Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead

Paperback Scarpetta Novels

By (author) Patricia Cornwell

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  • Publisher: Sphere
  • Format: Paperback | 480 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 194mm x 34mm | 322g
  • Publication date: 17 April 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0751534056
  • ISBN 13: 9780751534054
  • Sales rank: 38,479

Product description

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.

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Author information

Patricia Cornwell's first novel, POSTMORTEM, was published in 1990 and won five international awards. Her Scarpetta novels have since become number one bestsellers throughout the world. She has also published three police procedurals.

Review quote

Classic Cornwell territory with...a sharp political element that will ensure the book isn't on George Bush's bedside table Daily Express Serving up an Ace...Cornwell is firmly back on the money here. Daily Mirror Patricia Cornwell is the queen of gritty, grisly, crime fiction writing and her latest offering doesn't disappoint. Book of the Dead will keep you gripped throughout Heat "The reason we read novels about the forensic investigation of crime is not artistic decorum but a fascination with how things work. This is what Cornwell has always provided, and it is an area in which she does not disappoint." Times Literary Supplement 'Hannibal Lecter, eat your liver out. Tersely written, elaborately plotted and crammed with research, Cornwell's writing has always been hard-boiled - but this one would crack a paving stone if dropped.'

Editorial reviews

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)