‘Unnatural Exposure’

Now, this is the first Patricia Cornwell book that I’ve read – shock horror! On a recent holiday to see my parents in France…I underestimated how many books I would get through and didn’t pack enough…anyway, fortunately my bookworm Mother had a stash of books that I hadn’t read so I began making my way through a few of them, including one that I had cleverly left behind from my last visit (and completely forgotten about)…

Anyway, so I picked up Unnatural Exposure and immediately it seemed to be my kind of book…crime, with a witty female pathologist! Similar to 206 Bones it was from a series of books that include the same protagonist, in this case Kay Scarpetta. So the book begins as Scarpetta is called to examine a woman’s body that was found in a landfill and is horrified to find that it has been dismembered in a way that she has seen before…years ago! While she investigates this, the killer contacts her over the internet and she is sent police photos and along the way, deadoc (the alias used by the killer) sends her more cryptic information…then she discovers that the victim was exposed to a rare small-pox type virus before she died and the tension suddenly grows as it dawns on all of them that they could be exposed to a similar virus and there could be a pandemic! What may be more worrying is that the killer has knowledge of these types of disease and is not afraid of using them to kill whoever they like! I liked this book right up until the end…it just seemed to end really quickly! Suddenly, Scarpetta works out who it is, even though there haven’t really been any clues leading up to this certain person throughout…unless I really missed them!? Anyway, apart from that I enjoyed this book…I just felt that the murderer was caught really quickly but without much understanding of why they did it?!

‘The Lovely Bones’

Now, I know I’m a little late…finally reading this book JUST before it comes out in the cinema…but I loved it so much, that I read it in about 6 hours! Immediately, I found myself completely engrossed and although I knew the basic plot from the film trailer and friends blabbing…a part of me wasn’t expecting it to be so immediate.

Written by Alice Seabold, ‘The Lovely Bones’ tells the tragic tale of Susie Salmon, a 14 year old girl who is murdered by a neighbour. It details the struggle of her family to deal with it, but is written from Susie’s perspective in ‘her heaven’. Although the family dynamic changes through the novel, with her mother initially moving away, her sister desperate to be more than ‘the dead girl’s sister’ and her father determined to prove that his instinct about the mysterious Mr Harvey is right; at the end, the family come back together under Susie’s watchful eyes and finally they can all be at peace with her murder.

I found the whole book heart-achingly beautiful in the face of tragedy. It moved me to tears, froze me to the core with fear and ultimately gave me a cathartic feeling of closure and calm at the end, reflecting the emotions of the characters also. I loved every page.