BOSTON | Pioneer of polar science, the American Patricia Cornwell leads his readers in a suspense, where new technologies and cybercrime are the secret service agents on the teeth with the first volume of a new series is very promising, Quantum. Brilliantly conducted, well-documented, this novel eyeful, thanks to a specialist of quantum mechanics, dreaming of becoming an astronaut.
Calli Chase, this new heroine fascinating, is on the eve of the mission as top secret. In the tunnels of a research center of NASA, in Colorado Springs, it detects an alarm in suspicious circumstances. An investigator in cyber crime, it knows that the conditions are met for a sabotage : a storm approach, and at the same time a “shut down” (temporary closure) decided by the government.
The situation gets day-to-day, especially as Carmé, his twin sister, has been missing for a few days. Calli did not have to wait long before realizing that in the event of failure of its mission, the space program will be compromised, as well as the security of the entire nation.
The novel delves into the behind the scenes of NASA, and the naval air station in Langley, Virginia, in the heart of the facilities of NORAD in Colorado. His information, acquired on the ground through privileged access to, and filtered by the intelligence services before publication, allow an abundance of details that symbolize the spice to the story.
Very voluble and interesting, in the interview, Patricia Cornwell has revealed in a big burst of laughter that she had done something special for the 25th volume of the series Scarpetta: “I didn’t write that!”.
Interviewed at the Battery Wharf Hotel, luxury hotel in Boston, prior to the pandemic, the writer to the blue eyes piercing speaks with vivacity of its new series. “People don’t know it, but after writing Chaos, I had the feeling to be gone at the end of this case. I wanted to bring Scarpetta in Virginia, but after writing a chapter, I told myself, it won’t work. I wanted to do something new. I thought I turn to the tv and the cinema. After having written 40 books, I wanted to do something else.”
In London, three years ago, his agent told him about a possible heroin female James Bond. “I thought about it. Who would it be? I immediately thought of the space program at NASA. I began my search, thinking to make a movie. I’ve met producers… but everyone wanted that I should write a book.”
Heroin without limits
Patricia Cornwell has just completed the writing of Spin, the second book of the series, and note that Scarpetta has to some extent been channeled to create Calli, her new heroine.
“I created Scarpetta in 1980 and there were a lot of limitations at the time. Today, someone like her will be aboard the international space station, doing DNA tests. It would not need to have a niece who is helicopter pilot : she will fly itself. With this new character, there is no limit.”
She sees the mission of the Captain Calli Chase as a way to go further, to promote what humanity has to better, “and make sure that we become all better people.”
“It is the opposite of what I used to do. I was showing that it could get worse – and believe me, there will be death and violence in the next book. But I also show that there is another way to evolve.” The large existential questions are at the heart of its concerns. “Who are we? And why are we here? I would like to know.”
♦ Patricia Cornwell has written a series featuring the medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, translated into 36 languages, in over 50 countries.
♦ It has more than twenty titles have appeared in the head of sales in the New York Times, with 100 million books sold around the world.
♦ She is the co-founder of the Institute of forensic science of Virginia and a member of the national Board of the hospital McLean, an affiliate of Harvard.
♦ His new novel, Spin, is soon to be released in English.
♦ This interview was conducted in Boston prior to the pandemic, with the collaboration of Hachette Canada.
Editions JC Lattès, 400 pages”>
Editions JC Lattès, 400 pages
“Three years ago, I was a captain in the military police, head of cyber security in this underground base that I call the Batcave in North America, a bunker buried six-hundred metres deep under mount Cheyenne, which is supposed to withstand an atomic explosion. It was the worst place to test a telecommunications network via optical fiber. But this strategic choice from the time of the Beatles and the cold war, well before my birth.”