I was an avid reader of the earlier novels by Ms Cornwell. I loved the Scarpetta books, and thoroughly enjoyed The Bone Bed. I suppose it started to go down hill for me when I tried to read Chasing the Ripper, which I found extremely disappointing because it seemed to be a collection of outlandish gut instincts without evidence.
On to Quantum, then. I was hoping and expecting a return of the Patricia Cornwell of old and I am afraid to say, I was once again disappointed. I suppose it was the lack of realism in her character, Captain Chase. All of the “gosh darn its” and “jiminy crickets” just did not ring true for a character who is meant to be a hardened military police officer. I have known a few cops in my time, both civil and military, and I never met one who was not fond of the crudest of expletives.
Aside from the lack of realism in the character, I found the writing very confused, a mixture of techno-babble, lots of inane conversations with a backdrop of wind and rain. From that perspective, extremely hard to get a grip on. I’m quite sure the sci-fi aspects could have been avoided without damaging the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sci-fi, but is a crime thriller set on terra firma really the place for it?
The majority of reviews on Amazon (%43 at time of writing) gave Quantum one star. There are some five star reviews, however, so it is a love or hate book. I would recommend any would-be buyers to download a sample before purchase.