RE-READ - at least 10 years later:
OK, so my dissatisfaction with this book stems from a) it's really really dated - i.e., all the antiquated tech talk, which is fine for the period, but hard to wrap my 21st century-version brain around - I guess I never did anything with databases at that time, and can't FATHOM the tediousness [tediosity?] of it all; also, the whole "woman in a man's world" cliche, beaten to death by now, altho' it was probably a good deal more fresh in 1990 (I suppose); b) the whole serial-killer thing has been done
, and done much better than this; and c) there are some really awful passages of writing, some wretched characterization, and some dreadful lapses of editing (IMHO), all of which throw me right out of the story. It won the Edgar and the Anthony and the Macavity Awards for best 1st novel - really?
(NOTE: I stated in my review of The Body Farm
that I recommended this and the next several of the Scarpetta books, but that they had gotten annoying after a while. I think that Cornwell's writing improved significantly with later books, and I find it kind of tough to read a series like this w/o starting with #1, so... YMMV.)