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review 2016-03-30 09:46
From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta, #6) by Patricia Cornwell
From Potter's Field - Patricia Cornwell


30/3 - Like The Body Farm this book's title is false advertising. An even smaller portion of the book was dedicated to what's named in the title - the first victim is originally a Jane Doe and is buried in Potter's Field (her real identity is later discovered and she's moved to a family plot). Thinking about the plot of the book I can't think of an appropriate title off the top of my head, so maybe Cornwell had a similar mental block and at the last minute just pulled the title from an interesting (though barely mentioned) location that she had used in the book, not even considering how little it had to do with the story. Or maybe the publisher thought the idea of a book with a storyline that featured Potter's Field (and the body farm, previously) would make it a bestseller and didn't consider how it fit with the plot... Either way I think it backfired because it just leaves me scratching my head as to what Potter's Field really has to do with anything.

I do think Cornwell's endings tend to be a bit rushed. 400 pages of build-up and escalating tension and then everything's over in a chapter and a one page epilogue (if that), it all feels a bit abrupt and like she gets to the end of her books and after all that time and effort she just wants to get the book over and done with. After all the work I think the endings should be savoured, maybe steal 30-50 pages from the build-up and really give the end the time it deserves and add a decent epilogue (where appropriate) so we know how everything wrapped up properly.

Because the inappropriate title annoyed me as much with this one as it did with The Body Farm I had to deduct that same star, but fortunately there were no confusions with Lucy's age versus how many years were supposed to have passed. As soon as I finished this last night I picked up Cause of Death and read 100 pages of that before I could force myself to put it down and go to sleep. I'll likely finish that one tonight, very nearly a one-sitting read as Cosmopolitan suggests.

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review 2014-05-31 10:19
"The Potter's Field" by Andrea Camilleri
The Potter's Field - Andrea Camilleri

I always look forward to a novel by Andrea Camilleri. His Mediterranean sense of lightness, of the quirky fun of a life lived well is very hard to find in literature.


This novel has everything I’d expect, being situated in the Crime Fiction Landscape. But then, being a Camilleri novel, everything is different. It starts with a cut-up body, moves on to a missing husband, and then comes the Mafia.  Upon finishing it, I was left with a vision of the sun, sea, nasty crimes, beautiful women, and pasta with sea urchins, which is pretty much what I remember from all of his novels. But what’s important is not the plot. What really matters is what happens on the sidelines.


His novels are also full of the harsher and hard light of the dry Sicilian heat. As we read his novels we sweat along with them. There are very few writers with this sense of place, bringing Sicily to life in small snapshots.


The only other Crime Fiction writers that would seem his equal in this aspect are Ian Rankin with his urban Edinburgh, Henning Mankell with his Ystad in Sweden and Derek Raymond’s with his compelling novels of London.


Camilleri is a refreshing writer. He lets us into the story at all points. His sense of place gives Sicily a distinct flavour. His revulsion with everything government-related rings true with almost everyone. His love and appreciation of women, speaks truly of all men. Camilleri delights all the senses.


Camilleri celebrates what is best in what makes us human. One of the things that I truly appreciate about Camilleri’s novels is the fact that he makes us experience the way Inspector Montalbano ages. We are able to experience all his fears and questions of life coming slowly to an end. As Montalbano experiences the close of life, he realizes that man and woman can draw on the experiences of a life lived to empower the time and experiences still left to them. All the simple pleasures of life, good food, the beauty of women are present throughout his novels.


When I think “hedonist”, Montalbano always comes to mind, ie, someone who enjoys the pleasures of food (religiously in silence), long walks and swims, good reads, better if in solitude (or with Ana by my side…).


Right at the end of the novel, Camilleri brilliantly summarizes what it means to read a Montalbano novel:


How did he Montalbano feel?

“I’m just tired”, was his bleak reply.

Some time ago he had read the title, and only the title, of an essay called:

“God is tired.” Livia had once asked him provocatively if he thought he was a God. A fourth-rate, minor God, he had thought at the time. But, as the years passed, he’d become convinced he wasn’t even a back-row god, but only the poor puppeteer of a wretched puppet theater. A puppeteer who struggled to bring off the performances as best he knew how. And for each new performance he managed to bring to a close, the struggle became greater, more wearisome. How much longer could he keep up?

Better, for now, not to think of such things. Better to sit and gaze at the sea, which, whether in Vigàta or Boccadasse, is still the sea.

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review 2014-04-06 18:35
The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons
The Murder Bag - Tony Parsons

The Murder Bag by Tony Parsons

reviewed by Lucy Pireel


This crime novel isn't just a whodunnit, it has so much more than just a crime to solve. It has real life emotions in situations that could be all too real. It shows the lives of characters that do not only read as if they are be real, but this author completely made me forget he actually made it all up. 

The crime, the perpetrator(s), the victims, and the love interest all come to life while reading. I couldn't help shedding a tear at a particular part of the story. 

I wanted the crime to be solved, the baddie to be caught, and when I thought I had it all figured out there were twists I never saw coming. This author wove a story so complicated and yet so simple it made me want to read more of him. He even made me feel sorry for the ones I should want to hate. He showed several sides of society we rarely ever think about, or get a peek at if you're not a part of those shielded parts of our world.


This book reads like a breeze and leaves you happy and sad when you reach the end. A very well crafted end after a more than satisfying and intricately woven story that grabbed me from the start not to let me go until the end.

I'm glad I did go through the trouble of having to read it off screen rather than on my e-reader because I wouldn't have wanted to miss this great English crime novel.

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review 2012-01-19 00:00
From Potter's Field (Scarpetta)
From Potter's Field - Patricia Cornwell Would actually give this one a 4.5, but it was so suspenseful, I decided to go with the 5 since 4.5 was not an option here.
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review 2011-12-07 00:00
From Potter's Field (Scarpetta)
From Potter's Field - Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta is one of the earliest mystery heroine characters. The plot is still the same as whodunit novels. But the element of Scarpetta's own life gave the story a bit of spice. The dedication of Scarpetta to ID a victim and not to account it as something as a mere evidence. Liked the twist and how it was told.
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