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Isle of Dogs
ISBN 0786233591 / 9780786233595 / 0-7862-3359-1
Publisher Thorndike Press
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Be aware: this is not your typical Cornwell novel. Not only is there no Kay Scarpetta, but Isle of Dogs is a comic romp, a real departure for this author. It centres 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, Amazon.com [via]