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Isle of Dogs
ISBN 0754091015 / 9780754091011 / 0-7540-9101-5
Publisher Thorndike Pr
List price $22.01
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Be aware: this is not your typical Patricia Cornwell novel. Not only is there no Kay Scarpetta, but Isle of Dogs is a comic romp, a real departure for this author. It does center around a couple of characters from past books--police chief Judy Hammer and reporter-turned-cop Andy Brazil of Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross. But the plot, style, and tone will remind you more of Carl Hiaasen's dark comedies.
The madcap doings get underway when the addled, nearly blind governor of Virginia confusedly launches a speed-trap program on isolated Tangier Island, whose prickly, eccentric residents promptly attempt secession. Cornwell adeptly interweaves other crisscrossing plot lines involving a gang of street-stupid thugs gunning for Hammer and Brazil, an angel-faced serial killer, a kidnapped dog, and more. She does miss a few beats: the pacing sags during certain episodes, and at times the writing strains so hard for laughs that instead it draws winces. Nonetheless, Isle of Dogs is for the most part a funny, diverting read and a refreshing departure for Cornwell. --Nicholas H. Allison [via]