The Scarpetta Factor
By Patricia Cornwell
Thorndike Large Print (2009), 679 pages
Reviewed by Israel Drazin - March 9, 2010
Patricia Cornwell's latest novel is more than a crime thriller; it improves the genre; it is literature at its best. Unfortunately, readers who expect the common-place, who open the volume expecting a fast moving simplistic mystery that titillates and excites, which they can devour without thought, may be disappointed.
The Scarpetta Factor lacks a grizzly crime and a convoluted suspenseful chase. The detection of the crime moves slowly. There is a murder of a woman, who may have been hit on the head while jogging at an unclear time, and a disappearance of another woman who may or may not be alive, but these events form a background for an artistic analysis of the needs and concerns of the book's characters, all of whom have problems, all, like all of us, made mistakes, all were involved in events that they are unable to forget, events that impact their lives and relationships.
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of fifteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Rabbi Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides, the latest being Maimonides: Reason Above All, published by Gefen Publishing House, www.gefenpublishing.com. The Orthodox Union (OU) publishes daily samples of the Targum books on www.ouradio.org.