November 15, 2015 – Dust (Patricia Cornwell). It's nearly Christmas, but Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta is not in much of a holiday mood. She's just returned to her home in Cambridge from Connecticut, where she assisted with the investigation into a school massacre (think Newtown). She's literally sick and tired, but duty calls and Scarpetta must drag herself out of bed when a body turns up near the campus of MIT.

The victim is someone known to Scarpetta's niece, Lucy. As it happens, she's flying back in her helicopter from a trip to pick up Scarpetta's husband, FBI profiler Benton Wesley. His arrival was supposed to be a holiday surprise, but all three soon find themselves deeply involved in the case. Benton, especially, has a lot to prove and a lot to lose.

The bulk of the book's 527 pages cover just one day with a timeframe that starts around 5 AM and ends roughly 16 hours later. But, within those 16 hours, Scarpetta and Benton must go back to a case that happened about 16 years ago to find the evidence that will finally put a serial killer behind bars.

As with other recent Cornwell books, this one took me a long time to get through. Some of the blame falls on me for having limited reading time. But, some of it falls on Cornwell, too. The books in the series seem increasingly bloated with details upon details and the inner thoughts of Scarpetta. Not that some of that isn't welcomed, but there just seems to be too much of it, and it bogs down the story.

I'm not ready to give up on the series yet, but the books seem to be getting harder and harder to read in a timely manner.