Hornet’s Nest by Patricia Cornwell – Book Review *spoilers*

Charlotte, North Carolina. Judy Hammer is the Chief of Police and has allowed Journalist and Volunteer Cop (I did not know that volunteer cops existed) Andy Brazil to drive along in a city that is overwhelmed with crime and poor policing. But Deputy Chief Virginia West will only allow him to ride with her, putting her back on the streets. Apparently, they hate each other but it’s all a cover for poor communication skills and sexual attraction. There’s also a serial killer, but these killings are so scattered through the book, and no-one seems to be dedicated to that case, so it’s hard to know exactly how important that plotline is. In case you can’t tell, I did not think this was a good book. At all.

Patricia Cornwell is mostly known for her Scarpetta series of novels, and this was a change of scene. Still a similar world, though more the policing rather than forensics. And, having read a slew of reviews (including many very hilarious one-star reviews), it appears that this was supposed to be comedy. I’m not sure how. For me, it was a confusing mess of story with characters who seemed completely incapable of interacting, who apparently had romantic attraction and/or chemistry and who accidently kind of maybe solved a series of murders by a serial killer… perhaps? Oh, and add in homophobia, transphobia (oh, the transphobia), fatphobia, racism. And a cat which apparently communicates with cats from the past, is able to identify the clues which are alluding the police and find a clunky way to communicate this to their owner… and… the owner… figures it out? I’m a fan of the Scarpetta novels, despite the flaws, but the only reason I couldn’t put this book down was because I enjoyed exclaiming disbelief aloud as I read.

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