BOOK: Red Mist
AUTHOR: Patricia Cornwell
PUBLISHER: Little Brown Company (Hachette Aust)
RRP: $39.99 (hardcover), $32.99 paperback
I HOLD Patricia Cornwell solely responsible for my love of the crime thriller genre.
I was just 12 when I read her first novel, Post Mortem, and since then I have been addicted to this genre, and in particular Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series.
Admittedly in recent years I have branched out from just reading crime thrillers, but I always come back to the genre.
Red Mist is the latest instalment in this series, which has spanned 21 years, and it is just as thrilling as the others.
Determined to find out what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months earlier, Kay Scarpetta travels to the Georgia Prison for Women, where an inmate has information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings.
The murder of an Atlanta family years ago, a young woman on death row, and the inexplicable deaths of homeless people as far away as California seem unrelated.
But Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding's death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale.
And she is the only one who can stop it.
It is twists that make Cornwell a master in this genre - just when you think you have it all figured out she throws a curveball that blows your mind.
Her language brings the characters to life, you feel their pain, joy and are right with them as they struggle through the evidence.
Because this is a series prior knowledge of characters, relationships and events is needed to fully enjoy the Scarpetta experience.