The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell is the fifth on the Kay Scarpetta series, a series that I love and that help me to unplug, relax and always inspire me. I once read about things that always happen in crime fiction and one is that detectives/doctors do not get that much sleep. And when life resembles fiction, I like to find solace in Scarpetta’s tight schedule. Also, the series have a special meaning for me since it was Mr. B&R who first bought me one Cornwell’s books and ever since he has been in charge of buying me all the books in the series!
When an eleven-year-old girl is found murdered, Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, gets another chance at stopping one of the most heartless and horrifying serial killers of her career: the demented Temple Gault.
I was a little bit afraid of The Body Farm because I thought the title referred, literally, to a kind of farm where people were kept as animals. It is not, obviously! It refers to the forensic experiments carried on corpses to see how they deteriorate. As surprising as it may sound, I prefer the true meaning of the phrase.
This Scarpetta novel is no different to the previous ones: Kay gets a mysterious case, she gets personally caught on it and her niece Lucy is somehow drawn into the plot. But, at the same time, this one was different: it is the best Scarpetta novel regarding rhythm that I remember. You do not get lost, you do not forget details and you never get bored. So, being a pop-corn crime novel, you can imagine how easy and addictive the reading becomes.
Regarding Kay, what can I say? I love her and find her work and her being a workaholic -as most detectives in crime fiction are – a total inspiration. It is not arbitrary that I usually read Scarpetta’s novels when I am really tired and need a break. I think Cornwell describes perfectly how a modern, single woman has to fight for her life and her right to be what she wants to. In Kay’s case, she is a workaholic and she loves her niece, Lucy, as if she were her own daughter, with the only, key different that she is not. Also, Cornwell pays special attention to Kay’s love life, because it could not be otherwise.
So, I highly recommend The Body Farm to anyone, especially if you loved the previous installments in the series. However, I am a little bit sad since a fellow crime-fiction reader told the series lose quality. I hope to keep finding solace and a break from them, though. What do you think? No spoilers, please!