Spoiler Alert - if you haven't read these books I give some things away below.
A million years ago - well really in '94 or so I just happened across the book Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell. It's about a serial killer in Virginia. Good stuff, really. I was late to the party so I had 2 more to read after the first one, Body of Evidence and All that Remains. Loved loved both of them. As the main character, the great Kay Scarpetta progressed along with the rest of her group, Pete Marino, her genius niece Lucy, first boyfriend Mark and then Benton I grew to love and enjoy them all.
Then they started evolving into unhappy, miserable, depressed people, or characters. Lucy evolved into a lesbian - yeah whatever. Not a big whoop except she was so pissed off all the time. Luc got the boot from the FBI and got in some trouble on a shooting - now she is loaded for selling computer programs that she designs and has a brain tumor. The first BF Mark ended up getting killed in an IRA bombing. The second BF and Kay started an affair and have ended up together - except when he went under heavy cover and Kay thought that he was dead for a year or so. Pete Marino, her cop buddy quit the force and has followed Kay around to various jobs and states and in the most recent book, The Book of the Dead he is totally obsessed with Kay and almost rapes her.
Patricia Cornwells books have gotten to the point that they are so technical that I can barely follow them. I found myself skipping page after page just begging to find some dialog. This book also had some digs on Republican, Bush, Americans and the war. That was a little surprising because her books typically don't seem to comment on actual real world events - mostly stays on the topic and whatever killer they are hunting. Even more surprising is that Patricia Cornwell have given lots of money to the Republican Party and has met Bush - (according to Wikipedia).
All of the characters that I have come to care about are horribly unhappy. None of them seem to even like each other and rely on each other for the drama and nothing else. Kay and Benton got engaged in this book and while I'm glad of that I don't see that happening. After the almost rape of Scarpetta, Marino is now missing.
The Book of the Dead could be my last Kay Scarpetta/Patricia Cornwell book I'm sad to say. Maybe I'll go back to her older stuff and re-read them.