The 'book of the dead' is the morgue log, the ledger in which all cases are entered by hand. For Kay Scarpetta, however, it is about to have a new meaning. Fresh from her bruising battle with a psychopath in Florida, Scarpetta decides it's time for a change of pace. Moving to the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, she opens a unique private forensic pathology practice, one in which she and her colleagues offer expert crime scene investigation and autopsies to communities lacking local access to competent death investigation and modern technology. It seems like an ideal situation, until the murders and other violent deaths begin. A woman is ritualistically murdered in her multi-million-dollar beach home. The body of an abused young boy is found dumped in a desolate marsh. A sixteen-year-old tennis star is found nude and mutilated near Piazza Navona in Rome. Scarpetta has dealt with many brutal and unusual crimes before, but never a string of them as baffling, or as terrifying, as the ones before her now. Before she is through, that book of the dead will contain many names - and the pen may be poised to write her own. The first name in forensics. The last name in suspense.
Once again, Patricia Cornwell proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthral.
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(140mm x 126mm x 24mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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US Kirkus Review »
Pioneering pathologist Kay Scarpetta (Trace, 2004, etc.) goes up against a wraithlike killer whose self-appointed mission is to "relieve others of their suffering."Practice, practice, practice. If only 16-year-old South Carolina tennis phenom Drew Martin had stuck to the court instead of going off to Rome to party, her tortured corpse wouldn't be baffling the Italian authorities, headed inexplicably by medico legale Capt. Ottorino Poma, and the International Investigative Response team, which includes both Scarpetta and her lover, forensic psychologist Benton Wesley. But the young woman's murder and the gruesome forensic riddles it poses are something of a sideshow to the main event: the obligatory maundering of the continuing cast. Wesley still won't leave Boston for the woman he tepidly insists he loves. Scarpetta's niece, computer whiz Lucy Farinelli, continues to be jealously protective of her aunt. Scarpetta's investigator, Pete Marino, is so besotted by the trailer-trash pickup who's pushing his buttons that he does some terrible things. And Scarpetta herself is threatened by every misfit in the known universe, from a disgruntled mortician to oracular TV shrink Marilyn Self. Cornwell's trademark forensics have long since been matched by Karin Slaughter and CSI. What's most distinctive about this venerable franchise is the kitchen-sink plotting; the soap-opera melodrama that prevents any given volume from coming to a satisfying end; and the emphasis on titanic battles between Scarpetta and a series of Antichrists. Proceed at your own risk. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Patricia Cornwell
Patricia Cornwell's first crime novel, Postmortem, was published in 1990 and became the first novel to win all the major crime awards in a single year. In 2008 Cornwell won the Galaxy British Book Awards' Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year - the first American ever to win this award. In 2011 she was awarded the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. Often interviewed on US national television as a forensic consultant, Cornwell is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine; a founding member of the National Forensic Academy; a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. Fox have acquired the film rights to the Scarpetta novels, featuring Angelina Jolie as Dr Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell's books are translated into thirty-six languages across more than fifty countries, and she is regarded as one of the major international bestselling authors.