I don't know what's happening to Cornwell's work. I have a few more books of hers to read, but I'm almost hesitating because the stories are getting weaker, the character analysis almost boring, and the apprehension of the villian pathetic and unexciting. This story had so much potential, but it was probably 100 pages too short. The new Chief Medical Examiner is a good touch with his bizarre phobia, but, then nothing. He needed to get his butt stomped for being such a conceited, arrogant dumbass, but his presence just disappears. The old alcoholic lusty rich neighbour of Lucy's needed more exploration, but again, she disappears without much more than the villian having a thought about her. The dialogue between Benton and the nutcase Henri that Lucy hired became very boring to the point of annoying. Her presence in the story wasn't even a necessity in my opinion. The interaction between Marino and Suz was interesting though, and the resulting tension that presented itself for Marino when confiding in Scapetta was good to read. It left me wanting more for future stories. All in all, I felt there was too much superfluous material in this story and not enough meaningful gutsy meat. I don't mind books taking time to evolve, but this one never did. I felt let down and with the feeling of, "is that it?"