When your everyday life is filled with death it's easy to find yourself a little edgy. The audio version of Patricia Cornwell's Point of Origin gives fans of her familiar heroine, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a little something extra, a chance to hear the deep hurt and burning cynicism of the chief medical examiner's biting words. "You don't put your hands inside their ruined bodies and touch and measure their wounds.... You see clean case files and glossy photos and cold crime scenes. You spend more time with the killers than with those they ripped from life. And maybe you sleep better than I do, too. Maybe you still dream because you aren't afraid to."
Perhaps because Kate Reading has also narrated Cornwell's Unnatural Exposure and Cause of Death, her voice conveys experience and the history of what has come before, allowing listeners to hear between the lines. Using a subtle but effective range of vocal inflections, Reading lifts the characters off the page and carries them along as the plot spins ever faster, tangling Scarpetta in a snarl of arson, deceit, and psychopathic murder. With her arch nemesis making threats and suspicious fires leaving calcified corpses, Dr. Scarpetta's long-overdue romantic getaway has gone up in smoke. It's just one more day at the morgue, and Point of Origin, another hit in the popular series of Scarpetta mysteries, finds the good doctor's attitude honed razor sharp. (Running time: 11 hours, eight cassettes) --George Laney [via]