Cause of Death

Cause of Death

3.93 (37,367 ratings by Goodreads)
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An investigative reporter is found dead in Virginia's icy waters ...New Year's Eve and the final murder scene of Virginia's bloodiest year takes Scarpetta thirty feet below the Elizabeth River's icy surface. A diver, Ted Eddings, is dead, an investigative reporter who was a favourite at the Medical Examiner's office. Was Eddings probing the frigid depths of the Inactive Shipyard for a story, or simply diving for sunken trinkets? And why did Scarpetta receive a phone call from someone reporting the death before the police were notified? The case envelops Scarpetta, her niece Lucy, and police captain Pete Marino in a world where both cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned detective work are critical offensive weapons. Together they follow the trail of death to a well of violence as dark and forbidding as water that swirled over Ted Eddings. For more about Patricia Cornwell and her books visit her website on www.patricia-cornwell.comshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 108 x 174 x 28mm | 199.58g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Sphere
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0751530506
  • 9780751530506
  • 121,149

Review quote

'Vividly compulsive' Mail On Sunday 'Ingenious, persuasive and unsettling' Literary Review 'A one-sitting read' Cosmopolitanshow more

About Patricia Cornwell

Patricia Cornwell's series of crime novels featuring the forensic examiner Dr Kay Scarpetta are international bestsellers. She is also the author of two police procedurals and the biography of Ruth Graham. She divides her time between Virginia and New more

Review Text

The fascination with monstrous evil that's run through Cornwell's recent work (From Potter's Field, 1995, etc.) blossoms with a vengeance when Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is called out on New Year's Eve to examine the body of Ted Eddings, an investigative reporter killed during an unauthorized dive in Norfolk's Inactive Naval Ship Yard. The typically arresting opening sequences - which take Scarpetta from beneath the icy waters of the Elizabeth River to the morgue, where she makes a shocking discovery about the manner of Eddings's death - masterfully set up all the conflicts that follow, from Scarpetta's instant antipathy to the Chesapeake police detective who'll end up lodging a sexual harassment complaint against her to her uneasy examination of the Book of Hand, the Bible of radical New Zionist messiah Joel Hand. And the momentum builds through a second murder, as usual unnervingly close to Scarpetta (has any series heroine ever survived so many deaths by proxy?). It's not till Scarpetta joins her brainy FBI niece Lucy and her tormented FBI lover Benton Wesley, who's leaving his wife but still can't commit himself to Scarpetta, to run the New Zionists' nefarious, incredible plot to ground and flush them out of their hidey-hole that Cornwell's apocalyptic moralizing turns shrill and unconvincing. Full marks, as always, for the gripping forensic detail and beleaguered Scarpetta's legendary toughness. It's only the sketchy, unbelievable villains who ring hollow. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

37,367 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 30% (11,127)
4 39% (14,699)
3 26% (9,711)
2 4% (1,555)
1 1% (275)
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