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1. Port Mortuary (A Scarpetta Novel)
2. The Scarpetta Factor
3. All That Remains: A Scarpetta
4. Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries)
5. Body of Evidence: A Scarpetta
6. Unnatural Exposure (Scarpetta)
7. The Front (Win Garano)
8. Cruel and Unusual: A Kay Scarpetta
9. Cause of Death.
10. Point of Origin (Scarpetta)
11. Scarpetta
12. Black Notice (Scarpetta)
13. Trace
14. Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta,
15. From Potter's Field (Scarpetta)
16. Predator (Scarpetta)
17. The Complete Patricia Cornwell
18. At Risk (Win Garano)
19. The Body Farm (Scarpetta)
20. Blow Fly (Scarpetta)

1. Port Mortuary (A Scarpetta Novel)
by Patricia Cornwell
Hardcover: 512 Pages (2010-11-30)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$15.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399157212
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The new Kay Scarpetta novel from the world's #1 bestselling crime writer.

"When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell."
-The New York Times Book Review

Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell's eighteenth Scarpetta novel, is literally a port for the dead. In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Scarpetta's past merges with the high- tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she accepted a scholarship from the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt. Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship.

As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments, MIT and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. ... Read more

2. The Scarpetta Factor
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 592 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$3.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425236285
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the extraordinary new novel by Patricia Cornwell-the world's #1 bestselling crime writer-forensic expert Kay Scarpetta is surrounded by familiar faces, yet traveling down the unfamiliar road of fame. A CNN producer wants her to launch a TV show called The Scarpetta Factor. But the glare of the spotlight could make Kay a target for the very killers she would put behind bars...Amazon.com Review

Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson: Author One-on-One
In this Amazon exclusive, we brought together blockbuster authors Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson and asked them to interview each other. Find out what two of the top authors of their genres have to say about their characters, writing process, and more.

James Patterson is one of the bestselling writers of all time, with more than 170 million copies of his books sold worldwide. He is the author of two of the most popular detective series of the past decade, featuring Alex Cross and the Women's Murder Club, and he also writes nonfiction and The Maximum Ride series for young readers. Read on to see James Patterson's questions for Patricia Cornwell, orturn the tables to see what Cornwell asked Patterson.

James Patterson Patterson:Here's a chance to say all the great things the critics would about The Scarpetta Factor, if there were any newspapers left that still reviewed books.Or, as they say in the TV interviews: Tell us about this one, Patricia.

Cornwell: As was true in the last book (Scarpetta), the new one is set in New York City, and it begins with Kay Scarpetta working on the autopsy of a young woman who presumably was murdered the night before in Central Park. While the apparent circumstances of the violent crime say one thing, the body is telling Scarpetta a very different and incredibly disturbing story that causes the prosecutor, the police, other officials, and even Scarpetta's friends and colleagues, to wonder if she's making mistakes or has begun to believe her own legend. While others are questioning and criticizing her, she begins to doubt herself and her decision to be the senior forensic analyst for CNN—an exposure that possibly leads to her BlackBerry disappearing and a suspicious package being left for her at her apartment building. As the intrigue unfolds, the past is no longer past, and she is soon faced with an old nemesis who threatens to be her final undoing.

Patterson:This book is set in New York again—what do you like about the Big City? What don't you like?

: Certainly New York City is the ultimate Big City. By placing Scarpetta in the midst of NYC within its medical examiner's office, I've positioned her on an international stage where anything can and does happen. The machinery is huge (NYPD and the FBI field office, for example), yet the private lives of the characters remain intimate and small. Not only is this a big story about a big-city case that captivates the world, it's also a very close look at the characters and who and what they are to one another in contemporary times. In terms of what I like and don't like about NYC? The only thing I don't like about it is driving there.

Patterson: I often get asked what I have in common with Alex Cross. What would you say you have in common with Kay Scarpetta?

Cornwell: Scarpetta and I share the same values and sensibilities. We approach cases the same way (which should be rather obvious, since I work the cases by taking on her persona). Beyond that, there are many differences. I'm not Catholic or Italian or married to Benton Wesley. I'm not a forensic pathologist with a law degree. I don't have her emotional discipline or inhibitions, nor do I have her professional dazzle. (I always remind people I was an English major who started working at age eleven, first as a babysitter, then in food service!) I don't have Scarpetta's pedigree. But then, she isn't a writer, unless she's writing professional journal articles or autopsy reports.

: What's your routine like when it comes to writing? Do you do write every day? On the road? Do you need vacations from your writing?

:I wish I had more of a routine. I begin each book with research that continues up to the very end of the process. But gradually, as I approach the deadline, I sink deeper into seclusion until eventually I don’t even answer e-mails or the phone anymore (unless it's my partner, Staci). I just write morning, noon, and night. The pulling together and completion of a novel is so intense, I'm almost living out of body by the time I'm done. It's the most wonderful and miserable experience imaginable. I would love a vacation but never seem to have time, and I doubt I'd know what to do if you made me "do nothing." In fact, Staci and I have a strange habit of going to foreign lands and visiting their police departments and morgues instead of just hanging out at the beach. I don't write every day because I do so much research, and currently, I have many other responsibilities that keep me busier than ever (filming, involvement with forensic institutes—just the business of life, for example).

:What's the best feedback you've had from a reader? Or—what was the best piece of writing advice you've had?

: Frankly, the best feedback was when a reader complained some years ago that he wasn’t sure I liked my characters anymore. And I thought about this and realized I wasn’t sure I did, either. A horrible thing to realize. It was because the series had gone on for so long that it was time to reinvent the characters and their relationships with one another and the world they inhabit. I think this remake is most apparent in the last book, Scarpetta, and I am on a wonderful and invigorating new course that is even more evident in the new one, The Scarpetta Factor.

:Bonus question: How do you feel about the Hollywood adaptations of your work?Don't be afraid—let it all hang out.

: In the past, very disappointed, because the projects went nowhere. Now, so far so good. The first films (Lifetime movies of At Risk and The Front, which are non-Scarpetta novellas) air this spring. I had a magnificent experience from beginning to end with the producers, actors—everyone. It's way too early to talk about the 20th Century Fox project with Angelina Jolie, although who wouldn't be excited about her?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (279)

1-0 out of 5 stars Boring.....
The Scarpetta books have really gone downhill since she left the Virignia Medical Examiners office.
I have read them-although I don't know why-I guess out of loyalty to the author.

But no more. This book was a bloated, boring, waste of time. It was so long and dragged out that I
skipped reading the middle part of the book and just skimmed through it. If you want to read it,
read the first and last chapter and forget the rest.

The scenes with Benton are boring. There is too much emphasis upon personal danger to Kay, rather than
to the case at hand. A villian from a previous novel resurfaces, and his appearance is silly.
Scenes and conversations that should take a paragraph run on and on for pages.

This is my last Scarpetta book....enough is enough.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Scarpetta Factor ties up loose ends, and it was long overdue
Personally, I LOVED it. However, it might not necessarily be for the right reasons.
I read all of the Scarpettas books, and her last ones were definitely not good, especially the ones leading up to Scarpetta. But then, I did enjoy Scarpetta despite the fact that I found the bad guy to be too obvious.

But with The Scarpetta Factor we FINALLY get closure on a lot of things that were never even mentioned during the last 5 books. I had gotten tired of waiting around for at least a conversation about Wesley disapearance and all the loose ends that came from it.
So, although I do agree that some things were a little too easy, getting once more inside the characters after such a long time was a huge reward for me. I was really into it. It took me 2 days to finish it.
I had missed the conversations between the characters so much, I'm just glad they were in this one.
I'm hoping that P. Cornwell keeps on this track, because hopefully she can really go back to what Scarpetta used to be.

1-0 out of 5 stars About through with Cornwall
I have been a faithful reader of Cornwall's novels for years.However the last couple or three I have read (including "The Scarpetta Factor") have been bloated with filler. She hasn't given us enough character development either.This isn't like her earlier novels where the reader could really relate to her characters. Come on, Patricia, you can do better than this.

1-0 out of 5 stars Please Retire Scarpetta if the Writing Continues to be Poor!
This is the worst review I have ever given. This book is truly one of the worst I have ever read and I have read many! I read, on average, 2 books a week or more. I have been stuck on this boring, confusing book for over a month and finally finished it. I feel this book is very poorly written and is constantly jumping all over the place. If you had not read previous Scarpetta books you would not know what was going on. Don't waste your money on this. It isn't worth it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Familiar nemeses
Cornwell centers her book around old but familiar nemeses like the werewolf-like survivor of the notorious Chandonne family. Scarpetta finds herself thrown into the back stabbing arena of TV stardom while trying to maintain her integrity.
In this book Cornwell features her rebellious but brilliant gay niece, Lucy who uses all her computer wizardry to find the forensic evidence necessary to discover and finally put a stop to the series of murders in New York. The new forensic knowledge and techniques makes for a fast moving read.
... Read more

3. All That Remains: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 463 Pages (2009-06-30)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$5.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439149895
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell's heart-stopping thriller featuring gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta

In Richmond, Virginia, young lovers are dying. So far, four couples in the area have disappeared, only to be found months later as mutilated corpses. When the daughter of the president's newest drug czar vanishes along with her boyfriend, Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows time is short. Following a macabre trail of evidence that ties the present homicides to a grisly crime in the past, Kay must draw upon her own personal resources to track down a murderer who is as skilled at eliminating clues as Kay is at finding them.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (114)

5-0 out of 5 stars very satisfied
The book is really good, it arrived very fast and the book itself was in great condition. Thankyou.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dr. Kay Tries to Find a Killer Before he Strikes Again
Dr. Kay Scarpetta has eight decomposed bodies with no known cause of death, couples, lovers, victims of the Couple Killer. When a fresh pair turns up, it looks like the girl is the daughter of a govt. official. Kay's boss wants the crimes solved before anymore bodies turn up, so Kay tries to find the serial killer before he does it again.

There are times when this book gets a little weird, but it is intense, impossible to put down. I read it in one sitting, turning the pages as if they were scorching my fingers. However I did think the killer could have been fleshed out just a bit more, but that's probably just gruesome me, wanting to know every detail about why someone kills the way PC has her bad guys kill. Anyway this is surely a five star effort on PC's part. No one does this kind of stuff the way she does.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, probably the worst book Patricia Cornwell ever wrote.
As far as I can tell, until now this was the only book by PC I hadn't read. And it should have stayed that way; I should not have bought it because it was a huge disappointment. The story seems to start with an interesting case but very soon after that it dies and turns into pages and pages of nothing. Descriptions of places that don't really matter, clothes people wear that have NO impact whatsoever on the story and the ending..... don't even get me going on that. I should have stopped around page 25 or so and started an other book.

I believe this was an early 'Scarpetta' story. Almost all PC's other books kept me on the edge of my seat but this one, don't bother, it's a waste of your time. It was for my time, that's for sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars All That Remains is the desire to read more Scarpetta books
I've tried reading Kathy Reichs' series, and in perusing those reviews, I found glowing praises of Patricia Cornwall's Scarpetta novels. Readers claimed that Cornwell's forensic thrillers were much better than the Tempe Brennan books. It took me awhile, but I finally checked out the earliest Scapetta novels from my library. All That Remains (1992) was the oldest in the collection.

I couldn't put it down! This book, set in the early 90's, is very exciting. With twists and turns at every corner, I just had to know who committed the gruesome murders of teenaged sweethearts. One of the murdered was Deborah Harvey, daughter of "drug czar" Pat Harvey. Was Deborah Harvey and "her boyfriend" murdered by some drug cartel? Or, was it the Feds, seeking revenge on Pat Harvey for her policies? Or, maybe Deborah's and "her boyfriend's" murders were a copycat of the other couples' murders? And is it significant that ALL couples murders occurred with a 50-mile radius of Camp Peary, the CIA training ground. Who else could be involved? Maybe a widowed redneck whose dog, Dammit, was murdered years ago?

How about motive? If it wasn't a drug cartel or the Feds, what if some pervert had a "thing" for couples? Did they remind him or her of his or her failures?

As for characters, Dr. Kay Scrapetta is very human. A smart, successful ME with a J.D., she has typical personal problems. Her hot/cold lover makes his appearance, and Kay is impacted by this unstable affair. Kay attempts to keep a friendship with former colleague, Abby, who has been acting very strangely. Abby is a well-written character, but she doesn't get my sympathy - I disliked her for her behavior. The other characters were all distinct, from psychics to rednecks to others, BUT some characters were stereotyped: Ellen at 7-11, Marino, Mr. Joyce.

The descriptions of Richmond, Williamsburg, and the District of Columbia were perfect. I've been to Williamsburg before, most recently 1 1/2 years ago, and Cornwall's descriptions were very accurate. (Certain things haven't changed in the two decades since this novel was published!)

I've just finished All That Remains and have Cruel & Unusual (1993) ready to go!

4-0 out of 5 stars More character-driven than some other Scarpetta's
'All That Remains' is distinctive among Cornwell's early Scarpetta books, in that the forensic science doesn't really play much of a role. You might think that would be a fatal blow for a series based around a Medical Examiner, but in fact Cornwell does a good job of tweaking the formula. Since the key plot hook is Scarpetta's inability to determine cause of death, the investigatory rather than the forensic side is emphasised, with 'All That Remains' being a bit reminiscent of a police procedural in parts. But the story is still interesting, with some clever twists and turns, and some good investigation work performed by Scarpetta and Marino.

The story itself revolves around a serial killer who has dispatched eight people over the past years, with the bodies not found until they are so degraded the cause of death is unknown. However, when the latest victim includes the daughter of a high-profile Congresswoman, the pressure on Scarpetta and her associates becomes intense. The case quickly takes on "political" connotations, with suggestions that the government, FBI, and even CIA are trying to sabotage the investigation and hush it up. This does result in yet another of Cornwell's righteous-heroine-persecuted-by-nasty-men scenarios, but it also gives Mark James and Benton Wesley some interesting character moments. Mark and especially Benton come across as more shadowy than before; the FBI connection meaning they may not have Scarpetta's best interests at heart. A variety of sub-plots involving rival journalists and leaking of confidential information muddies the waters of the investigation even further, with Scarpetta unable to trust almost anyone.

This is one of the more character-driven books in the series. Unlike most other Scarpetta novels, 'All That Remains' takes place over quite a long period of time, and provides some insight into the physical and emotional toll taken on investigators (and also victims' families) as the case drags on for months and months without resolution. The combination of time, lack of evidence, and political pressure push several characters to breaking point. The degradation of Pat Harvey is particularly sad, given her strong character at the beginning of the book.

The conclusion is clever, with most of the pieces fitting into place, and the climax is quite tragic. As mentioned, the revelation owes more to old-school police work than forensic wizardry, although there is a clever forensic-based twist at the end.

In all, yet another strong early entry in the Scarpetta series, albeit with a less forensic and more character-driven emphasis than 'Postmortem' and 'Body Of Evidence'. ... Read more

4. Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 448 Pages (2009-12-29)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$5.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439148120
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With this novel, bestselling author Patricia Cornwell created one of crime fiction’s most compelling heroines: gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell’s gift for combining cutting edge criminology with nerve-shattering suspense makes this book a true modern classic.

Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a human monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralyzed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues. With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it’s being sabotaged from within—and someone wants her dead. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (157)

4-0 out of 5 stars It got my attention
Being a fairly versed mystery reader, somehow I managed to gloss over Ms. Cornwell until about a month ago.I decided to start the Scarpetta series where it began, with Postmortem.The book was a quick read with quite a few twists and turns.I like the beginning of her character development and look forward to reading more about these characters as I continue through the series.Sometimes the verbage was a bit over-thought and a bit too in your face graphic but overall, I liked the book.It moved without getting bogged down.I do look forward to further adventures with the Scarpetta crew and to see how Ms. Cornwell's writing develops.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Couldn't Put it Down
Richmond is terrorized by Mr. Nobody, a serial killer. He leaves hardly any evidence behind, but he hasn't reckoned on the abilities of Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Kay Scarpetta. However, petty politics and a reporter are getting in her way and that's awfully hard for someone as self-centered as Dr. Kay who backs down when confronted by her superiors and takes her frustration out on those under her. She gets angry, she empathizes with the victims, sometimes I like her, sometimes she makes me want to gag. I suppose that's because she's human, maybe too human for a novel.

However, I couldn't put the book down when I first read it, and years later when I read it again, I was up all night again. That is most certainly the mark of a five star novel.

1-0 out of 5 stars did not buy this item, do not know why it is in my review list
did not buy this item, do not know why it is in my review list

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely an original.
I read this book soon after it came out. This was YEARS before the whole CSI genre. I thought "who is this Patricia Cornwell?".This stuff about forensics is so interesting and new. She coupled that with characters that you could like or find interesting and a great story. Fast paced. Interesting characters and really scared the boots off me while reading it alone in my house. I ended up reading the first half dozen books along with the her other book "Hornet's Nest" which was a big disappointment. After a while she really had played out the characters and cliche took over. But the first novels are still fresh and original. Loved them!

5-0 out of 5 stars Consistent excellence.
As always, Kay's on the case. This was an earlier story I hadn't read before fuller relationships were formed. Interesting aspect and a good look at how they started.Love these books.Can't wait for the movie! ... Read more

5. Body of Evidence: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2004-11-30)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743493915
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in this suspense fiction classic.

Reclusive author Beryl Madison finds no safe haven from months of menacing phone calls -- or the tormented feeling that her every move is being watched. When the writer is found slain in her own home, Kay Scarpetta pieces together the intricate forensic evidence -- while unwittingly edging closer to a killer waiting in the shadows.... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (89)

4-0 out of 5 stars Lots of Tension
I didn't think I'd ever be saying this about a police procedural with a female protagonist, but I actually enjoy the romance between Kay Scarpetta and Mark James. Cornwell is the absolute best at making her characters real.

When a reclusive writer is brutally stabbed to death after being denied police protection, Dr. Scarpetta gets on the case. However is she on the trail of the killer or is the killer of the killer or is the killer on her trail?

There is tension galore in this book, however, I was a little disappointed in the ending, because I didn't think we were given enough clues to figure out who the killer was. I sort of felt, you know, cheated, as I'd spent so much time thinking about the clues that didn't point to the bad guy at all, so overall I guess I have to give this book four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great Scarpetta story!
About a year ago I decided to find out what all the fuss was about and picked up and read Postmorum. I truly enjoyed it.So the logical next step would be to pick up the second Scarpetta novel.I must say I was not disappointed!This book is just as good as the first novel.Not only that but I actually found the story more compelling as it has more plot twists. This will keep your interest all the way to the end.

My favorite part of this novel were the characters.As in the first book Scarpetta and Marino were written extremely well but the new characters such as Mark, Beryl and the rest of the characters that complete this story and make it a very compelling read.

I just didn't want to put this book down.If you are a fan of the Scarpetta series and you some how missed this novel you need to remedy that as soon as possible.If you are new to the Scarpetta novels and are looking for a great suspenseful book then I highly recommend this one.


5-0 out of 5 stars Thriller
This book kept me engaged throughout. I look forward to read more of her books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stalking a stalker
Beryl Madison is a writer of historical fiction set during the American Revolution and civil war. Witty, young and attractive, she unfortunately attracts the interest of a psychopathic killer. He phones her at intervals, watches her, follows her and finally kills her in her home. Her body arrives for autopsy with twenty-seven stab wounds.

Dr. Kay Scarpetta gets involved in the case more deeply than you'd expect of the medical examiner. She always does. Marino, the detective in charge of the case, looks upon himself as her guardian angel. He's more grizzly bear than angel, but even Marino can't keep her out of trouble.

Luckily the doc is pretty deadly herself. Any intruder or killer who goes after her is likely to be whacked with whatever's at hand and put out of commission.

As in the first Scarpetta novel, Post Mortem, Cornwell offers plenty of forensic detail to educate and fascinate the reader. In this book the emphasis is on trace fibers from the murderer. There's also a romantic if rocky encounter with an old boyfriend to distract the doc from her work and a subplot involving the FBI to muddy the waters of detection.

I liked Post Mortem a little better than this book, but nonetheless it did keep me nailed to my armchair - sure sign of a competent thriller. I'll certainly go on to the next book in the series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not excellent
A good one, but not as good as her other books! I still enjoyed it! ... Read more

6. Unnatural Exposure (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 352 Pages (2008-01-02)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$4.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425218929
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A psychopath with an intimate knowledge of death has an even more intimate knowledge of Kay Scarpetta-and many different plans to kill her.Amazon.com Review
Virginia Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta has a bloody puzzle onher hands: five headless, limbless cadavers in Ireland, plus foursimilar victims in a landfill back home. Is a serial butcher loose inVirginia? That's what the panicked public thinks, thanks to a local TVreporter who got the leaked news from her boyfriend, Scarpetta's vilerival, Investigator Percy Ring. But the butchered bodies are so manyred herrings intended to throw idiots like Ring off the track. Insteadof a run-of-the-mill serial killer, we're dealing with a shadowyfigure who has plans involving mutant smallpox, mass murder, andmessing with Scarpetta's mind by e-mailing her gory photos of themurder scenes, along with cryptic AOL chat-room messages. The coolestinnovation: Scarpetta's gorgeous genius niece, Lucy, equips her with aDataGlove and a VPL Eyephone, and she takes a creepy virtual tour ofthe e-mailed crime scene.

Unnatural Exposure boasts brisk storytelling, cracklingdialogue, evocative prose about forensic-science sleuthing, and crispcharacter sketches, both of familiar characters like Scarpetta's gruffpartner Pete Marino and bit players like the landfill employee falselyaccused by Ring. Plus, let's face it: serial killers are oldhat. Cornwell's most vivid villains are highly plausible backstabbingcolleagues like Ring, who plots to destroy Lucy's FBI career by outingher as a lesbian. Some readers object to the rather abrupt ending,but, hey, it's less jarring than Hannibal's, and it'sthe logical culmination of Cornwell's philosophy about humannature. To illuminate the novel's finale, read Cornwell's remarks onparanoia in her Amazon.com interview. --Tim Appelo ... Read more

Customer Reviews (266)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unnaturally Good, Just Not Great
This is a good medical thriller. It involves a weird pox-like bug that keeps killing individuals. Scarpetta is forced to find out who unleashed this horrid plague in order to prevent further death and demise. I am not a doctor, well not a medical doctor, so that portion of the book sounded realistic to me. The suspense was set very nicely in a readable book that moves along very quickly and is never boring. The writing is very good and serves to set up a good summer read. Anyway, it is worth a read, so get it and enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Exposure
I received this book from a pen pal because I was looking for new books to read.The book was great but hard to get into at first.Kay Scarpetta is a caring and intelligent well rounded character.I am trying not to write a spoiler.I can say that it kept me on the edge of my seat and I was completely surprised by the ending.I like booksthat have a surprise ending much better than ones that are so predicable.Kay Scarpetta is the chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia.The book moves fast but not so fast that you get lost.I learned so much while reading this book, too.I gave it five stars because it deserves it.No I want to read other Patricia Cornwell's books about Kay Scarpetta...

5-0 out of 5 stars She does it again....
Read this one in a single weekend when it was rainy and cold. Loved every page.

4-0 out of 5 stars unrealistic plot but still a fun read
This Kay Scarpetta novel is about #9 in the series and Cornwell shows she can still bring the Medical Examiner of Virginia into your living room without too much trouble. I like Scarpetta as a charcter, though I don't really know why. Her personality is a little emotional for my taste, but yet I hang on and keep reading these novels. The book is full of action, so this is a good buy for waiting on a plane or train. I enjoyed the scene when Scarpetta discovers a body infected with a small pox-like virus. The danger was palpable. The fact that the murderer contacts Scarpetta over email and eventually lurers her into a dangerous situation by herself is far-fetched but tolerable. The reader must also be forgiving of this book's elementary descriptions of email, AOL chatrooms, and internet systems, as it was written in 1997 before such modes of communication became commonplace...and now obsolete (i.e. AOL chatrooms).

5-0 out of 5 stars BOOK REVIEW

7. The Front (Win Garano)
by Patricia Cornwell
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (2009-05-26)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425228282
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
When Patricia Cornwell introduced a quicksilver, cut-to-the-bone style and extraordinary cast of characters in At Risk, the result was electrifying. Now, America's #1 bestselling crime writer returns with an audacious new adventure. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (259)

1-0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Other reviewers have addressed the weakness of this book (& I feel some have been quite kind!)...nothing ultimately worked in this book, there were one or two promising parts but they came to nothing in the end, completely absurd conclusion.

3-0 out of 5 stars Book review
This book is not nearly as good as the authors other books.I have read them all and this one just doesn't keep my attention.I don't think I would recomend this book to others.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not her usual quality of writing
I purchased "The Front" to read on a roadtrip.I was totally disappointed.The book itself was in a larger print than I am used to and therefore it was a quick read, more like a hastily written short story than a book.The character development seemed poor and the story itself leaved a lot to be desired.I learned my lesson.Even my favorite writer doesn't always produce quality work.

1-0 out of 5 stars A waste of money
This was obviously a book that was rushed to finish.There was little to no plot and it felt as if half of the book was missing.That is what my husband and I thought when we bought the electronic version for the Kindle.Much to our dismay, we discovered that we had purchased the hardback as well, and that confirmed that it was not an electronic glitch.It was just a bad book.I have been reading Patricia Cornwell faithfully over the years.This book, and the obvious inattention to quality, has soured me on her works.

1-0 out of 5 stars Do Not Subject Yourself To The Pain
Seriously Patricia Cornwell, what was this? It would have been less traumatic if I had let a bear chew my leg off. Rubbish.

Why is it that this book focused on just about everything else but what the goal was: find out about "the front". The story wandered thousands of miles then stopped- and kept wandering. Spare your eyes the torturous journey. ... Read more

8. Cruel and Unusual: A Kay Scarpetta Novel
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 416 Pages (2005-10-25)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416505407
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
"Killing me won't kill the beast" are the last words of rapist-murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell, written four days before his execution. But they can't explain how Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds Waddell's fingerprints on another crime scene -- after she'd performed his autopsy. If this is some sort of game, Scarpetta seems to be the target. And if the next victim is someone she knows, the punishment will be cruel and unusual... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (98)

5-0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Twists and Turns
First off, let me say that although all of Cornwell's thrillers stand alone, it's better if you read them in the order they were written. More so in PC's case than in other authors who continue with the same character, book after book. This is because PC does the impossible, she keeps her characters continually growing with each story. Pass one up and you miss some of their development and the very interesting, but very flawed people that walk through the pages of her books are like people we know, friends, and one should stay current with one's friends.

"Cruel and Unusual" opens with Kay waiting for the execution of murder/rapist Ronnie Joe Waddell, but even as she's waiting someone is being killed, the killer using Waddell's M.O. One of his finger prints even shows up at one of the crime scenes.

This book has the usual Cornwellian twists and turns and as usual I was glued to my seat as I read this five star novel. I loved every second of it, because nobody does Cornwell, like Cornwell.

3-0 out of 5 stars Woah- what happened between All That Remains and Cruel & Unusual?? Too many plot holes
Who is Dr. Kay Scarpetta? Let her tell you:

"I was a physician with a law degree. I had been trained to know what gave life and what took it, what was right and what was wrong. Then experience had become my mentor, wiping its feet on that pristine part of myself that was idealistic and analytical. It is disheartening when a thinking person is forced to admit that many cliches are true. There is no justice on this earth. Nothing would ever undo what Ronnie Joe Waddell had done." (p. 6)

Scarpetta is a the medical examiner and Waddell, recently executed inmate, is her latest case. The Waddell case won't be so easy, and it turns out his prints are showing up at crimes during and after his execution. Was the wrong person executed? Waddell's prints are in "the system". Speaking of systems, who broke into Scarpetta's computer? And why are her two employees, Ben and Susan, acting strangely? On top of this, Scarpetta has to "babysit" her sidekick and her niece. Her sidekick, Pete Marino, is a cop who can't get over the end of his marriage. With bad health habits and a sour disposition, Scarpetta has to constantly remind Marino to watch out for himself. And her niece, Lucy, has gone from being a fat little kid to a thin, super intelligent math and science whiz. Lucy is now a bratty 17- year old with a terrible attitude. But hey, she can help Scarpetta with the computer, so it's worth having Lucy around! (I think Lucy is supposed to be annoying- it makes her more realistic.)

So, it appears Scarpetta has to figure out why Waddell's prints are appearing at new crimes and why other people are being murdered. Simple enough, right? Yes, but it doesn't stay simple. Cornwell makes the plot extremely hole-ridden with little sidetracks. Scarpetta's missing her lover, Mark James. She's trying to make amends with flakey morgue attendant Susan Story. Professionally, Scarpetta's in A LOT of trouble, and the government nor the media will give her space. She also has to deal with the families of the deceased, who move in and out of the story, sometimes reappearing, and sometimes disappearing into thin air. These details bog down what could be an excellent thriller.

What I do like - the vivid descriptions of Virginia winters. Completely spot on, and it makes me look forward to a break in my current sticky, summer weather. :)
The medical procedures are described in detail - electric chair executions, autopsies, fatal gun shot wounds, etc.

Again, though, Cornwell does "too much of a good thing" by getting overly technical with the description of Robyn Naismith's/Sam Potter's residence. As for the mysterious feathers, again, too much detail is given to the what, where, why and how's of orinthology. Too many pages devoted to the types of feathers in down. Bo-ring!

This is an average read. I am not encouraging you to run to your local bookstore, because it would be a total waste of money. When you have time, and space on your library card account, check out this book. BUT, do not make it your first Scarpetta novel, because it will turn youaway from the series!

5-0 out of 5 stars Cruel & Unusual
Received the book promptly and in great condition. Thank you Amazon for the opportunity to buy used books.

3-0 out of 5 stars Excellent first half, unfocussed and over-the-top second half
'Cruel And Unusual' won Patricia Cornwell the CWA's Gold Dagger award, suggesting that those in the know regard it as her best Scarpetta book. I'm not so sure. The first half is excellent, raising the baffling and unsettling prospect of a killer committing murders from Beyond The Grave. But I feel the book badly loses focus in the second half, resulting in a rushed and somewhat anti-climactic conclusion.

Note that this book sets up a story thread through the next two books, so you must read this before tackling 'The Body Farm' and 'From Potters Field'.

To the story itself: convicted murderer Ronnie Waddell has just been executed. But when a young boy is found murdered in a strikingly similar fashion, Scarpetta, Marino and Wesley are forced to consider a number of disturbing possibilites. Is there a copycat killer? Or was the wrong man sentenced to the chair? This part of the book is well written, with a strong focus on the forensic science, as well as a study of Waddell himself and the crime he allegedly committed. But when another "copycat" killing turns up Waddell's fingerprint, things take a very bizzare twist.

Here is where the book loses me. Instead of considering more logical possibilities about how a dead man's fingerprint might have got somewhere, Scarpetta and Co jump to the most extraordinary conclusion. The idea that Waddell could (a) convince another person to go to the chair for him, and (b) organise smuggling the imposter in and himself out, is ridiculous. Also, the latter part of the book is increasingly taken up with an investigation into Scarpetta herself, dragging her into court on the flimsiest of "evidence". Cornwell really lets her poor-woman-persecuted-by-evil-sexist-men theme go over the top here. Arrogant oaf Patterson may be, but to pin a multiple murder on Scarpetta? It's silly.

The end result is that the conclusion to the book is incredibly rushed. It literally takes place within the last few pages, and is based on little more than a sudden hunch from Scarpetta. Combined with the fact that the finale is deliberately open-ended, the whole thing comes across as a huge anti-climax. While it does provide the perfect lead-in to 'The Body Farm', as a stand-alone ending I can only remember how cheated I felt when I first read the book.

So in all, a great beginning that's let down by a confused and unfocussed conclusion. The central plot is clever and the investigation is interesting, but it's disappointing Cornwell seems to lose the thread of the story badly in the second half.

[3.5 stars].

5-0 out of 5 stars Cruel and Unusual
I am very fond of Patricia Cornwell and have the full collection.I am updating my paperback to hardback and first editions/signed.Amazon has been especially helpful in finding these items. ... Read more

9. Cause of Death.
by Patricia Cornwell
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2007-01-02)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425213382
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This New Year's Eve marks the end of a life-and the beginning of a nightmare for Kay Scarpetta.Amazon.com Review
Patricia Cornwell's heroine Dr. Kay Scarpetta is back; this time tosolve the mystery of the death of an Associated Press reporter who was killedwhile nosing about in a decommissioned navy yard. Scarpetta's involvement inthe case leads her to be targeted for murder herself by a nasty littleneo-fascist cult with delusions of grandeur that include a plan to "killand maim, frighten, brainwash and torture" all who oppose their plan torule the world. Helping Scarpetta is her niece Lucy, an F.B.I. agent whose computer expertise leads to a heart-stopping journey into cyberspace. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (148)

1-0 out of 5 stars CAUSE OF BOREDOM
Reading this book, it's hard to believe that the author is a best-seller. The action plods, everybody is grim without any hint of the gallows humour that people engaged in murder investigations need to survive, and none of the characters is in any way appealing. Miss Cornwell has an irritating habit of making inconsequential comments at injudicious points, which further detracts from the overall effect. It joins the pile of unfinished reads for the charity shop.

2-0 out of 5 stars I will skip this one in future
I like a good thriller, mystery, police procedural novel, whatever these are called. The best authors seem to be women: P.D.James, Minette Walters, Elisabeth George. I will also gladly read a competent techno-thriller, like those from an old reactionary Tom Clancy (but emphatically not those from "his workshop"). Recently I tried to add another one to the trio of my favorite lady writers, a quite popular Patricia Cornwell. I was a bit doubtful after reading her short work, a kind of truncated Dr. Scarpetta'a cookbook. The recipes were incomplete and quite uninspiring - nothing to learn there. Anyway, there was nothing new from my favorite reliable authors at the place I was browsing (for a dead tree variety of the book, before I got my Kindle) and 'Cause of Death' is a full novel, so perhaps it's worth a try... Well, it wasn't.

I don't know much about forensic pathology and postmortems, but do a bit about computers, technology in general and physics (all of which play a part in the novel). I can warn you that Cornwell has done a very poor job at research. She obviously has no first idea how a computer works (which is not a big deal - you ask someone who does), but decides to impress the reader by phrases such as "programming discs of his 486 computer". Of course, it did not occur to her that "486 computer" has no meaning (for the purpose of placing the machine as ancient, mainstream or bleeding-edge, which was the intention) without knowing the time-frame within months (and being computer history buff). Scarpetta's wunderkind niece designs databases and pattern-recognition software FBI uses for forensic ballistics, constructs robots, writes telepresence software for them and operates them (a piece of dialogue between her and one of colleagues about robot's software is particularly laughable), all while being 23 year old self-destructive alcoholic. Very realistic. Cornell commits more writers' mortal sins, like developing a sub-plot and then simply forgetting it, because the main one concludes. Et cetera. Nuclear physics parts are no better (though power plant bits seem to be at least perfunctorily researched).

But I have another gripe: for Scarpetta (and, I am afraid, Conwell) those who cannot afford to live in "mansions" or at least gated-in communities are almost sub-human. Scarpetta is divorced without children, but finds it necessary to build a two-story house inside one of those guarded compounds. She does not know her immediate neighbors, and considers that a virtue. Very exceptionally, someone who consistently and reliably does Scarpetta's bidding (like a police captain who follows her like a puppy) can be reluctantly granted human status. Only "mansions" are called "homes" by Cornwell; anything where people have actual neighbors is a "project", something to be avoided at all costs and populated with drug addicts at bests and dealers and other criminals more probably; they are just Scarpetta's "cases". For example:

"Century-old row houses and Greek Revival homes had been brilliantly restored by people bold enough to reclaim a historic section of the city from the clutches of decay and crime. For most residents, the chance they took had turned out fine, but I knew I could not live near housing projects and depressed areas where the major industry was drugs."

Therefore, live in the "project", and you are doomed to a early death from a bullet, stab or overdose.


2-0 out of 5 stars Patricia's Big Size
My paperback library consists of over 300 books.All of them are the same height EXCEPT FOR ONE.Patricia Cornwell's paperbacks have all grown 3/4 of an inch and don't fit in my specially-made bookcases.
I really like character Kay Scarpetta and Patricia Cornwell and I am really sorry to see these books disappear from my shelves.

2-0 out of 5 stars An Open Letter to Kay Scarpetta (please forward to author)
Dear Dr. Scarpetta,
I have been following your adventures for nigh on ten years, and wish to bid you farewell. I doubt we shall ever meet again in a reader-main character relationship. Yes, I am sorry but you have become a pain and a bother to me, and I can no longer summon up the sympathy necessary for you, nor the patience and interest necessary to turn the pages of your story. My spare moments shall have other characters peopling them.

"Cause of Death" has done me in. I was able to read only a few dozen pages this time, although up until now I have succeeded in finishing your increasingly irritatingly surrealistic adventures.

How did this happen? Did I love you too much at the beginning? Do I expect too much from the main character in a hastily-edited serial novel?

My dear, over the years you have becomemore and more haughty, negative, paranoid, self-absorbed, self-centered and self-satisfied. You relate less and less well to others, to whom you show evermore coldness, anger, disdain and general ill-feeling. You are in a constantly bad mood, constantly vying for power, constantly feeling miffed and disrespected, constantly showing that you are the best at everything including scuba diving on New Year's Eve without your license, so that you are unable to enjoy even the cottage your colleague Dr. Mant lent you. There is never enough hot water for you, not even in the women's washroom of a dock/naval/abandoned ship facility.

Your author obviously cares little about the image you project anymore. You need a sense of humor. You need to lighten up. You need to become attractive to readers again. You need to ask your author to set your adventures in the summertime rather than the dreary days before Christmas or New Year's. You need a bit of humility, modesty, humanity, good sense and...some sort of authentic, altruistic caring. In short, you need a new character-life.

I know what will happen to you over the next few books, through the magic of reading reviews and have decided that I do not want to follow you to New York, or anywhere, with your miraculously resurrected True Love or your nemesis the Werewolf. Seeing how you behaved in France in another book was enough for me.

I am no longer going to be the witness to your author's acting out, either.

So this is good-bye, dear Kay. Goodbye.

2-0 out of 5 stars Jumping the shark
'Cause of Death' is the exact point that the Scarpetta series jumps the shark. Ever since Scarpetta joined Wesley at the FBI, I was worried that the basic forensic science of the early books would be phased out in favour of increasingly silly and unrealistic stories. The hunt for Temple Gault delayed the inevitable, but with this book my worst fears were confirmed. While it starts off quite well, it quickly degenerates into ridiculousness involving nuclear waste and some Waco style quasi-religious nutjobs. This sort of stuff has almost nothing to do with a city Medical Examiner, even one working with the FBI.

Even more annoying than the stupid plot is Scarpetta herself. Cornwall has succeeded in turning her heroine from Kay Scarpetta, M.E. to Kay Scarpetta, Superwoman. She is a doctor, a lawyer, holds a diving certificate, can shoot any kind of gun, can work with complicated IT....all while still cooking perfect pasta and disarming those stereotypically sexist macho men with a cutting remark. She's become almost as big a smug know-it-all as Lucy! But even though our heroine and her colleagues are so clever and perfect, they don't spot the obvious until it's too late. Even I knew where the story was going...they couldn't figure it out? And the ending relies entirely on luck and a pretty unconvincing deus-ex-machina rather than any bright ideas our heroes can come up with. If these are the best and brightest in the FBI, America's in big trouble.......

'Cause of Death' might have worked better as one of her stand-alone novels than a Scarpetta, and it's no surprise that Cornwall began writing non-Scarpetta books after this one. The series was clearly in a rut at this point and you can almost feel Cornwall's desperation and lack of ideas. She did redeem herself with 'Unnatural exposure', but 'Cause of Death' is tired work by a tired author.

... Read more

10. Point of Origin (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 432 Pages (2008-06-24)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425222381
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The clues to a series of remorseless killings go up in smoke—and only Kay Scarpetta can find them.Amazon.com Review
When your everyday life is filled with death it's easy to findyourself a little edgy. The audio version of Patricia Cornwell'sPoint of Origin gives fans of her familiar heroine, Dr. KayScarpetta, a little something extra, a chance to hear the deep hurtand burning cynicism of the chief medical examiner's bitingwords. "You don't put your hands inside their ruined bodies and touchand measure their wounds.... You see clean case files and glossyphotos and cold crime scenes. You spend more time with the killersthan with those they ripped from life. And maybe you sleep better thanI do, too. Maybe you still dream because you aren't afraid to."

Perhaps because Kate Reading has also narrated Cornwell's Unnatural Exposureand Cause ofDeath, her voice conveys experience and the history of whathas come before, allowing listeners to hear between the lines. Using asubtle but effective range of vocal inflections, Reading lifts thecharacters off the page and carries them along as the plot spins everfaster, tangling Scarpetta in a snarl of arson, deceit, andpsychopathic murder. With her arch nemesis making threats andsuspicious fires leaving calcified corpses, Dr. Scarpetta'slong-overdue romantic getaway has gone up in smoke. It's just one moreday at the morgue, and Point of Origin, another hit in thepopular series of Scarpetta mysteries, finds the good doctor'sattitude honed razor sharp. (Running time: 11 hours, eight cassettes)--George Laney ... Read more

Customer Reviews (515)

4-0 out of 5 stars Important turning point in the Scarpetta series.
After totally losing the plot with 'Cause Of Death', Cornwell got the Scarpetta series sort-of back on track with 'Unnatural Exposure', and it's pleasing to see that 'Point Of Origin' continues the trend. An investigation into a fire at the home of media personality Kenneth Sparkes turns up the dead body of a young woman, and immediately raises many puzzling questions. Accident or homicide? Is Sparkes the killer or victim? Is there a connection to other unsolved arson deaths? What about the baffling trace evidence adhering to the body? And is Carrie Grethen, who continues to torment Scarpetta and Co from behind the walls of her asylum, involved in some way?

The best thing about 'Point Of Origin' is that there's a strong focus on the forensic science, in particular key trace evidence such as metal particles adhering to open wounds, a silicone substance on the head, and odd cuts on the skull. There is also quite a detailed investigation into the fire itself, trying to unravel the mystery of how such a ferocious blaze could be started in a low-fuel area such as a bathroom. Woven through the book are investigations into previous and subsequent blazes, plus the continuing story of Carrie.

There are also some very strong character developments. At the time, I felt the series "reboot" that occurred with 'Last Precinct' and 'Blow Fly' was jarringly abrupt, but looking back, it is clear that Cornwell is laying the foundations as early as this book. Scarpetta laments how the FBI is no longer calling on her services, Lucy gets shunted sideways into ATF, and a resigned, worn-out Marino ruminates on retirement from the force. There is of course also a gut-punch of a twist involving Benton, which gives this book a considerable emotional pull, despite that fact that Cornwell undid it in later books.

`Point Of Origin' is an important book in the series, both for its own sake and because it concludes storylines from earlier books (`From Potters Field' and `Unnatural Exposure'), so it's essential for all Scarpetta fans. Fortunately, it's also one of the stronger books in the series as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scarpetta Continues to Intrigue
The life of Dr Kay Scarpetta is never dull. Point of Origin takes you deeper into her character and personal relationships. Her niece Lucy begins to show more maturity in dealing with the hardships that come her way.Mariono continues to be both father and son to Kay.I can't wait for the next adventures with these characters.

4-0 out of 5 stars patricia cornwellpoint of origin
I am collecting the series of patricia cornwell's kay scarpetta character. So far I have about half of the series.I wish I would have read a little better that this particular book came without a dust jacket.Other than that, the book itself is in fantastic shape.I will definately continue to buy from amazon.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the book...love the fiction by Patricia Cornwell!
Thanks for sending the book I ordered in a timely manner!

You rock!

5-0 out of 5 stars Point of Origin to Last Precinct
From "Point of Origin" to "Last Precinct" is a wonderful ride.However, I view "Last Precinct" as the last Sharpetta novel worth reading.After that she stops writing in first person, the plot takes an unbelieveable twist, and everything just seems "turning out books to get paid."
NOT to take away from Point of Origin, Black Notice and Last Precinct, a three book trilogy not to be missed!Highly recommended. ... Read more

11. Scarpetta
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 592 Pages (2009-08-25)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.28
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425230163
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Unabridged CDs • 11 CDs, 12 hours From America’s #1 bestselling crime writer comes the extraordinary new Kay Scarpetta novel. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (368)

1-0 out of 5 stars This is just sad
I have read all of her Scarpetta books, the last 3 were pretty bad, but this one is just pathetic.If she didn't repeat herself the book would only be a couple chapters.Looks like Patricia needs to find a day job.This book is beyond bad and disappointing.I can't say enough bad things about it, don't waste your time or money.

3-0 out of 5 stars New to Scarpetta series?DON'T START WITH THIS BOOK.
If you're new to the Scarpetta series, for heaven's sake - Don't start with this book!Talk about skeletal characters.No one is well fleshed out.Lucy has grown up a little but is still portrayed as a slut.WTH?

Too many quotes attributed to "she" and it's impossible to find out who is actually saying the line.I felt jerked around by the ending.A writer can do anything they want to tie loose ends together and it felt as though Cornwell was purposefully leading us astray just to keep us guessing, not to make a good story.

1-0 out of 5 stars Annoying
Unlike most people here, I didn't find this book boring or tedious at all, but I was tremendously bothered by the narcissism of the main character. The author seems to think that everyone in the entire world worships medical examiners and wants to be them or have sex with them. How realistic is this? Gossip websites on celebrities are a big business, but sites talking about people who nobody knows (random medical examiners making guest appearances on CNN)is just plain stupid. You can hear the music swelling in the author's head as she places Benton on camera for the whole world to ooh and ahh as he tries to catch the predator. In what screwed up fantasy is CNN is treated as the pinnacle of success and "giving it up" for the sake of saving your marriage is the most selfless act on the planet? Another problem I had was the point of view of the narration. Every character in the story has a level of omniscience that they couldn't possibly know and they all pick up the thought process of the previous person even though they don't have the same information. Besides that, medical examiners don't run around in the field solving crimes (ok, on CSI they do) but not in real life.
Reading this book made me angry and I even announced it to my family that I was done reading it, but lo and behold, I picked it up again-much to their amusement. It's weirdly engrossing, annoying, and despite the convoluted plot, easy to figure out the killer because Cornwell keeps telling us to hate him for no specific reason. Plus the lesbian sideplot is sort of gross and a turn-off.

1-0 out of 5 stars just pass it by
This was my first introduction to Patricia Cornwell, and it will be my last. Amateur, amateur effort; too much emphasis on sappy little back stories. All these characters should quit their whining already. Ugh. Thankfully, I bought this book on sale, it's going straight to the trash.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst I have read so far
I see favorable revues for so much detail, unfortunately the detail dances around the thin plot like the weavings of a May pole.
The detail became quite boring very fast.Lack of cohesion and abrupt random introduction or deletion of information made this novel difficult to enjoy.
I have read all of the Scarpetta series novels and this was by far the least rewarding. ... Read more

12. Black Notice (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 544 Pages (2008-12-30)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425225453
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The decomposed remains of a stowaway lead Dr. Kay Scarpetta on an international search to Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, France—and on a mission that will pull her in two opposite directions: toward protecting her career or toward the truth.Amazon.com Review
The postmortem is in--Black Notice, the 10th in Patricia Cornwell'sScarpettaseries, is a gore-splattered, intensely exciting read.As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of somberness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved nieceLucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, andauntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wantsto get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back atthe office, someone has tinkered with the e-mail system, stealing Kay'sidentity, and sending off slanderous and hurtful messages. Emotionallybattered, Scarpetta fears she is going insane. Or, could it be that someoneis deliberately sowing this harvest of sorrow?

Despite her personal problems, Scarpetta is still the reigning diva at thedepartment of death. She is sent to investigate the putrefied remains of aman found inside a container ship, "eyes bulged froglike, and the scalpand beard were sloughing off with the outer layer of darkening skin." Kayfinds strange, animal-like hairs on the man's clothing--the same hairs thatshe discovers on a murdered store clerk a few days later. In actuality, thebizarre killings extend well beyond Virginia; whoever killed the Richmondvictims also butchered people in France. Kay and police captain PeteMarino are whisked off to Paris where they must collect top-secretinformation from a Paris morgue, and avoid becoming victims themselves.

This macabre tome is the stuff that classic Scarpetta tales are madeof: creepy but compulsive autopsy scenes, plentiful plot twists, and thecompelling, if slightly more vulnerable chief medical examiner herself.--Naomi Gesinger ... Read more

Customer Reviews (631)

2-0 out of 5 stars Keeps getting darker
Black Notice is the beginning of the dark period for Patricia Cornwell.Don't get me wrong, I love serial killer books, but her books keep getting darker and darker - depressing to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars great
I paid for a paperback of the title, but something went wrong, and they sent me a hardback edition at not extra cost.

5-0 out of 5 stars Black Notice (Scarpetta)
I am very happy w/my purchase.The book is a used book and was in very good condition as stated on the Amazon website.I was, at first, a little hesitant in purchasing used books but I would recommend this to everyone who loves to read and who buys many books.

2-0 out of 5 stars This Book is DOA
All the characters in this novel are continuously, gratuitously belligerent. It's one big block of road rage. Kay swears at Marino; Kay yells at her niece; Kay's niece yells back; Marino calls everyone crude names. None of the characters shows any humor, tenderness, or capacity for interesting observation. So the book weighs like an old Soviet housing project.

Although Kay Scarpetta has a tastefully appointed home, her mental terrain is a mean, drab monolith. Even when she pauses in her pursuit of the sadistic killer and indulges in what could have been a little romance in Paris, she stays on the same pitch of pugnacity. Cornwell, obviously projecting herself into her Scarpetta alter-ego, has her lover gush unlikely adorations at her - between bouts of contention, of course. Her lover tells her that she is so beautiful, he can't take his eyes off of her. In response, Scarpetta hurls more invective at him, of course. And on it goes.

There are a couple of passages of interesting autopsy detail here, but these CSI-like sections are becoming fewer and farther between as the Scarpetta series progresses. It was the wealth of scientific, anatomical knowledge that drew me to the series in the first place. As these sorts of chapters get drowned in the sheer dreary uniformity of character complaint though, there seems less and less reason to pick up one of these books.

I had in fact decided to swear off Cornwell after the last few duds in the series. However I found myself in a small town Texas truck stop with nothing to read. All they had in the way of paperbacks was a rack of Louis L'Amours - and then, incongruously, this Cornwell novel on a shelf. Since I'm not particularly a fan of the Old West genre, I thought I'd give Cornwell one more chance. But I'm advising you, if faced with the same limited choice - even if you really don't like westerns - stick with Louis L'Amour.

1-0 out of 5 stars Preposterous
This book is so awful, I don't even know where to start. If I could give it no stars, I would. ... Read more

13. Trace
by Patricia Cornwell
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (2005-06-28)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425204200
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Now freelancing from south Florida, Dr. Kay Scarpetta returns to Richmond, Virginia, the city that turned its back on her five years ago. Investigating the death of a young girl, she must follow the twisting leads and track the strange details in order to make the dead speak-and to reveal the sad truth that may be more than even she can bear. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (352)

1-0 out of 5 stars Trace
This is the last Scarpetta book I'll be reading.I loved the early books in the series, but the story lines are old and just boring.The arch-criminal going after the hero made a good story 15 years ago, but every other crime novel rolls out this tired theme along with all the TV crime shows, from all the CSI type dramas to and including The Mentalist and Criminal minds.Lets get real the last thing REAL criminals want is to be caught and getting involved with a law enforcement person is the furthest thing on their agenda.This book would be great on CDs abridged down to 2 or 3 disks.
It is time for novelists and crime show write to come up with a new theme or just get back to the good old Jack Webb story line of there's a crime, investigate, catch the criminal.For these writers it seems that there are "no new ideas under the sun."

3-0 out of 5 stars Procedural and political stuff is good, rest of it forgettable
This Cornwell effort is clearly below the level of her first few books, which I have read. I haven't read her real clunkers that evidently preceded "Trace." Briefly, I thought the Lucy/Henri plot was a self-indulgent slog, but the rest of the book -- the central murder of a young girl in the Richmond area -- showed Cornwell and Scarpetta near their best, employing forensic evidence in new and creative ways. I am generally not thrilled with murder mysteries that show the bad guy doing his bad things in the first few chapters, and naming him, but other readers seem to like that sort of stuff. A clear three stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars In the Desert With Only Hot Tap Water To Drink!
One word aptly describes "Trace". FORGETTABLE.!

Trace lost its way painfully early, it was saturated with the personal issues and drama of Kay Scarpetta, her niece Lucy and detective Marino. What happened to the case the book was supposed to be based on? Well, it seemed to be highlighted as an afterthought intermittently throughout the book. A waste of precious trees especially with this book being over 500 pages. What happened Patricia Cornwell?

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Poorly Written
I've read the earlier Kay Scarpetta books, and found them to be reasonably entertaining."Trace", on the other hand, is just awful.As I slogged through the story I couldn't help but think of all the unpublished writers out there who can't get a foot in the door, yet this garbage is published and treated as if it's got merit.Did Cornwell suffer a brain trauma somewhere along the way?Did she bother to read what she had written and see just how ridiculous it sounds? In earlier books, the characters were somewhat believable, but in "Trace" they all seem two-dimensional. I'm scratching Cornwell off my list of worthwhile authors.Save your time and money.This one isn't worth either.

1-0 out of 5 stars A very unhappy book
I love forensic science mysteries and used to be a big fan of this series. I hadn't read a Scarpetta novel in a while since the last few I read weren't as good as the earlier books in the series. I found this book at the inn where I was staying on vacation, and all I can say after reading it is that I want my money back, even though I didn't even pay for the book.

I can't help but wonder what is going on in Ms. Cornwell's life that would lead her to write such a depressing book. The formerly interesting characters are all interwound in their mopey passive-agressive codependent behavior. None of them talk to one another and instead they spend most of their time reflecting on how miserable they are. Not a fun read.

But I could overlook that if the mystery was interesting. Other than a few interesting technical explanations, the mystery is practically an afterthought. And the ending of the book dispatches the resolution of the mystery offscreen while also leaving many plot points unfinished.

Ms. Cornwell's readers, editor and publisher should demand better. There are plenty of hungry authors out there who would love to have her audience. I for one will be searching for my reading entertainment elsewhere. ... Read more

14. Book of the Dead (Kay Scarpetta, No. 15)
by Patricia Cornwell
Hardcover: 416 Pages (2007-10-23)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$2.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002PJ4HNU
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From America's # 1 bestselling crime writer comes the extraordinary new Dr. Kay Scarpetta novel.

The "book of the dead" is the morgue log, a ledger in which all cases are entered by hand. For Kay Scarpetta, however, it is about to take on a new meaning. Fresh from her bruising battle with a psychopath in Florida, Scarpetta decides it's time for a change of pace, not only personally and professionally but geographically. Moving to the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, she opens a unique private forensic pathology practice, one in which she and her colleagues-including Pete Marino and her niece, Lucy-offer expert crime-scene investigation and autopsy services to communities lacking local access to modern, competent death investigation technology.

It seems like an ideal situation, until the new battles start-with local politicians, with entrenched interests, with someone whose covert attempts at sabotage are clearly meant to run Scarpetta out of town. And that's before the murders and other violent deaths even begin.

A young man from a well-known family jumps off a water tower. A woman is found ritualistically murdered in her multimillion-dollar beach home. The body of an abused young boy is discovered dumped in a desolate marsh. Meanwhile, in distant New England, problems with a prominent patient at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital begin to hint at interconnections that are as hard to imagine as they are horrible.

Kay Scarpetta has dealt with many brutal and unusual crimes before, but never a string of them as baffling, or as terrifying, as the ones confronting her now. Before she is through, that book of the dead will contain many names-and the pen may be poised to write in her own.

The first name in forensics. The last name in suspense. Once again, Patricia Cornwell proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (713)

2-0 out of 5 stars Book of the Dead-don't buy it
I found this book very confusing and convoluted. I have read many other Kay Scarpetta books and liked them . This one, not so much.

1-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
I am a long time Cornwell/Scarpetta fan.I made it 1/2 way thru this book and it never caught me.I found it rambling and jumping around. Hope the next one is better.

1-0 out of 5 stars That's It!
That's it! I'm giving up on this series.I knew enough to wait for the paperback on this one because I've been dissatisfied with the last few books in the Kay Scarpetta series, but I'm done.It's really not easy to lose me - I know some stories will be better than others, and I'm willing to forgive a weak installment now and then.I just can't stand ANY of the characters any more!They're all bad-tempered, whiny, and totally unlikeable.The writing was so disjointed and confusing that I found myself thinking "Huh?" and having to reread multiple passages to make sure I wasn't missing something.There are just too many good books with incredible writing to waste any more time on Kay, Lucy, Marino, Benton, et al.

1-0 out of 5 stars Gave up on this one and the rest in the series
Oh man, I remember when I liked this series.Now, it seems like a large dysfunctional family.Hardly a line of text goes by where Kay or the others aren't pissing each other off.Can't anyone in these books say "sorry" or at least concede anything at all in order to achieve some kind of harmony?Why should anyone care about these characters?Sure, Scarpetta has good intentions, and you hope good things will happen to her, but when they don't it's mainly because she brought it on herself.Not that the supporting characters are supportive in the least.Lucy comes over for what everyone assumes will be a nice breakfast, but of course it degenerates into arguments and hurt feelings, like every conversational encounter in the book.How depressing.Top it off with a killer who psychologically tortures his victims, and you're left with the feeling you'd get after watching Requiem for a Dream or Natural Born Killers.I couldn't even finish it, and canceled my order for the next one, in the series.I'm done.

1-0 out of 5 stars Never Again!
Patricia Cornwell used to be among my favorite authors.That changed with "Point of Origin" but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and read "Book of the Dead."This book was poorly written.The story line and characters skipped around too much and the dialog was choppy at best.Baldacci & Patterson have multiple story lines going at once that all weave together, and my recollection is that Cornwell's books used to be the same and impossible to put down.This book was a huge disappointment and waste of time.I'm sad to say Cornwell has lost her touch. ... Read more

15. From Potter's Field (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 384 Pages (2005-08-30)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425204693
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In From Potter's Field, #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell enters the chilling world of Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta--and a bold, brilliant killer from her past.

Upon examining a dead woman found in snowbound Central Park, Scarpetta immediately recognizes the grisly work of Temple Brooks Gault. She soon realizes that Gault's murders are but a violent chain leading up to one ultimate kill--Scarpetta herself.Amazon.com Review
Upon examining a dead woman found in snowbound Central Park, Kay Scarpetta immediately recognizes the grisly work of Temple Gault, a bold and brilliant killerfrom her past.Now she must hunt down a psychopath whose string of horrible murders is leading inexorably to his ultimate prey: Scarpetta herself.Even with the help of the FBI, Scarpetta knows the endgame is hers alone to play -- and itwill be played on Gault's home turf, the subway tunnels beneath New York City. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (143)

3-0 out of 5 stars Plodding to Potter's Field
I'm reading the Scarpetta books in order, starting with All That Remains. (My library does not have the first two in the series.) From Potter's Field was a big disappointment. I loved it at first. It begins with Kay and Marino working Sheriff Santa's route through bad parts of Richmond. It isn't a Merry Christmas for these poor folks, and it becomes miserable for Kay when she's called to NYC. Temple Gault has struck again, and he's as brutal as ever.

Gault just can't leave Kay alone. He's attacking everyone who is near (and sometimes dear) to her, including her niece and the top-secret computer program.

And I wanted to care throughout this book. And I tried to care. But, when I got to the part where Marino, Lucy, and Janet were playing security in Kay's house, I had to stop. I was bored with the story. I read some spoilers on here, and decided to read the last two pages for myself. ::yawn::

There are not just one or two important subplots, but about 50 gazillion thrown in to the mix. In addition to several murders, there's Frances and her team, Apollonia, Carrie, James, etc.

Kay is still a complete snob. What's worse is that she is still carrying on her affair with the married guy. That causes unnecessary drama. I don't pity her bad choices in men.

I'd say skip this book, unless you are a fan who needs to know how Temple Gault is brought down. Even then, like other reviewers have done, skip the boring parts. Get to the end. You'll be disappointed, but at least you'll know...

5-0 out of 5 stars My First Patricia Cornwell
Gotta say that my first Cornwell was very interesting.Her chapters were a bit long for my taste, BUT everything she writes from start to especially the finish, kept me on my toes and at the end, my heart beat very fast.I will give her a bit of a rest as I am not certain I can handle more of Ms. Scarpettta right now, but will go back for more action and long chapters very soon.Cornwell, has the knowledge of crime scene investigation better than any author I have read.She makes her heroine, a medical examiner, not a coroner, of which there is a big difference, come to life, like no author I have ever read.Just gotta take a while to digest this book.It does have me shook.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written
Out of all the foes Scarpetta has faced in her career Temple Gault is hands down my favorite. The way Cornwell describes him is so vivid and creepy that you can see and hear him even after you put the book down. Some great twists and turns that will give you vertigo and leave you wanting more. There are some very sad and moving parts in this book and it always surprises me how easily Cornwell can tug at your heartstrings. A beautiful read!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Terror in Central Park
Here is a terrifying novel by Cornwell. Her knowledge of medicine and forensic science keeps you turning the page. A woman's body is found in the snow in Central Park. There is no question that the killer is one Temple Brooks Goult. Scarpetta discovers that his killings are a pattern with one ending. It is one of her best. By Ruth Thompson author of "The Bluegrass Dream" and "Natchez Above The River"

5-0 out of 5 stars Patricia Cornwell rocks!Best mystery writer on record!
Like all of her Scarpetta mystery novels, Patricia Cornwell has proven again that she must have been one dynamite of a Coroner when she was practicing.She has a wealth of information in her books and it is so interesting to follow as she progresses to solving the mystery.I've never enjoyed reading as much as when I pick up a Cornwell novel. ... Read more

16. Predator (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (2006-09-26)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425210278
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Investigating the disappearance of two sisters in Florida, Dr. Kay Scarpetta follows clues that twist and turn, leading her into the psychopathic depths of a jailed serial killer's mind. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (414)

2-0 out of 5 stars Just as bad as 'Blow Fly' and 'Trace'
I was hoping that once Patricia Cornwell got past the whole Werewolf storyline, she would regroup and get the Scarpetta series back on track, but sadly it's not to be. Like 'Blow Fly' and 'Trace' before it, 'Predator' is a confusing and badly-written mess of a novel, in which the characters do nothing but angst and the plot jumps all over the place. I really don't know what is going on with Cornwell these days; having "rebooted" Scarpetta with `The Last Precinct', she seems to have had no idea what to do next. The series is just drifting along aimlessly, with increasingly overblown storylines and one-dimensional characters.

It's a pity, because the basic plot outline of `Predator', involving multiple cases that may or may not be connected, has worked well for Cornwell before. And a better, or more interested, writer would probably have been able to pull this together really well. But as with Cornwell's last few books,the storyline is needlessly convoluted and the pacing of the book is terrible. The third-person narration is a major problem for Cornwell; she introduces too many different perspectives and sub-plots, and jumps around between them too frequently. In addition, she spends far too much time exploring how psychologically messed-up all the characters are and not enough time on the actual investigation.

So once again, this is a long book in which not much actually happens. Cornwell seems content to just let the story wander around without direction, before jamming the ending into the last twenty pages in very forced and unconvincing fashion. Think about it, that conclusion had the potential to be a really clever twist, an unexpected but plausible way to tie all the story threads together and explain some of the baffling connections between the different cases. But the way in whichCornwell breathlessly shoves it all together make it seem like nothing more than a cheap cop-out.......("oh by the way, this explains everything. The End").

And what is going on with the characters? Where they once had enough flaws and bad habits to make them seem human, they now spend literally all their time being petty, snarky, jealous, and secretive. Marino hates Scarpetta. Scarpetta hates Benton. Lucy hates herself. Everyone else either worships Scarpetta or is determined to do her in. It seems nobody can even hold a civil conversation with each other anymore, and you wonder why they all can't get together over one of Kay's delicious Italian meals and sort their issues out. Again, I think the third-person narration is part of the problem here. With Kay narrating, we experienced all her emotions and thoughts, and formed detailed impressions of other characters through her eyes. Writing in the third-person and present tense, Cornwell's style is dry and wooden ("Marino is angry....Scarpetta feels annoyed.....Benton sounds tired"), making the characters feel flat and colourless.

So unfortunately `Predator' is no improvement over `Blow Fly' and `Trace', and in fact it repeats all the negatives of those two books. Bad writing, roundabout story, unlikeable characters, a rushed ending that leaves plot points hanging. That plot device at the end WAS quite clever...if only Cornwell had written a proper story and characters to go with it.

1-0 out of 5 stars Is this the Patricia Cornwell who wrote 'PostMortem'?!!!! Awful!
Wow. I *was* a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell. I had read Postmortem, The Body Farm, etc and found her novels gripping, fascinating, even educational, though a bit gruesome at times. As time went on I stopped reading the Scarpetta series, though I always enjoyed it. I picked this book up for free and boy am I glad I didn't pay for it. UGH!

I knew something was wrong when I was BORED reading the first few chapters. Cornwell has been known for writing true page-turners--the type of book you pick up and you just cannot put down, they are so gripping and fascinating.

Not so with this novel. I had to FORCE myself to keep reading. Basil and Scarpetta are the only interesting characters. Lucy comes across as self-indulgent and selfish. Marino has lost all his rough-edged charm.

I knew something was wrong when I started to read the end of the novel and there was only one or two very short chapters to wrap up the entire 'mystery.' Suffice to say it was completely implausible and left the reader disappointed. There was not enough fleshing out of the 'answer' to the mystery. There was very little suspense, as when Scarpetta is often in danger in past novels.

The end was deliberately left unraveled to continue the series...though I find that a shame, as this book went out with a whimper, and not a bang.

5-0 out of 5 stars patricia cornwell book
I was very pleased with the condition of the book I ordered. It was delivered quickly and I am a content customer :)

5-0 out of 5 stars As always - very, very good.
I have all of the Kay Scarpetta books in audio format, and had to get caught up with some.Now I'm waiting for the newest one (which comes out this year, I see) and I'll be totally up to date.

1-0 out of 5 stars Worst Book I ever heard-Part 11
How I managed to listen to 5 discs of this trash I will never know.Actually it is because I had nothing else.This is my second Cornwell book.I somehow managed to get through At Risk.Both are awful.No more Cornewll for me. ... Read more

17. The Complete Patricia Cornwell Companion
by Glenn L. Feole, Don Lasseter
Paperback: 368 Pages (2005-01-04)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$5.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425201317
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
One of today's hottest writers, Patricia Cornwell has pushed the envelope with her popular character Kay Scarpetta, her cutting-edge nonfiction work, Portrait of a Killer, and her own TV appearances covering investigations into Jack the Ripper and the mysterious death of Princess Diana.

Now, devoted fans can delve into her life and work with this definitive guide. The Complete Patricia Cornwell Companion features:

Book-by-book synopses with excerpts and little-known facts* An examination of Cornwell's life, writing accomplishments, and forensic expertise
* Character portraits of both good guys and bad guys-from Kay Scarpetta, Pete Marino, and Andy Brazil to the cold-hearted killers
* A handy in-depth chronology of all her novels
* The many connections between the author's life history and her fascinating fiction
* A comprehensive list of settings-from Tangier Island to Paris
* Forensic detection "shop talk" and procedures ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Reference
What a wonderful companion. It's good to know that someone else is a passionate and avid reader of the Patricia Cornwell.

4-0 out of 5 stars Love Patricia Cornwell
Any book that you can get your hands on of Patricia Cornwell is worth the read. Scarpetta series is Great

5-0 out of 5 stars The Complete Patricia Cornwell Companion
I started to read the Scarpetta novels earlier this year and I'm hooked. So when I saw this I thought "cool, get to know the people and more about her books." Well if you are into the Cornwell books, don't read this until the right time cuz it gives away info you don't want to know until you read the books. But I do think this was a great book. I just have to finish it at the right time. Plus it told me about the other novels she has written, and I think I will read them, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book forfans (and new readers)
This book is a definite must for any fan of Patricia Cornwell as well as for anybody just starting to read her books.It gives you information for just about everyone (and every place) in all of her books in both the Kay Scarpetta series and the Andy Brazil series, as well as her non-fiction work about Jack the Ripper and Ruth Graham.But newcomers, beware.There are spoilers in this book (and it tells you that right from the start).

I've read all of her Scarpetta books, and still found information in this book that I either missed or just didn't pay attention to the first (or tenth) time that I read them.And there were also things in there that I had forgotten about.The information for the main characters is extremely detailed, and there is information about all of the one-book characters as well.There is a section for forensic terminology broken down by the book titles, as well as a section about all of the places that Kay visits.I didn't pay too much attention at the time to the information on the Andy Brazil series, because I hadn't read any of those books.Now that I'm starting on those, I'll have to go back to the book and read the sections on those books.

All in all, I would most definitely recommend this book for anybody who has read or is reading any of her books. ... Read more

18. At Risk (Win Garano)
by Patricia Cornwell
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (2007-04-03)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425214761
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
From America's #1 bestselling crime writer, an electrifying new thriller-with a twist.

Unabridged CDs - 4 CDs, 4 hours ... Read more

Customer Reviews (235)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time to read this
This book was so poorly written, too sketchy at times.In other areas the author jumped ahead and I had to figure out what she was trying to say.I have enjoyed all of the early Scarpetta books and truly miss Pete but the last few books really were not worth the time it took to read them

2-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
After reading one too many of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta crime novels, I convinced myself that the author had grown tired of her stock characters and would need to strike out in a new direction sometime soon or lose much of her audience. At Risk, which features another brilliant investigator steeped in high-tech forensic techniques, appears to be an effort to do just that. It's not notably successful.

Like so many writers of genre fiction, Cornwell has the bad habit of endowing her leading characters with Hollywoodlooks, uber-genius intelligence, and superhuman physical abilities. Win Garano -- a man, in a change of pace for Cornwell -- is the hero of At Risk, but he is, sadly, another one of those impossibly gifted people (both"good" and "evil") who abound in Cornwell's fiction. His figurative sparring partner, District Attorney Monique Lamont, is equally exaggerated., with looks that could, apparently, stop a train in its tracks. This is tiresome, to say the least.

However, Cornwell has mastered the art of writing high-tension fiction, and this story moves along at a rapid pace virtually from page one until about two-thirds of the way toward the end, when, out of desperation, she resorts to the age-old device of reporting a crucial telephone conversation without revealing who's on the other end of the line. Not to put too fine an edge on things, this is what is known in the trade as a cheap trick.

Check out one of Patricia Cornwell's early Kay Scarpetta novels. Don't waste your time on this one.

(From Mal Warwick's Blog on Books)

1-0 out of 5 stars This Was A Hat Trick!
This is the third book in a row I have read from Ms. Cornwell and I am utterly turned off. Enter Monique- a manipulative and power hungry district attorney and her favourite toss around pawn, detective Win Garano. The DA comes up with a self-serving scheme to accelerate her career (not sure what happened to that scheme in this book). The book description mentions a shocking violent act- someone rapes the DA- but this was not shocking at all, the woman was portrayed as being unashamedly selfish and greedy blood craving shark! The scenes in this book are mediocre and intrigue refused to enter the door. Horrid.

4-0 out of 5 stars At Risk
The book arrived in just a few days in the condition as noted on order

4-0 out of 5 stars CRIME AND POLITICS DON'T MIX!
When a Massachusetts state investigator is called home from a training academy in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course in forensics, he has to wonder about the timing.But his district attorney boss, Monique Lamont, an attractive, hard-charging woman, has ambitions to become the next governor.And her new crime initiative "At Risk," with its motto "Any crime, any time" seems more politically motivated than anything else.She insists, however, that she's been looking for a way to utilize some cutting-edge DNA technology, and by resurrecting an old unsolved Tennessee crime, with the help of investigator Win Garano "Geronimo," she plans to achieve just that.

But as Garano attempts to delve into the case, he is puzzled by a number of aspects.His assistant is digging through cardboard boxes in the basement of the deceased former detective, with mysterious elements showing up in assorted places.Nothing seems to fit.Meanwhile, back in Cambridge, a violent attack on Monique Lamont ratchets up the mystery another notch.More and more suspense builds as it soon becomes apparent that much more is going on, and finding out who is doing what to whom and why...well, that will be the final question to be answered.

At Risk (Win Garano) was my first Cornwell novel, and I'd have to say that I enjoyed the quick read and the somewhat confusing aspects that became clearer toward the end.

Perhaps everything tidied up a bit much for my taste, but it was definitely a fun read.I would give it four stars; perhaps 4.5.

... Read more

19. The Body Farm (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 400 Pages (2004-12-28)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425201449
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
When an eleven-year-old girl is found murdered, Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, gets another chance at stopping one of the most heartless and horrifying serial killers of her career: the demented Temple Gault.Amazon.com Review
New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell brings backKay Scarpetta, consulting forensic pathologist for the FBI'sBehavioral Science Unit, in her grittiest and most compelling novel.In rural North Carolina, the brutal murder of eleven-year-old EmilySteiner has shaken a small town.But more disturbing are the detailsof the crimes, chillingly reminiscent of the handiwork of a serialkiller who has eluded the unit for years.Into this volatileatmosphere comes Scarpetta's ingenious, rebellious niece Lucy, an FBIintern with a promising future in Quantico's computer engineeringfacility--until she is accused of a shocking security violation.While coming to terms with Lucy, Kay must conduct a grisly forensicinvestigation at a clandestine research facility in Tennessee known asthe Body Farm.There she will find more answers to Emily Steiner'smurder--and evidence that paints a picture of a crime more horrifyingthan she imagined . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (143)

4-0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars -Much better than Cruel & Unusual, but not up to par with All That Remains
"I knew the direction Wesley's thoughts were heading. Gault had murdered thirteen-year-old Eddie Heath inside a beat up used van that had been rife with a baffling variety of trace evidence. Succinctly out, Mr. Gault, the psychopathic son of a wealthy pecan plantation owner in Georgia, derived intense pleasure from leaving evidence that seemed to make no sense." (p. 195)

The premise is intriguing- who murdered eleven-year-old Emily Steiner, resident of a small town near Asheville, NC? We get to leave the central Virgnia area for a small town nestled in the Smokey Mountains. Complete with the typical characters - bratty Lucy, rough-around-the edge Marino, and cad Wesley - we also meet some new ones. Sadly, there's too many of them to really appreciate just one or two new faces. In addition to Denesa Steiner, widow and mother of the late Emily, we have new cops, new FBI agents, and colorful Smokey Mountain denizens. The worst part about the Smokey Mountain folks is that they are STEREOTYPED to an almost insulting level! Creed and Deborah, to name two, are beyond "hillbilly". For example, Deborah uses "thar" for EVERY pronoun.

The main plot weaves in and out of other subplots. First, Lucy has an internship at Quantico, but she runs into LOTS of trouble. Will Aunt Kay be able to save her? Second, Kay begins having an affair with a married man, and someone is jealous! Third, Kay has to deal with irresponsible sister Dorothy, who is also the mother of troubled Lucy. Fourth, Marino can't keep his zipper up, and it's starting to bother Kay. Finally, Lucy's storyline features several other subplots, too. It's quite a bit much.

The Body Farm features once in the entire book. And by the time Kay gets to this Farm on the grounds of the University of Tennesse, we really don't care or remember why she's there. Calling the book The Body Farm is extremely misleading. As for the actual crime - Emily's murder- I had an inkling as to who murdered her, but I wasn't sure of the motive. When the motive was revealed, it made sense. But the fact that this motive affects Kay and others is farfetched. (I won't say more.)

It also seems that Cornwell has changed Scarpetta's past. In earlier books, Kay grew up middle- class in Miami. In this book, she's from an extremely poor family. Scarpetta has also changed from a successful, down-to-earth MD/JD to a snob. She actually gets annoyed with Marino for telling her that she should trade her Mercedes Benz for an Infiniti. And, in another part, she doesn't hesitate to mention how much she's paid for it. Ugh, where is the old Scarpetta? The one we liked.

Also, in addition to sleeping with a married man, Scarpetta has boundary issues with niece Lucy. Their relationship is codependent. At one point, during one of their final arguments, I was cheering on Dorothy.

Oh yeah, Temple Gault figures into this story, but with everything else going on, he's not that important.

As I recommended with Cruel & Unusual, this is a book best checked out of your local library, because to buy it would be a waste of money.

4-0 out of 5 stars Complex story with strong character development.
The fifth entry in the Kay Scarpetta series continues the hunt for Temple Gault, the serial killer who slipped through Scarpetta's fingers at the end of 'Cruel And Unusual'. At the beginning of 'The Body Farm', it appears Gault has killed again; a young girl in a small North Carolina town has been found murdered and mutilated in a similar manner to Gault's other victims. However, the case is complicated by inconsistent autopsy results, attacks on Scarpetta's niece Lucy, and other bizarre occurrences such as the kinky death of one local policeman and the heart attack of another. How are all these events connected, and is Gault responsible? Or is there a copycat killer? Or something even more sinister?

This is quite a complex story, mostly because we are never sure to what extent Gault is involved. There is an awful lot going on in this book, and untangling the various side-plots forms a major component of the investigation. Gault is certainly up to something, as evidenced by his strange connection to an FBI computer programmer, but is this relevant to the case or something completely different? A few clues are given early on which telegraph the final revelation, but Cornwell throws in plenty of red herrings as well.

The case is also complicated by the relationships between the main characters, which drive several plot threads. Lucy in particular is a much more important character, and her experiences at the FBI Academy are central to both this book and `From Potters Field'. We also witness Marino, frustrated and depressed over the split with his wife, finding comfort in the mother of the victim, plus the growing attraction between Scarpetta and Wesley. One thing I must note is that Cornwell is a terrible writer of "love" scenes, with a couple of passages being almost laughable in their awkwardness.

In all, this is another solid entry in the series, coupling an intriguing forensic case with some important character moments. Note that with Scarpetta now consultant to the FBI, the series' focus is much broader than before, with some of the nuts-and-bolts forensics and Medical Examiner work pushed to the background. This change of approach led to something of a decline over the next two books, especially `Cause Of Death', but rest assured Cornwell is still in strong form here.

Four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied!
Received my book in the estimated time frame.The method of packaging was found well prepared for harsh handling, resulting in no harm done to the product, and the shipment was found very prompt.

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
Patricia Cornwell writes beautifully which only pulled me even deeper into this book . Dr. Scarpetta is faced with the death of a little girl and she must tie the forensic clues together and figure out what happened to her. The novel also has us getting to know Lucy (Scarpetta's niece) even more, which I love. Lucy is my favorite character even though I love Scarpetta and Benton and even Marino. This novel gave me nightmares for a while after I read it and I will never forget Cornwell's dark prose throughout the book. This is a masterpiece of a novel and I highly recommend it. The ending will shock you!

1-0 out of 5 stars Point of Orgin
I have read several of Patricia Corwell's books, along with several other authors lately as I wait endless hours in doctors offices.

I have noticed a pattern that I don't like about Corwell's
Dr. Scarpetta's series. Now you'd think the doc is a strong woman, not when it comes right down to it she folds like a jack knife.Poor Doc Scarpetta is always attacked by the villian and can't for some reason or the other snap to and defend herself. The Doc always has bad dreams, carries a gun around like it's a glass of tea and always drinks like a fish. Maybe that's it she's still drunk or hung over from drinking and bad dreams?
Dear niece Lucy is really messed up and comes across as a spoiled brat, she goes around killing and or beating up her girl friends trying to adjust to her problems??
Yo, cop Pete Marino who really says Yo anymore? And if Doc Scarpetta finds him so vile why in the hell does she hang on to him?
Nope not liking any of the faky. flakycharacters.

No more Cornwell books for me. They all have the same old themes and the characters are just screwed up paranoid people.

To make matters worse the author (Ms. Corwell) blogs wanting readers to give good ratings for her books here. Sorry but I have to tell it like I see it the plots are to much a like. And using information that is considered private is a no no. ... Read more

20. Blow Fly (Scarpetta)
by Patricia Cornwell
Paperback: 480 Pages (2004-09-07)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$2.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425198731
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Readers are in for the shock of Kay Scarpetta's life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (746)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ilove Scarpetta
Hopefully you have read Point of Origin so know that Benton died in a fire only to be resurrected in Blow Fly.If you re-read Point of Origin you may decide as I did that Ms Cornwell originally intended for Benton to be gone for good.
There are a couple of things that don't add up.First, the killers (Newton Joyce and Carrie Grethen) were "taking" the faces of the people they killed and Benton's face was among those found by Kay in Joyce's freezer in Wilmington, NC toward the end of the book. The FBI would have had to know about the face taking before Benton's death in order to plant his face there. Second, the reactions of both Lucy and Marino, who we learned in Blow Fly knew about the witness protection thing, didn't seemed to be faked and it was never explained why the two of them had to know about the witness protection program anyway.Also in Black Notice, the book that followed Point of Origin, Marino went on and on with Kay about the possibility of Benton not actually being dead. He certainly didn't sound as if he knew Benton was alive and was just trying to cover it by antagonizing Kay as he did.
I don't like getting so passionate about fictional characters but Scarpetta is one of the very best and I wish she were real so I could write her a fan letter!

2-0 out of 5 stars Loose, disjointed mess with increasingly ridiculous characters
The best way to describe 'Blow Fly' is that it's the book Patricia Cornwell was forced to write to tie up all those loose ends she left hanging in 'The Last Precinct'. This is a black mark against the book right from the start. After clearing the decks with 'The Last Precinct' and a three year wait, we'd be expecting the Scarpetta series to take off in a bold and exciting new direction, but instead she's forced to drag out the Werewolf/Chandonne storyline for a third time. By itself, this wouldn't be so bad, but Cornwell's writing has declined precipitously since `The Last Precinct', which itself was a step down from her early classics. `Blow Fly' is a loose, fragmented mess of a novel, with none of the elements that made the Scarpetta series so great.

Take the characters. Cornwell has taken the traits of our favourite people to the most ridiculous extremes. Scarpetta is apparently so famous and respected that the mere mention of her name causes young rookies to go goggle-eyed and serial killers to commit horrific crimes in memory of her. Lucy is now a cross between James Bond and Bruce Wayne, with her unimaginable wealth and private quasi-vigilante police force. The inexplicably resurrected Benton Wesley was not just a profiler but an undercover agentwho six years ago came close to taking out a criminal cartel almost single-handedly (I guess this must have been during his lunch breaks at Behavioural Sciences?). The only character who is the same is Marino, who is as gruff and slovenly as ever, although apparently in later books Cornwell transforms him into a bench-pressing biker (WTF??).

But where Cornwell has really lost it is in her writing style and plotting. There are scores of plot details that make no logical sense.Jay Talley is a member of an all-powerful criminal family who has the local authorities in their pocket, yet is forced to live as a beer-swilling white trash hillbilly in the Louisiana swamps? Benton Wesley was so terrified of the Chandonnes that he faked his own death and lived in fear for 6 years, yet suddenly comes out of exile and takes them down without raising a sweat. The convoluted manner in which Guidon tries to lure Scarpetta to the house....why not just make a phone call and invite her (she's the victim's sister after all, Scarpetta would have been keen to talk to her anyway). No real explanation is given for how Jean-Baptiste Chandonne so easily escaped Death Row, apparently his "inner rage" and physical strength is enough. The list goes on. And the whole Grand Chandonne Conspiracy thing seems less and less like a deliberately planned storyline and increasingly like a cheap excuse for Cornwell to explain away plot holes and tie up loose story threads from her earlier books.This is the fundamental problem with where the Scarpetta series is going: Cornwell badly bungled `The Last Precinct' with those ridiculous out-of-nowhere plot and character twists, and with 'Blow Fly' she is forced to try a second time to jam the whole Chandonne story together like a jigsaw with half the pieces missing.

The switch to the third-person narrative is another problem. While not a bad idea in theory, once again Cornwell bungles it by giving us too many perspectives and jumping between them too frequently. There are 120-odd chapters in this 500 page book, and the perspective shifts almost every chapter, making the story more confusing and complex than it needs to be. Too much time is spent going inside the head of every single character, often revealing nothing beyond mundane thoughts and emotions, meaning the book ends on a very rushed and abrupt note. And seeing Scarpetta reduced from narrator to Just Another Character actually makes her come across as weak and uninteresting. We gain no real new perspectives on her, everyone just talks about how beautiful and talented and perfect she is.

It's always sad when a once-gifted artist just suddenly loses it for no reason, and I really hope Cornwell gets her mojo back. `Blow Fly' can't hold a candle to her early works: there's little actual forensic science, the characters have become cartoonish exaggerations, the plot is all over the place, the story is poorly paced, and very little actually happens despite the book's length. Loyal fans will be deeply disappointed with `Blow Fly'.....unfortunately, if they've read `Black Notice' and `The Last Precinct' they pretty much have to struggle through this to see how the Chandonne story arc ends.

3-0 out of 5 stars Forget Talley...
From what I remember, Jay Talley's hair was dark when Kay Scarpetta met him in Black Notice ("Sunlight polished his hair like ebony..."). Here he is blond.What happened? If I, as a reader, remember this, how is it possible for the author to be confused about it? It may be considered a small detail, but... He was also very sophisticated.What accounts for the change?Who he really is? Does he have to be so grotesque and creepy? I don't particularly care for all the gory details of his "adventures".

The end is the best part of this book, and it is well paced, clear (contrary to what some have said), and satisfying.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment For Cornwell Fans...
I am a huge former fan of Ms. Cornwell's and I have spent the last several years reading and re-reading her Scarpetta series.I own every Scarpetta book and I have read each book in the series at least five times.I'm not exactly sure when the series began its downward spiral from a fascinating character-driven study of the world of the intelligent, caring and dedicated forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta to a nonsensical, inconsistent litany of violence, gore and improbable situations.However, I think it's fair to say that "Blow Fly" is the unfortunate product of a once-compelling series gone very bad.


Marked by a change in point-of-view from first to third person and set a number of years after the events of 1998's "Point of Origin," we follow former Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia Dr. Kay Scarpetta as she attempts to re-establish herself as a private consultant in a small Florida town.Although the plot does have potential, said potential is ruined by a completely unbelievable storyline in which we discover that Kay's believed long-dead FBI profiler lover, Benton Wesley, is actually alive and in witness protection.Frankly one would have to suspend all belief in logic and ignore the details of Ms. Cornwell's novel "Point of Origin," for this to be even a remotely believable storyline.One would also have to ignore the struggles of the series' characters, particularly Marino and Lucy, detailed in the books between "Point of Origin" and "Blow Fly," to come to terms with Benton's death."Blow Fly" reveals that Marino and Lucy have actually been aware all this time that Benton was not dead.This revelation makes little sense if one recalls Lucy's reaction to Benton's death in "Point of Origin" (apparently Lucy's genius extends to Oscar-worthy acting performances) or Marino's insistence to Kay in "Black Notice" that Benton might still be alive, a belief that he tearfully drops after encountering Benton's autopsy report.If Marino was aware that Benton was alive and was forced to keep it a secret, why would he even mention the possibility of Benton being alive to Kay in the first place? Why plant that seed of belief? And if Benton wasn't really dead where did the human-skin mask of his face (which Kay recognized) come from in "Point of Origin?" Also puzzling is why Benton had to enter witness protection in the first place.Apparently it is to protect Kay but that explanation makes little sense as Kay is attacked anyway (over and over again).It is all so confusing.

Add in the ridiculous storyline of the blind Jean-Baptiste Chandonne managing to escape from a maximum security prison and the apparent devolution of Lucy from troubled genius to murdering psychopath and you have one hell of a disappointing, disjointing novel.

I wish I could say that the series improves after this book, but alas, it only goes further downhill.In fact, at this point I think we have reached the bottom of the valley for the Kay Scarpetta and friends/family.Oh well, it was good while it lasted.

1-0 out of 5 stars What a mess
This reads like a novelist's first effort. It's badly written and badly edited. Unnecessary, speculative descriptions of characters that appear for only a paragraph feel like padding, while Scarpetta herself is almost an incidental character. Lucy is a mess. Teasing her partner? Annoying. Murdering another character? Unconscionable, even if he is a scum bag. Cornwell's knowledge is starting to grate; her description of a helicopter pre-flight routine doesn't add to the story, it feels like she's showing off. And the plot? Absurd. (Please tell me why Lucy the technological wizard immediately thinks Chandonne has escaped when he supposedly calls her from in front of her building; can't she call the Texas prison to check? Ridiculous!) I wish Cornwell hadn't published this book; it shows a certain level of scorn for her many fans. ... Read more

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