Writing Techniques in Body of Evidence

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Cornwell improves in this novel in her sense of place. Her thumbnail sketches of locales quickly capture their spirit. To interview a friend of Beryl's, Scarpetta visits Chamberlayne Gardens, a high-rise retirement community. The expensively furnished lobby reveals the high social class of the residents, but the decrepitude of the lobby sitters reveals the true condition of the residents. "No matter how lovely it was," Scarpetta explains, "no one really wanted to be there." She provides equally good paragraphs on Beryl's up-scale neighborhood, the posh hotel-turned expensive hospital where Aims met his friend Hunt, and the Harpers' ghostly mansion.

Cornwell uses description not only as commentary but as psychological insight. The book opens with letters in which Beryl employs the pathetic fallacy, remaking natural events as reflections of her mood: "This morning it's dark and there's a fierce wind . . . Palm trees are struggling against the wind .

. . The world...

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This section contains 246 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Body of Evidence Study Guide
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Gale
Body of Evidence from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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