All That Remains – Patricia Cornwell

A quick one-day read over the weekend at Walton, which came as a bit of a surprise as I’d expected this Kay Scarpetta novel to last me rather longer. Then again, it’s one of the earlier instalments in the series and I’m realising that the more recent novels are much longer – Blowfly and Trace in particular.

A satisfying read though, with Kay and Marino uncovering the connection and killer behind a series of double murders that turn out to stetch back decades, and unlike many other novels featuring Kay Scarpetta, this one stretches over many months. In addtion to the murder mysteries themselves, the plot also features politics a-plenty, and bitter rivalry and deliberate obfustication between the various law enforcement agencies that get involved. In fact, everyone seems to have their own agenda; from the drugs czar who is not only one of america’s most powerful women, a potential presidential candidate in fact, but also the mother of the girl whose murder opens the novel, to Benton Wesley who Kay encounters heading up the FBI team…..

Two additional points of interest in this novel, particularly if – like me – you’ve read some of Patricia Cornwell’s later novels first: (1) it features Mark as Kay’s love interest; and (2) Kay’s interest in Benton Wesley is purely professional, and she dislikes and distrusts him.

Having just been to explore and finding the publication timelines, I realise that this must be the earliest Kay Scarpetta novel I’ve read. Clearly I need to read its two predecessors: Post Mortem and Body of Evidence – if only to learn more about Kay’s relationships. link: All That Remains – Patricia Cornwell list: Kay Scarpetta Collection (in order)