#1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in this suspense classic.
Little Emily Steiner left a church meeting late one afternoon and strolled toward home along a lakeside path; a week later, her nude body was discovered, bound in blaze-orange duct tape. Called by the North Carolina authorities, forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta recognizes similarities to the gruesome work of a serial killer who has long eluded the FBI But as she tries to make sense of the evidence, she is left with questions that lead her to the Body Farm, a little known research facility in Tennessee where, with the help of some grisly experiments, she might discover the answer.
It is Scarpetta alone who can interpret the forensic hieroglyphics that eventually reveal a solution to the case as staggering as it is horrifying. But she must also endeavor to help her niece, Lucy, who is embroiled in controversy at Quantico. And Scarpetta, too, is vulnerable, as she opens herself to the first physical and emotional bond she has felt in far too long a time. Tenacious and brilliant, tender and gentle, this is Scarpetta even more realized and poignant than we’ve seen her before—in a stunning achievement from a bestselling author at the peak of her powers.
Cornwell ( Body of Evidence ; All That Remains ) casts a wider, surer narrative net in the latest case set for her increasingly complex heroine, Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia. As an FBI consultant, Scarpetta investigates the North Carolina murder of 11-year-old Emily Steiner, whose mutilation suggests the M.O. of an escaped killer met previously in Cruel and Unusual. Forensic clues from the body's second autopsy prompt Scarpetta to request that certain experiments be made at the University of Tennessee's Decay Research Facility, known as the Body Farm. Meanwhile, she, Pete Marino of the Richmond, Va., police, and her new love interest, FBI Unit Chief Benton Wesley investigate the apparent suicide (from autoerotic asphyxiation) of the local FBI agent in charge of the case. Then, Scarpetta's computer-whiz niece Lucy, working at FBI headquarters at Quantico, is charged with violating security. During her travels between North Carolina and Virginia, Scarpetta worries about both the less-than-forthcoming Lucy and Marino, who becomes emotionally entangled with Emily's beautiful stricken mother. Results at the Body Farm lead her to a convincing, if abrupt, resolution. Deeper characterization and a more intricate plot mark this fifth in a consistently compelling series. 500,000 first printing; paperback rights to Berkley; audio rights to Simon & Schus ter; Literary Guild selection.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The body farm
Good story with some tweets ad turns but basically a Cornell thriller
Not a new title
Originally published in 1994. Only the ebook is 2010. Nice trick.
The Body Farm
What an incredibly informative book. Before reading Patricia Cornwell, I had no that the University of Tennessee had such a program, nor that such experiments were being performed on donated bodies. At first I was taken aback. It also reminded me of the two criminals in Edinburgh, Scotland, who not only obtained corpses illegally, by digging them up from cemeteries, they actually started to kill people to sell their bodies to the medical school in the Edinburgh to medical students at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. They were eventually caught and executed.
I’ve gotten off the point. In The Body Farm, it is explained how people donate their bodies to the school so that the PhD students, coroners, law enforcement, etc. can study how different bodies decompose in different situations. Such as, a body knifed, rolled up in a Persian rug, put in a hollowed out log and left out in the open air during the hottest part of a summer in the Deep South. The wrapping will delay decomp to a degree, but the fact that blow flies cannot reach the body as soon as they usually would, means time of death is not readily apparent to the law enforcement officers. I loved this series in the beginning, but later books were not my cup of tea.