Dr. Kay Scarpetta is starting over with a unique private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina. But in this thrilling #1 New York Times bestseller, her fresh start ushers in a string of murders more baffling—and terrifying—than any that have come before...
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 acquire a new meaning.
A sixteen-year-old tennis star, fresh from a tournament win Charleston, is found nude and mutilated near Piazza Navona in Rome. The body of an abused young boy is dumped in a desolate marsh. A woman is ritualistically murdered in her multimillion-dollar beach home. Meanwhile, in New England, problems with a prominent patient at a Harvard-affiliated psychiatric hospital begin to hint at interconnections among the deaths that are as hard to imagine as they are horrible.
Scarpetta has dealt with many brutal and unusual crimes before, but never has she seen a string of death like what she's facing now. Before she is through, that book of the dead will contain many names—and the pen may be poised to write her own...
Bestseller Cornwell's 15th novel to feature Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after 2005's Predator) delivers her trademark grisly crime scenes, but lacks the coherence and emotional resonance of earlier books. Soon after relocating to Charleston, S.C., to launch a private forensics lab, Scarpetta is asked to consult on the murder of U.S. tennis star Drew Martin, whose mutilated body was found in Rome. Contradictory evidence leaves Scarpetta, the Italian carabinieri and Scarpetta's lover, forensic psychologist Benton Wesley, stumped. But when she discovers unsettling connections between Martin's murder, the body of an unidentified South Carolina boy and her old nemesis, the maniacal psychiatrist Dr. Marilyn Self, Scarpetta encounters a killer as deadly as any she's ever faced. With her recent switch from first- to third-person narration, Cornwell loses what once made her series so compelling: a window into the mind of a strong, intelligent woman holding her own in a profession dominated by men. Here, the abrupt shifts in point of view slow the momentum, and the reader flounders in excessive forensic minutiae.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Book of the Dead
Just when I thought I was seeing some of the old Patricia Cornwell, the book ends leaving me hanging, which I’m certain the purpose is to make sure the next book picks up where this one left off to insure the purchase of the next book. I feel exploited so it’s not likely I’ll continue to follow her.
I used to read Cornwell's books. Stopped about a decade ago when the writing became disjointed and didn't flow well. I only got this one because it was free. Good thing I didn't pay for it. I didn't even get halfway through before I removed it from my collection. The story line is good, but the writing is awful.