Hornet's Nest

Patricia Cornwell

Warner Books 1997

The Cold Hard Fax

Leslie O'Kane

Ballantine Books 1998
A book review by Danny Yee © 1998 http://dannyreviews.com/
A serial killer is murdering visiting businessmen, and Charlotte chief of police Judy Hammer and deputy Virginia West are under pressure. To make things worse, West has rookie journalist Andy Brazil riding with her as a public relations stunt. This sounds like vintage Patricia Cornwell, but Hornet's Nest has a rather different feel to her Kay Scarpetta novels. It lacks their narrative grip and their brooding menace: the streets of Charlotte may be dark and dingy and crime-ridden, but they always appear floodlit and safe to the reader, who is never left in any real tension. The identity of the killer is revealed by an omniscient narrator simply in passing and ends up being almost irrelevant. The attention is on the relationship between West and Brazil, and indeed Hornet's Nest is really more of a romance than a mystery.

The Cold Hard Fax is even more light-hearted, if not totally frivolous. Freelance fax-cartoonist Molly Masters and her family have moved into a new house, only to find that the previous owner keeps harassing them when they try to dig up the garden. Then he is shot dead on the property, the garden gets dug up rather more thoroughly than planned, killing the children's pet pumpkin in the process, and someone starts faxing Molly threats... It's not the way to make a good first impression on the neighbourhood!

October 1998

External links:
Hornet's Nest
- buy from Amazon.co.uk
The Cold Hard Fax
- buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
Related reviews:
- more detective fiction
- more romance
%T Hornet's Nest
%A Cornwell, Patricia
%I Warner Books
%D 1997
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0751520268
%P 438pp

%T The Cold Hard Fax
%A O'Kane, Leslie
%I Ballantine Books
%D 1998
%O paperback
%G ISBN 044900158X
%P 278pp