The eighteenth book in the Kay Scarpetta series, from No. 1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell.
'America's most chilling writer of crime fiction' The Times
Kay Scarpetta has been training at the Dover Port Mortuary, mastering the art of 'virtual autopsy' - a groundbreaking procedure that could soon revolutionise forensic science. And it is not too long before these new skills urgently need to be put into practice. A young man drops dead, apparently from a heart condition, eerily close to Scarpetta's home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked in the cooler.
When the revolutionary 3D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen, she realizes that this is a case of murder - and that she is fighting a cunning and uniquely cruel enemy. Now it is a race against time to discover who and why before more people die. But that time is running out . . .
Praise for the groundbreaking series:
'One of the best crime writers writing today' Guardian
'Devilishly clever' Sunday Times
'The top gun in this field' Daily Telegraph
'Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns' Mirror
'The Agatha Christie of the DNA age' Express
Bestseller Cornwell's compelling 18th Kay Scarpetta novel (after The Scarpetta Factor), her strongest work in years, involves the chief medical examiner in a case that's both far-reaching in its national security implications and deeply personal. The story begins at the real Port Mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, where Scarpetta is assisting in developing techniques for virtual autopsies, then shifts back to her recently adopted home at Boston's Cambridge Forensic Center (CFC). A young man's mysterious death becomes even stranger after full-body scans reveal destruction so extensive it's as if a bomb went off inside his body. Scarpetta and husband Benton Wesley along with her niece, Lucy Farinelli, and ex-cop turned CFC investigator Pete Marino discover links not only to a government project with the ability to cause mass casualties but also to another grisly case currently under investigation. As Scarpetta's military past rears its head, the emotional damage the investigation of the cases is bound to wreak on Cornwell's steadfast heroine will leave readers eager for the next installment. Long-time fans will welcome the return after a decade to a first-person narration with direct access to Scarpetta's thoughts.
It took about 100 pages to get into this story. I nearly quit several times. Confused, confusing, strange language but in the end it comes together. Worth a try if you can put up with the first 100+ pages.
Dull - the latest in a sad decline of a previously excellent storyteller. Patricia Cornwell has gone from being my favourite author to someone flogging a dead horse (Scarpetta) over one furlong too many .
Hard to follow
Way too much explanation and detail without any need for example when Kay and Lucy are in the helicopter. Quite boring. And I have no idea where the whole 'semen stealing' plot line came from! In fact I still don't really have any idea what happened, why Dr Fielding was involved or what the hell went on in South Africa. I have read all of Patricia Cornwells books most of them I have loved but she seems almost distracted when she wrote this one, not up to her usual standard.