Return to a Familiar Series
A double entendre without the suggestive meaning, Livid is perfectly used as the title of the newest Scarpetta novel. A Christmas gift, the most recent installment in the Kay Scarpetta series brought many surprises to this reader. To be honest, it has been some time since I read anything in this series favoring the Patricia Cornwell penned Captain Chase novels, Quantum and Spin.
The familiar supporting cast sported the most changes, but the character of Scarpetta included subtle differences as well. Furthermore, the inclusion of high technology in the storyline harkens to the aforementioned Chase series. And once again, the political overtones are steeped throughout the novel.
Kay Scarpetta is Livid
Testifying on the witness stand at the opening of the book, the character of Scarpetta is under attack. One would think she was the accused instead of providing expert testimony. She is “livid” about her treatment, seething inside but cool as a cucumber on the stand.
Upon leaving the courtroom, Scarpetta and her reliable sidekick Pete Marino, immediately encounter a new case. One tied to the trial in multiple ways. Both the FBI and the Secret Service are involved as well, allowing for multiple past supporting characters to make an appearance.
The second meaning of livid describes the bruising both new victims have even though causes of death differ. New technology is involved with one death while the other is more traditional. The existing relationships Scarpetta had with each victim, adds to the story.
Politics and Parallels
Throughout the novel, Cornwell uses Scarpetta’s thoughts to further the plot and the message. Ties to current cultural events create a meaningful novel. The inclusion of the latest technology in weaponry adds to the shock tactics. Terrorism from within a society is as dangerous as from without. Perhaps more dangerous. Certainly insidious. The warnings of Livid should be heeded.
Recommendation for Livid
I enjoyed reading this latest novel in the Kay Scarpetta series. Changes in the relationships of core cast members made me want to go back and read some of the books in the series I had missed. So, I would say this is not a stand-alone book. Cornwell books can be found online, at bookstores and at your local library.