Cover image for Scarpetta
Title:
Scarpetta
ISBN:
9780143143642
Edition:
Unabridged ed.
Publication Information:
[S.l.] : Penguin Audio, p2008.
Physical Description:
12 sound discs (ca. 15 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.

Title from web page.

Duration: 15:00:00.
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Summary:
Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City examining an injured man at the psychiatric prison ward. Oscar Bane, chained and handcuffed, had specifically asked for Scarpetta and as the interview begins, the story Oscar relates is the most peculiar tale Kay has ever heard.
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Unabridged CDs • 11 CDs, 12 hours From America's #1 bestselling crime writer comes the extraordinary new Kay Scarpetta novel.

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Author Notes

Patricia Cornwell was born in Miami, Florida on June 9, 1956. When she was nine years old, her mother tried to give her and her two brothers to evangelist Billy Graham and his wife to care for. For a while the children lived with missionaries since their mother was unable to care for them.

After graduating from Davidson College in 1979, she worked for The Charlotte Observer eventually covering the police beat and winning an investigative reporting award from the North Carolina Press Association for a series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte. Her award-winning biography of Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham, A Time for Remembering, was published in 1983. From 1984 to 1990, she worked as a technical writer and a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. While working for the medical examiner, she began to write novels. Although the award-winning novel Postmortem was initially rejected by seven different publishers, once it was published in 1990 it became the only novel ever to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Adventure, in one year.

She is the author of the Kay Scarpetta series, the Andy Brazil series, and the Winston Garano series. She has also written two cookbooks entitled Scarpetta's Winter Table and Food to Die For; a children's book entitled Life's Little Fable; and non-fiction works like Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 6

Publisher's Weekly Review

At the start of bestseller Cornwell's plodding 16th thriller to feature Dr. Kay Scarpetta (after Book of the Dead), the forensic pathologist--who recently relocated to Belmont, Mass., with her forensic psychologist husband--is called to Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital for reasons that don't become clear until she gets there. Oscar Bane, who voluntarily committed himself to Bellevue while denying he brutally murdered his girlfriend, refuses to speak to anyone except the high-profile Scarpetta. Bane, Scarpetta discovers, is obsessed with her. Meanwhile, someone masquerading as Scarpetta is lurking in cyberspace and supplying an online gossip site with dirty secrets about the doctor. For help on the murder case, Scarpetta turns to her computer whiz niece and a macho former colleague whose shocking actions in Book of the Dead severely damaged his relationship with Scarpetta. With a plot full of holes and frustrating red herrings, this entry falls short of the high standard set by earlier volumes in this iconic series. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Booklist Review

Twenty years after launching the Kay Scarpetta series, Cornwell returns to form (the last few entries have been disappointing) in this thoroughly contemporary, high-impact outing. Though she lives and works in South Carolina, medical examiner Scarpetta is asked for by name by a man being accused of murder in Manhattan. He says he won't let anyone else examine him for DNA evidence except Dr. Scarpetta, who is nationally known after making numerous appearances on CNN. Normally Scarpetta wouldn't abide such an odd request, but her forensic psychologist husband, Benton Wesley, convinces her after evaluating the accused himself. Despite having the victim's DNA all over him, Oscar Bane insists he did not commit the murder and insists to Scarpetta and to anyone else who will listen that he is being electronically monitored by someone or something and implores them to watch their backs. Initially, Bane seems to be just another paranoid criminal, but evidence emerges to show he just might be on to something. All the while, Scarpetta herself deals with electronic scrutiny of a sort when an anonymous online gossip columnist reveals horrible secrets from her past. Can she convince her colleagues to listen to Bane's warnings before it's too late? The blend of forensic investigation and high-tech intrigue will please Scarpetta's legions of fans.--Wilkens, Mary Frances Copyright 2008 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

There's no end to war in Charles Todd's unnervingly beautiful historical novels, only the enduring legacy of suffering inherited by those who survive and remember. In A MATTER OF JUSTICE (Morrow, $24.99), Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard, a shell-shocked veteran haunted by his battlefield experiences in France, once again serves as witness to the unsettling social changes sweeping across England in the aftermath of World War I. When he arrives in the quiet village of Cambury to investigate the bizarre murder of Harold Quarles, a financial adviser who regarded himself as squire of all he surveyed, Rutledge is confronted by resistance from the local constabulary and a wall of silence from almost everyone else. But the detective's own survivor guilt ("Finding a way back had somehow seemed to be a final betrayal of the dead") has also made him acutely sensitive to the psychic wounds of others. While Quarles may have been universally loathed, the inspector knows it would take someone with an extraordinary grievance to bash the villain's head in and string him up from the rafters of his medieval tithe barn. Is this a simple act of vengeance or some disgruntled moralist's twisted notion of justice? Here the mother and son who write under the name Charles Todd get it all right: a shocking crime in a bucolic setting; secretive characters who act from complex motives; a confounding puzzle elegantly presented and put before a detective with an intuitive understanding of the dark side of human nature. Taken on its own terms, Cambury seems a self-contained community awkwardly adjusting to modern ways. (Todd captures this transitional era with one wonderful metaphor: when a motorcar runs off the road, a team of horses arrives to pull it back.) But under the village's placid exterior, seething resentment is felt for those who presume to scale class barriers and challenge old ways. A parvenu like Quarles, who overcame his humble beginnings as a coal miner's son to marry above himself and become the cruel lord of the manor, poses a threat to traditional country values. Even with an inheritance to soften the dismissal, one character chooses to kill herself when she's no longer required in the big house. Having lost husbands, fathers, sons and brothers to the war, some villagers would rather die - or kill - than give up what's left of their world. Patricia Cornwell's new novel, SCARPETTA (Putnam, $27.95), gets off to a great start, with the indomitable Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner extraordinaire, up to her ears in cadavers. ("Stryker saws whined, running water drummed, and bone dust sifted through the air like flour.") And the case that calls her to New York on New Year's Day is a doozy - the "Midget Murder," as the tabloids heartlessly put it, of a female dwarf, possibly by the boyfriend who's cowering in Bellevue Hospital, convinced sinister forces are trying to steal his mind. When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell, who analyzes cyberspace crime as effortlessly as she walks us through cutting-edge lab technology and elucidates clinical obsession. Trouble is, Scarpetta no longer travels without her posse - her husband, who's a forensic psychologist; her niece, who's a computer genius; as well as Pete Marino, a former cop who's in deep disgrace after his vile behavior in "Book of the Dead" - and it takes the first 100 pages of this overlong narrative just to explain (none too convincingly) how they all happen to be in New York at the same time, working on the same case. Malcolm Shuman's series novels are written in a pedestrian style that isn't evident in THE LEVEE (Academy Chicago, paper, $16.95), a delicately constructed, teasingly told stand-alone mystery set in Baton Rouge and based on an actual unsolved crime. The stabbing death of a teacher is recounted here in two time frames by the same narrator, Colin Douglas, an author of true-crime stories who was 15 years old when the murder took place - and is a haunted older man when he returns to his hometown to confront his own role in the crime. "I always figured you'd come here and write about what happened," says a friend, one of a group of boys who stumbled on the murder in the graveyard of a ruined plantation when they were camping on the levee. But even as Douglas reflects on the racial and class prejudices that affected the outcome of the case, he and the reader are aware this is one sad story that will never see daylight. Anticipating Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by more than 20 years, an American physician named John Babbington Williams was scribbling stories extolling the fictional exploits of James Brampton, a New York detective with uncanny gifts of observation and ratiocination. The collected stories were published in 1865 as LEAVES FROM THE NOTE-BOOK OF A NEW YORK DETECTIVE (Westholme, papar, $14.95) and promptly lost a bundle for the publisher. Make no mistake: Dr. Williams hardly rivals Conan Doyle's intellectual brilliance, nor can he match Poe's felicitous style or Wilkie Collins's storytelling. But what a treat it is to make the acquaintance of a man who was probably the earliest American sleuth, a quick and cunning fellow who can outwit a gang of counterfeiters or see guilt in the most guileless face - and reads French besides. "Perhaps I have done more towards detecting crime than any other living man," he allows, with no false modesty. Charles and Caroline Todd's detective, Ian Rutledge, is a shell-shocked veteran of World War I.


Guardian Review

Oh, the power of the internationally super-selling author! Patricia Cornwell's fame is such that she could copy out a telephone directory and it would shoot straight into the bestseller lists, and this offering, which ticks all the usual forensic thriller boxes in a brisk, unengaged manner, has the feeling of a list. In a perfect illustration of the law of diminishing returns, the protagonists of this series have become caricatures of their original, sharply delineated selves, and the serial-killer-cum-stalker plot, once fresh and exciting, is now formulaic and stale. The formerly high-octane prose is leaden, repetitive and bulked out with techno-speak and brand names. At best, the writing is distractingly peculiar - "rather much" continually used as a qualifier, and implausible dialogue - at worst, it's risible. During one telephone conversation, we are informed that "Scarpetta's voice moved at the speed of sound" (er, as opposed to . . . ?). Dire. Caption: article-deccrime.1 Oh, the power of the internationally super-selling author! Patricia Cornwell's fame is such that she could copy out a telephone directory and it would shoot straight into the bestseller lists, and this offering, which ticks all the usual forensic thriller boxes in a brisk, unengaged manner, has the feeling of a list. - Laura Wilson.


Kirkus Review

Dr. Kay Scarpetta celebrates her 20th anniversary as a larger-than-life medical examiner by taking on a case of murder among little people. Hours after his 4'1" girlfriend Terri Bridges observes New Year's Eve by getting herself strangled, equally short Dr. Oscar Bane checks himself voluntarily into New York's Bellevue Hospital and begs to unburden himself to Scarpetta. Jaime Berger, the combative sex-crimes prosecutor in charge of the case, instantly has Scarpetta flown in from Boston. Scarpetta swiftly gets Oscar to admit that his injuries are self-inflicted, but nothing he says helps to clear up the mysteries of why Terri, a graduate student in forensic pathology, was obsessed with Scarpetta, or why the fluid sample taken from her body included the DNA of a 78-year-old paraplegic woman from Palm Beach. Stung by a series of scurrilous attacks via an online site called Gotham Gotcha, Scarpetta manfully works the case, but it's not easy to focus on the killer when there's so much bad blood among the series regulars: Berger, Scarpetta, her profiler husband Benton Wesley, her niece Lucy Farinelli and Pete Marino, the hot-headed, besotted investigator who assaulted Scarpetta the last time they worked together (Book of the Dead, 2007). Despite dozens of promising clues and reams of forensic evidence, in fact, all roads in the case lead inexorably back to Scarpetta. The title perfectly suits a challenging mystery that's only a pendant to the endless soap opera revolving around a heroine who just can't stop posing for Mt. Rushmore. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal Review

The NYPD asks Kay Scarpetta to examine a handcuffed man who claims to have been injured during the course of a murder. Did he kill someone, or is the killer after him? A BOMC, Literary Guild, Doubleday, and Mystery Guild main selection. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.