THE LAST PRECINCT by Patricia Daniels Cornwell
Putnam Publishing Group - 2000
ISBN: 0399146253 - Hardcover
Suspense explicit content

Reviewed by Nancy Mehl,
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THE LAST PRECINCT takes up right where BLACK NOTICE left off. Dr. Kay Scarpetta has been attacked by Jean-Baptiste Chandonne, a murderer better known as Le Loup-Garou - the "werewolf." Emotionally spent by the encounter, as well as other traumatic events in her life, including the murder of her lover, Benton Wesley, Kay begins a journey of self-discovery with the help of her therapist friend, Dr. Anna Zenner. Meanwhile, the investigation into the life of Chandonne, who is alive and in prison, blinded by a preservative solution thrown into his face by Scarpetta, takes some twists and turns that are unexpected - and shocking.

Lucy, Scarpetta's gay niece, is older (it is interesting to note that Lucy is aging much faster than her aunt) and obviously wiser since she has developed some kind of computer system that makes her a millionaire. She has begun her own organization called The Last Precinct - "where you go when there is nowhere left." There appears to be a strange tie to Wesley's death and The Last Precinct. Marino, Scarpetta's detective side-kick, is his sloppy, insensitive self - still firmly attached emotionally to Kay - and still barely hiding the fact that he has been in love with her for a long time. A new kick in this one - Chandonne's attorney is Marino's long lost and despised son, Rocky.

This is a dark, introspective book. Most readers will probably hate it. It isn't the usual Cornwell fare. Just when I thought I couldn't take another moment of Scarpetta's self-pity, Cornwell reached through the pages with a revelation that made me gasp. And although some of the plot twists seem implausible - THE LAST PRECINCT kept me firmly in its grip throughout. However, unless you've read previous books in this series, you will probably find this novel depressing and unbelievable.

Reviews of other titles in this series

The Last Precinct # 11
Red Mist #19
Flesh and Blood #22
Depraved Heart #23

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