I'm still not sure I'm going to finish reading Preston's The Codex. I've tried to pick it up again several times and just haven't been able to get back into it.
However, I did finish Red Mist (2011, G. P. Putnam's Sons; 498 pages), by Patricia Cornwell. Interesting novel, which I can say very little about without spoilers. I will say that I did like that it was constructed in large part of a series of conversations, with not that much action. I like to read novels like that sometimes. I suppose some people find that kind of writing too slow, but sometimes it can be a nice break from non-stop action. On the other hand, Ms. Cornwell chose to write this novel in the present tense, which bugs the hell out of me. It's a tribute to the strength of the story that I stuck with it and read the whole thing.
I also have to say that I'm kind of ambivalent about Ms. Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta mysteries. I've read several of them, and I just have a hard time liking Scarpetta. The way Ms. Cornwell has written her, the character seems to have problems with grandiose thinking. She seems to think that everyone else is either stupid or naive. In this book, at one point, she is about to enter the apartment of someone she has known for some time and who she is nearly positive is dead, and the narrative has her thinking, "It's what I sense right before I walk into a place where death quietly and finally waits for me to tend to it as only I can." It's as if she thinks she is the only medical examiner in the world, or at least the only one who knows anything. Like I said, she has a bit of a problem with grandiose thinking.
Still, I liked Red Mist. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have stayed up late into the night two nights in a row reading it.