Isle of Dogs (Andy Brazil Series #3)

Isle of Dogs (Andy Brazil Series #3)

by Patricia Cornwell

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425182901
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/24/2002
Series: Andy Brazil Series , #3
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 483,369
Product dimensions: 6.56(w) x 11.06(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is considered one of the world's bestselling crime writers. Her intrepid medical examiner Kay Scarpetta first appeared on the scene in 1990 with Postmortem—the only novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards and the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure in a single year—and Cruel and Unusual, which won Britain's prestigious Gold Dagger Award for the best crime novel of 1993. Dr. Kay Scarpetta herself won the 1999 Sherlock Award for the best detective created by an American author. Ms. Cornwell's work is translated into 36 languages across more than 120 countries.


Boston, MA and New York, NY

Date of Birth:

June 9, 1956

Place of Birth:

Miami, Florida


B.A. in English, Davidson College, 1979; King College

Read an Excerpt

Unique First fit her name like a glove, or at least this

was how her mother always put it. Unique came first

and was one of a kind. There was no one else like

her—and this was a damn good thing, to quote her

father, Dr. Ulysses First, who had never understood what genetic

malignancy blighted his only child.

Unique was a petite eighteen-year-old with long, shimmering

hair that was as black as ebony, and her skin was translucent

like milk glass, her lips full and pink. She believed that

her pale blue eyes could mesmerize whoever looked into them

and that by casting as little as a glance at someone she could

bend that person’s mind to fit her Purpose. Unique could

haunt someone for weeks, building up unbearable anticipation

until the final act, which was a necessary and frenzied release,

usually followed by a blackout.

“Hey, wake up, my car’s broke down.” She knocked on the

window of the Peterbilt eighteen-wheeler that was parked all

by itself at the Farmers’ Market on the fringes of downtown

Richmond. “I’m wondering if you got a phone?”

It was 4:00 A.M., pitch dark, and the parking lot was poorly

lit. Although Moses Custer knew very well that it wasn’t safe

to be out here alone at this hour, he had ignored his usual good

judgment after fighting with his wife and storming off in his

truck, where he intended to spend the night, alone and missing

in action, out by the vegetable stands. That would sure show

her, he always thought when their marital routine turned ugly.

He opened the door of his cab as the knocking on the glass


“Lordy, what’s a sweet little thing like you doing out here at

this hour?” Moses asked, confused and drunk, as he stared at

the creamy, delicate face smiling at him like an angel.

“You’re about to have a unique experience.” Unique said

the same thing she always did right before she moved in for

her Purpose.

“What’chu mean?” Moses puzzled. “What unique ’sperience?”

The answer came in a legion of demons that kicked and

pounded Moses and ripped at his hair and clothes. Explosions

and obscenities erupted from hell, and fire seared his muscles

and bones as savage forces beat and tore him to shreds and left

him dead and drove off in his truck. Moses hovered above his

dead self for a while, watching his mauled, lifeless body on

the tarmac. Blood streamed out from under his head as rain

smacked down, and one of his boots was off and his left arm

was at an angle that wasn’t natural. As Moses gazed down on

himself, a part of him was worn out and ready for Eternity

while another part of him regretted his life and grieved.

“My head’s ruined,” he moaned and began to sob as everything

went black. “Ohhh, my head’s ruined. Lord, I ain’t

ready! It ain’t my time yet!”

Complete darkness dissolved to a floating airspace from which

Moses watched pulsing emergency lights and urgent firemen,

paramedics, and police in yellow rain slickers with reflective tape

that glared like white fire. Flares hissed on wet pavement as a

heavy cold rain fell, and voices were excited and loud and made

no sense. It seemed people were yelling at him and it frightened

Moses and made him feel small and ashamed. He tried to open

his eyes, but it was as if they had been sewn shut.

“What happened to the angel?” he kept muttering. “She

said her car broke down.”

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Move over Carl Hiaasen, you’ve got company. Patricia Cornwell has switched to Hiaasen’s world of black humor and nearly conquers it.”—San Francisco Examiner
“Cornwell has coined a new penny.”—USA Today


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Isle of Dogs (Andy Brazil Series #3) 1.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 199 reviews.
ahhallam More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued and captivated by Cornwell's new character Andy Brazil when I discovered him in Hornet's Nest, and was pleased to have my liking confirmed in Southern Cross. But in Isle of Dogs, Cornwell has gone way off the deep end, turning the offbeat into the totally unrealistic and reducing all of the characters to cardboard caricatures. This is particularly grievous for the ones we had come to care about in the earlier books, who seemed real and human and could be identified with, even in improbable events and relationships. This book is way too long, too convoluted, too 'precious,' and tries too hard. It's virtually unreadable. Come down to earth, Cornwell.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the very few books I've begun & not finished. "Black Humour" we're promised - "Utter Tripe" we receive. Cornwell is an excellent Crime Pathology writer - her foray into a different genre is woefully unreadable. No stars if it was an option!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got about half way through this one and just had to stop. Its characters are about as deep as a tea spoon and each one of them sounds they are addressing a six year old. The tiny portion of the plot that made sense I didn't care about and I found myself simply waiting for it to end, when I realized my time would be better spent reading the back of a soup can.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was totally atrocious. There was no character development and the plot (if that is what it can be called) was totally senseless. Trees should not be spared for these types of stories as I laboured through this book with forced interest. It is in my opinion a poor excuse for a book and should not even be in print. There should be a 0 rating for books of such poor quality. This is my first and last book by Patricia no matter how highly rated her other works are. What a let down Patricia!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the worst books I've ever had the pleasure of laying down. I cannot believe how bad it was. Although I usually read all of a book that I'm not so sure about, this time I read to just over half before I finally couldn't take it any longer. I really enjoy Ms. Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta books, but this book was so far out in left field that I wondered what drugs the author might have ingested before coming up with this storyline. A man asked, when seeing me with this book at lunch one day, how it was. I had just started it and could only tell him it seemed strange. I wish I could find that man again so I could tell him -- do NOT read this book. I agree with some of the other reviewers -- I wish I could give this book ZERO stars as it certainly doesn't deserve even one!
Tonia Ritchie More than 1 year ago
If you love the Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, you will NOT like this book. It almost reads like a parody of the Scarpetta series- like she was trying to be funny, but wasn't quite succeeding. An odd book to read, i really had to force myself to finish it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Scarpetta series so I thought I would give this a try. I am so sorry I wasted my time. I can never leave a book unfinished so I forced myself to finish this one. It never got any better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not get into it, boring/hard to follow. I have read better by Cornwell.
Neil_Collins More than 1 year ago
My advice to anyone interested in reading Patricia Cornwell is simple. Start with her first Scarpetta novel, Postmortem, and read in order, all the way through Point of Origen. Don't bother with anything from Black Notice on, and bypass the Andy Brazil books altogether. It pains me to say it, as I have been greatly inspired by Cornwell's earlier work; they were excellently written, thoroughly researched and full of great characters and stories. Isle of Dogs is the third in the Andy Brazil series (Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross being one and two), and is, without question, Cornwell's worst work I've yet read. In fact, within the first 15 pages, I had already had to resign myself to finish the book, despite how bad it was already becoming. The story's premise is that Brazil and Hammer have moved on from fixing all the problems at Richmond, VA PD (First they fixed a department in North Carolina, then moved to Richmond), and are now fixing the State Troopers. Hammer is universally hated, as she is a woman, and everyone hates women, especially stupid people in the South. Brazil, the journalist turned police officer now has four or five years of experience at three different agencies. He decides that the best way to fix this new agency is to put up a website called, wherein he will anonymously publish essays about what's going on with local law enforcement. To do this, he will require a year's paid leave to study archeology in various spots around the globe. He'll also need to get trained and certified as a helicopter pilot. His reasons are never all that clear, but he is smarter than anyone else, and so Hammer allows the secret mission. Back on duty after his year of learning Brazil makes his first post as Trooper Truth, which instantly goes viral and is the talk of the entire Commonwealth of Virginia before noon that same day. In his long winded, highbrow, meandering diatribes, he discusses pirates on the Island of Tangier, mummies, and other items highly pertinent to Virginia law enforcement. Instantly, the half blind Governor believes that Trooper Truth is sending him encoded secret messages in the posts, and all the women in town want to meet him because he must be the man of their dreams. Believable so far? The characters are equally ridiculous and are named as if they were comic book villains: Major Trader, the corrupt press secretary to the Governor; Windy Brees, the Superintendant's airheaded secretary; Hooter Snook, the overweight, dreadlocked, black, senior tollbooth operator; Dr. Faux, the crooked dentist who has been ruining the teeth of the poor folk of Tangier Island; Governor Bedford Crim IV, nearly blind from birth, but at 70 he still can't find his way from the bedroom to the dinning room; Nurse Carless, the clumsy oaf who leaves her patients far worse off than when they arrived. The list goes on. Cornwell paints a bleak picture of old Virginia as well. In her mind, it's a place where every "colored" person talks like Stepin Fetchit, Island folks attempt cessation from the state, and dogs, blue crabs, and trout not only talk amongst themselves, but may be called as witness to various crimes. Of course, the blue crabs all speak with pirate accents as they come from Tangier Island. Oh yeah, and there's also a serial killer. Her given name is Unique First, and she likes to tell people they're going to have "a Unique experience" before she slashes them to death with a box cutter.
gjj More than 1 year ago
I used to read all of Patricia Corwell books, but this one I had to force myself to finish it. After that I never picked up another of her books
mystic88 More than 1 year ago
who thought this was less than Patricia's best effort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm so very thankful that this wasn't the first Patricia Cornwell book that I read because I would have never read another, thus would have missed out on some wonderful Cornwell novels. Was she actually trying to write a 'poor' book? Character development, which Cornwell is soooo good at, was all over the board - actually destroying the character of Andy Brazil and Judy Hammer completely! I'll stick to the Scarpetta series from now on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Good author, terrible book. She must have had a publisher's deadline to meet and was hard up for anything to write. Not at all like her other work which I have always enjoyed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I also found this book to be hilarious. Maybe the other thumbs-up reader and I have the same warped sense of humor. I have now read all but two of Cornwell's books. I do prefer her Kay Scarpetta stories, but it's nice to know she can be funny, too. I did laugh out loud several times. People ARE as stupid as some of the characters in this book, I am sad to say, and I actually recognized a few as being strangely similar to former co-workers. I admit this book may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you've got a sarcastic, dry sense of humor, you just may enjoy it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the worst books I've ever slogged through. I bought it because the jacket blurb said it was dark humor, along the lines of Carl Hiaasen. I found nothing in it humorous, or even mildly entertaining. I think Ms. Cornwell should stick with the Kay Scarpetta series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love to read and once I start a book I have to finish. This was a very painful task. Half way through it a friend asked me 'how was it?' Knowing she is a fan I hated to tell her just how bad this book is so I told her ¿I¿m not really enjoying it.¿ She smiled and said, ¿Everyone I spoke to has said the same. ¿ This was the worst book I have read. Patricia Cornwell is an excellent writer so I just hope this doesn¿t turn to many fans away. I know it will be a while before I try another one of her books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the reviews for this book after I bought it, but decided to give it a try anyway. I assumed that if I read it already knowing that it was nothing like the Scarpetta books, and that it was a dark comedy/satire that it would give me a different opinion than the other reviews. Not so. In fact, as everyone else has mentioned, this may be the worst book i have ever read. I feel dumber for having finished it. I strongly don't recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am just so glad that this book was not my first introduction to Patricia Cornwell. I never would have read all the fantastic Dr. Kay Scarpetta series of novels. Where the Isle of Dogs came from I don't know, but boy is it bad. It is mostly silly and fragmented. Even the main characters seem shallow and unheroic. Save your money for Cornwell's Dr. Kay Scarpetta books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I have usually been entertained by Patricia Cornwell's efforts, this book was a huge disappointment. The story moves slowly and sports a cast of inane characters whose purpose seems to be a history lesson on Jamestown and Virginia. I have no beef with a history lesson contained within a mystery. But this time the lesson seems somehow disjointed and not well-connected with the story--if not in the letter certainly in the spirit. It just feels preachy and wholely unbelieveable. The entertainment value in this one has been pirated away by shoddy dialogue and the preachy internet wannabe hero Trooper Truth. It has been hard to get much past the first 5 or 6 chapters. Judy Hammer is potentially every bit as entertaining as Kay Scarpetta as a female law enforcement character. Nevertheless, I doubt that I can read much more of this installment. Too many other good books out there to spend my failing eyesight on. LOL.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, I read the whole thing. Not because I enjoyed it, but because I was driven by some morbid curiosity to see how bad it could get. And boy, it didn't disappoint in that department! First, there are about a million plot points that go absolutely nowhere, such as the female serial killer, the kidnapped dog, the kidnapped dentist, the rambling self-serving Trooper Truth essays, the governors ugly daughters. Could we find a plot and stick with it, please?. Next are the ridiculous character names: Unique First, Hooter Shook, Windy Brees Major Trader, Trish Thrash, Possum, Fonny Boy, etc. Then there is the way that Cornwell portrays almost every single character as a backwards talking inbred idiot. Does she have some grudge against the state of Virginia or something? This book shoots to the top of my Worst Novels Ever Written list. The fact that an established and respected author pounded out this atrocity only makes it worse. I wish I could give it zero stars. I think Patricia Cornwell owes me stars for making it to the end!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Unlike most of the readers here, I am fairly new to Mysteries. I just never got into them. I thought I would give it a try and read my first one this year. I picked a winner! 'Post Mortem'. I loved it!! Now, I have read several others. I can't get enough of Patricia Cornwell's novels. That is, up until now. I haven't found one PC book that I didn't love. But,this one is sick!!! I kept trying to get over the rubish to the 'good part'. It never came so, I came here to see what other readers thought. Thinking, 'What am I missing here'? It looks like I'm not missing anything...This is NOTHING like PC's other books. I will continue to read her books. But, I won't read anything new, until I get the reviews. Because I couldn't bear reading another one like Isle of the Dogs!! I can't even describe reads like a 'first time work', for a writer. Nothing like Patricia Cornwell's style and expertise. I would actually rate it '0', if I could. Complete waste of my time!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am deeply disappointed in the Isle of Dogs. As an avid Cornewell fan I have read her entire body of work. However, I know authors often need to experiment with other genre. I could see where she was headed at times, I could see that some of it had elements of the funny and bizarre, but the characters were never fully developed and the plot was Convoluted and confusing. Too many charachters, too many subplots. The smart folks were stilted and unbelievable, the foolish ones were unlikeable and unbelievable. I was particularly upset with the portrayal of Hammer and the other detective - they were just silly - and we know those folks - and they're not silly at all. We like them and have a relationship with them - they did not deserve this portrayal. Patricia Cornwell is an amazing writer and I will continue reading her works. From each failure we learn to move to greater success. She is one of the great ones and will continue whether she cooses to continue and perfect this method of writing or return to her more traditional approach. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the worst, stupidest, and most unlikely work I've come across in years -- and I have been a great fan of PC. I've been listening to this on books on tape -- I'd never have stuck with it in printed form. The characters are implausible -- not only the people, but the thinking/talking dog, fish, crabs. The essays by Trooper Truth are equally implausible in their content (encyclopedic, but supposedly dashed off quickly) and in the idea that anyone would bother to read them. Kay Scarpetta is probably mortified by the inanity of the "plot" and the whole concept -- accounting for her only cameo appearance. Please Patricia, stick with your former (compelling) style!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've followed Patricia Cornwell since Postmortem was published in 1990. Throughout the last decade, till she published Isle of Dogs, Patricia Cornwell, along with Robin Cook, has set the example for prospective medical thriller writers. Her prose has been clear and sharp but above all, her work is realistic. When I picked up Isle of Dogs, I was expecting something slightly different, considering that this is not a Kay Scarpetta novel. I was unpleasantly surprised when I started reading this story and stumbled upon the scenes with the talking animals. I have to admit that I'm truly shocked. This coming from a writer of very well written, highly praised, bestselling medical thrillers. Putting the book down for the last time, after reading approximately half the book, I thought to myself, "This is not Patricia Cornwell." I am writing this not just to provide a review for prospective readers of this novel. I am also writing this as a bid for Ms. Patricia Cornwell herself. Please, Ms. Cornwell, go back to what you were truly best at. Please go back to the Carpetta novels. I recall that The Last Precinct went unfinished. It went so in the sense that Kay Scarpetta quit her job as a medical examiner. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to know what happens next. Please go back to those suspenseful story lines, to that spectacular way of making medical science intersting and highly relevant to the story. Please go back to Kay Scarpetta. Good luck in your future endeavours.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I prefer the Scarpetta mysteries over the Hammer/Brazil ones, I enjoyed Hornet's Nest and Southern Cross. Isle of Dogs however was incredibly disappointing. The female character, Unique, went undeveloped. Hammer's secretary had potential to be funny, but never quite made the grade, and even my 5-year old son could have figured out who 'Tropper Truth' was after the second essay. The humorous elements of the two other books hit the mark, but in Isle of Dogs, they got lost among the stereotypes and over-the-top characterizations. Hopefully the next book will go back to the humor of the first two.