Of Murderers and Kilts

I haven’t been doing as much reading as normal lately. I’m not sure why. It just seems like I’ve been super busy, and reading has actually fallen by the wayside (Unheard of, I know). I’m only up to around 112 books read for the year, and that’s pretty far short of my year goal of 165. I’m not sure if I’m going to make that one…

I read the newest book in Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series, The Scarpetta Factor. I’ve read this entire series, and I enjoyed most of them immensely. There were a couple of books, probably the last three or so before this one, that I thought weren’t quite up to Cornwell’s normally stellar standards, but they were still good reads. I think The Scarpetta Factor brings back a lot of the wonderful things I liked from the earlier books.

All of the familiar characters are back: the reformed Marino, self-destructive Lucy, and of course, Kay and Benton. There’s an interesting murder case, as well as a missing person, a bomb delivered to Kay’s door, and a mysterious singing Christmas card that really gave me the creeps (Good thing I didn’t get that little gem in the mail.) The ending felt a little rushed to me, but it was a good, fast-paced read, and I had trouble putting it down.

A book I absolutely could not put down was Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo in the Bone, the newest book in the Outlander series. I read the rest of the series back-to-back during the summer, and was honestly confused to come back to the real world and not find myself in Scotland. (It just felt wrong to not be surrounded by warrior-type men in kilts. Wrong, and sad.) The newest book was absolutely wonderful! I love the characters, feel like I know them personally (I wish, anyway.). Ms. Gabaldon makes the setting, whether it be an early American hillside, the dells of Scotland, or the deck of a sailing ship in the middle of a sea battle, come to life so vividly it amazes me. She’s a marvelous writer, and even the minor characters come to striking life on the page.

I stayed up far, far too late reading this book (more than one night), and I have to say, I wish it had been even longer. However, the ending about drove me mad. I wanted so badly to find out what happened next that I could have cried. And when I realized the previous book came out four years ago and I might have to wait that long to actually find out what happens, I did cry. (Huge tears of frustration.) However, I did manage to refrain from banging my head against the wall, so there’s one small victory. If you haven’t read this series yet, you should run right out and get it. But when you come dragging in some morning, having been up all night glued to the page, and growling because Jaimie and Claire are in limbo while waiting for the next book, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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