Patricia Cornwell divides her time between Richmond, Virginia and New York. She has won numerous awards for her ground-breaking Dr Kay Scarpetta series. She has helped to establish the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine and serves as its Chairman of the Board.
Having created a welcome departure from the Kay Scarpetta series with Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross, Cornwell seeks another venue in Isle of Dogs (with unabridged narration by Michelle Hall), though the change is a stylistic failure. Attempting a satiric, tongue-in-cheek approach to crime and mystery, the novel falls flat. The characters tend toward broad, poorly conceived stereotypes, and Judy Hammer, once a promising and strong female role model in law enforcement, is reduced to anxious pacing while Andy Brazil hides behind a series of internet articles by "Trooper Truth" that explore the history of Virginia and pirates. Brazil's alterego is so poorly disguised that the pure stupidity of the characters in the book keep them clueless to his real identity. The strengths of Cornwell's books have been the crises and conflicts raised in tense chess play between good and evil. In this one, wordplay buries the plot, and the result is often silly and painful. The major benefit to the abridged edition, read by Becky Baker, is the excision of some of the endless prattle in the overlapping subplots. Very disappointing; not recommended. Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
'Cornwell's humour is as unexpected as it is wicked.' DAILY MIRROR 'an irreverant and strikingly characterised portrait of law enforcement at the mercy of politics.' CRIME TIME 'A unique, often hilarious experience.' IRISH TATLER Be aware: this is not your typical Cornwell novel. Not only is there no Kay Scarpetta, but Isle of Dogs is a comic romp, a real departure for this author. It centres around a couple of characters from past books--police chief Judy Hammer and reporter-turned-cop Andy Brazil of Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross--but the plot, style and tone will remind you more of Carl Hiaasen's dark comedies. The madcap doings get underway when the addled, nearly blind governor of Virginia confusedly launches a speed-trap program on isolated Tangier Island, whose prickly, eccentric residents promptly attempt secession. Cornwell adeptly interweaves other crisscrossing plot lines involving a gang of street-stupid thugs gunning for Hammer and Brazil, an angel-faced serial killer, a kidnapped dog and more. She does miss a few beats: the pacing sags during certain episodes, and at times the writing strains so hard for laughs that instead it draws winces. Nonetheless, Isle of Dogs is for the most part a funny, diverting read and a refreshing departure for Cornwell.' - Nicholas H Allison, AMAZON.COM 'A riveting, stay up all night chiller. Hugely enjoyable' ELLE