Deputy Chief Virginia West likes and respects her boss, Hammer, but with an increasing number of visiting businessmen being murdered in her city by a maniac with a penchant for painting his victims bright orange, she finds it hard to accept Hammer's edict that a rookie reporter should ride on patrol with her to better relations with their citizens ...Read MoreDeputy Chief Virginia West likes and respects her boss, Hammer, but with an increasing number of visiting businessmen being murdered in her city by a maniac with a penchant for painting his victims bright orange, she finds it hard to accept Hammer's edict that a rookie reporter should ride on patrol with her to better relations with their citizens. Her worst fears are confirmed when the reporter, Brazil, presses the button to activate the boot-release rather than the siren on their first outing. He's not the only blight on her life right now: her cat's angsty, her hormones are misbehaving, her opposite number in the uniformed division is behaving like a jackass, the radio despatcher is determined to trip her up, the D.A. is in the middle of a hot battle with the trial schedule. And orange coloured corpses keep turning up on her patch.Read Less
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the hornests nest was a great read between the scarpetta novels. its grippingly good from the front to end. Cornwell has out done herself again in the novel, it is romantically, thrilling, and suspensfull.
Publishers Weekly, 1996-12-09 The decision to abandon her forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta (Body of Evidence; Cause of Death; etc.) leaves Cornwell lacking more than a fail-safe series heroine. The only credible element in this novel is the urban New South setting. The story-about two women top cops and a young male newspaper reporter in Charlotte, N.C.-is routine fare at best. The three characters-42-year-old Deputy Chief Virginia West; her boss, unhappily married Chief Judy Hammer; and handsome wunderkind journalist and volunteer cop, Andy Brazil-are preternaturally competent automatons, obsessive and utterly devoid of self-awareness. A sequence of serial killings of out-of-towners, men who are pulled from their rental cars, sexually mutilated, marked with orange spray paint and shot, creates tension in Charlotte. While Hammer struggles with city politics and a depressed, obese husband, West contends with Brazil (a "handsome and fierce" 22-year-old with "total photographic recall"), who is on assignment to write about police activity, having impressed his editor by turning in "a hundred of hours' overtime five months in a row." Rather than reveal her characters through their words and actions, Cornwell forces them on us predigested ("West believed women were great"; "Brazil did not believe prostitution was right."). In that same descriptive mode, she takes them on roller coaster rides of extravagant emotion-rage, grief, resolve, despair-and offers set pieces in place of plot: mid-book, more than 150 pages pass without mention of the murders. We are made privy to the fantasies of West's cat, but not to the motivations behind the killings. There is nothing to believe in on these pages beyond Charlotte itself. 750,000 first printing; $500,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild, Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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