.  Her niece’s former lover, Jaime Berger, has hoodwinked Kay into seeing one of Jaime’s clients at the Georgia Penitentiary For Women, Kathleen Lawler.  Thirty years earlier Lawler had lured Jack Fielding into an underage rape situation and it forever scared Fielding.  The rape also caused Lawler and Fielding to have a daughter (or daughters) together.

The visit to the prison triggers a series of events that Scarpetta could well be blamed for including the mysterious death of Lawler, of another inmate who was just hours away from execution, and also led to several other deaths and attempted deaths.  Is the country under attack with a biological weapon? Is this the work of a sadistic medical worker or pharmacist? Is the GPFW warden trying to take justice into her own hands? Is this all an attempt by a jealous former lover to get even? Can Scarpetta trust her niece, her investigator, Marino, her husband FBI agent, Benton, or her niece’s former lover?  Can Scarpetta trust her own reactions to several heinous crimes that take place one right after the other? What do the new murders say about the way a six year old home invasion/multiple murder was investigated and will Scarpetta get in trouble for inserting herself into that closed case in order to save the woman currently on death row for that earlier family murder?

Red Mist” is a tense crime scene investigation that will keep the reader guessing throughout this long book.

Liz Nichols

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