BLACK NOTICE by Patricia Cornwell
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1999
From the moment Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for Virginia is called to inspect a body found in a container ship, she finds herself in danger--a danger that is both personal and professional. Someone is sabotaging her office using her Scarpetta's e-mail to make her look ineffective. Scarpetta's long-time sidekick, Detective Marino, has been reassigned to uniformed status and Marino's new boss seems to hate both him and Scarpetta. Finally, there is increasing evidence that a werewolf has arrived in Richmond--possibly on the same boat that carried the corpse.
In BLACK NOTICE (signifying a death notice), Patricia Cornwell has written another of her exciting Kay Scarpetta mysteries. Fans will find plenty of information about murder, close-ups of autopsy, and even international travel as Scarpetta and Marino travel to France to meet with Interpol (and introduce a new love interest into Scarpetta's life). Cornwell continuously increases the stakes, putting first Marino's career at risk, then Scarpetta's, finally escalating to a werewolf attack on Scarpetta herself. Cornwell weaves in a subplot involving Scarpetta's niece, who is involved in a gang shootout adding to the already heavy pressure on Scarpetta.
BLACK NOTICE is a welcome addition to the Scarpetta series. Cornwell writes a fast-paced book hurling Scarpetta from autopsy to office politics to a savaged personal life, to physical danger. New readers may find Scarpetta's mourning over Benton, her lost love, a little overboard and incidental to the plot for all the attention it receives. Fans, however, will enjoy this closure. Of course, new readers are likely to become fans and go back and enjoy the entire series.