From Potter’s Field by Patricia Cornwell
(Berkley Books, 1996, 339 pages)
This is one of the early books (maybe fifth?) in Cornwell’s Scarpetta series. I enjoyed reading it. It’s Christmas time and serial killer Temple Gault is at it again, this time in New York’s Central Park. The victim appears to be a homeless woman with unusually expensive dental work. Dr. Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the state of Virginia and a consulting pathologist for the FBI, is called to New York to assist with the investigation. Captain Marino, of the Richmond Police, and FBI profiler, Wesley, are also involved because the serial killer started the killing spree several years ago in Richmond. Scarpetta follows the clue of the gold dental restorations to identify the homeless woman, the best twist in the book.
I really liked the part where Scarpetta interviewed the killer’s parents. It gives a glimpse into the killer’s childhood and his family. I only wish the author had given more in-depth information about the killer’s background. Also, I’m getting a bit annoyed by Scarpetta’s niece Lucy, a FBI trainee and a top notch computer programmer. I don’t understand the needs for this character to be there at all. I’m finding this book quite predictable and the plot is thinner than in the previous two books I read. However, it still held my attention. It was a good quick read.
Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso
(Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2011, 322 pages)
Tiger, Tiger is the memoir of Margaux Fragoso who, at the age of 7, met a man named Peter at a community pool. Peter invited Margaux and her mother to his house, which became a refuge away from her controlling father. Peter was fun and showered Margaux with compliments, grooming her for something more. Soon he had convinced her that they were in love and that people would break them apart if she told what was happening. The relationship lasted 15 years until Peter commited suicide at the age of 66. The content of the book is disturbing with incidents of abuse told in graphic detail. It is a well-written, brutally honest story, but difficult to get through because of the content.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
(Little, Brown, and Co., 2008, 309 pages)
I like reading Malcolm Gladwell because he brings up interesting issues and talks about them in a very engaging and accessible manner. In Outliers Gladwell is looking at what it is that allows people to become successful. He looks at people like Bill Gates and The Beatles and by looking back on their lives he’s able to demonstrate that people don’t become successful without a number of outside influences enabling them to get there. Things that we don’t even think about greatly impact our potential for success. In many instances it’s something as simple as the month and/or year you were born in that places you in the right place at the right time.
There’s also something to be said for hard work and the amount of time you’re willing to put into something to ensure that you’ll find success. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised to learn that the amount of time that needs to be devoted to something in order to hope for real success is 10,000 hours. That’s no small number. . .
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook, it was read by the author which I appreciated. Some parts were more engaging than others but overall I enjoyed Outliers. I’m listening to his most recent book, What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures, right now 🙂