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All That Remains Hardcover – August 17, 1992

288 customer reviews
Book 3 of 23 in the Kay Scarpetta Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar, Anthony, Creasey and McCavity Award winner Cornwell ( Body of Evidence ) combines bone-rattling suspense with an insider's view of forensic science as her sleuth, Richmond, Va., medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, investigates a series of grim murders of young couples. With bone fragments being, in effect, all that remains of badly decomposed corpses, Scarpetta, Richmond homicide detective Pete Marino, ace reporter Abby Turnbull and even psychic Hilda Ozimek must employ their combined expertise--and a good deal of raw courage--to trace the killer. The case is complicated by the identity of one victim, daughter of Pat Harvey, the high-profile female national drug policy director and vice-presidential hopeful, and by the reentry into Scarpetta's life of a lover who is lying about his line of work. In her best novel to date, Cornwell demonstrates that clues about character are as vital as physical evidence at the crime scene. Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild featured alternate; Time-Life Condensed Book selection; major ad/promo; author tour; paperback rights to Avon.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- The decomposed bodies of Fred Cheyney and Deborah Harvey don't show up for months, well into Dr. Kay Scarpetta's account of her investigation into their disappearance. The two lovers are the fifth pair in a string of mysterious ``couple murders,'' all bearing the same characteristics: two young people completely vanish, leaving behind an abandoned car and no clues about their fate. Months later the skeletal remains are found by hunters in remote wooded locales, and no evidence about the causes of death can be discovered. At the same time, the FBI appears to be foiling attempts to discover the identity of the murderer by withholding crime-scene information, and Kay's old friend Abby, a newspaper reporter, complicates matters by conducting her own search for the truth. This rich brew makes for a compelling story to which Cornwell has added such stand-bys from her two previous Scarpetta novels as Pete Marino, a middle-aged police detective, and Benton Wesley, an FBI investigator who knows how to keep a secret. Mystery-loving YAs and fans of Cornwell's previous novels will enjoy her latest.
- Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons; 1st edition (August 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684193957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684193953
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Deborah Harvey, the daughter of the National Drug Policy Director, and her boyfriend fail to return home, the FBI investigates based on the assumption that there is a link to her father's job. When their remains are finally found, the media, linking it without substance, to eight other dead in pairs of two near Williamsburg, Virginia, dub the culprit the Couples Killer.

State Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta joins the investigation into the latest killings. Not much data can be gleaned from the skeletons though the killer leaves a glaring jack of hearts at each crime site. The Feds, state, and local law enforcement trip over each other like the Keystone Cops. Meanwhile Kay and Richmond homicide detective, Pete Marino, follow the paths, many of which dead end in cul de sacs, left behind by a devious killer made even more complex by a reporter and the Harvey family.

This reprint of an early Scarpetta thriller is a fine entry as a difficult case turns ugly and convoluted by so many participants especially the interference by cops and amateurs. Kay, her Valkyrie cohorts, and Pete are at their best working through a myriad of potential clues obfuscated by politicians, reporters, cops and family members who devastate crime scenes and more. Fans of the great M.E. will enjoy this fine forensic police procedural.

Harriet Klausner
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. Martin on April 29, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As with most of her books, ALL THAT REMAINS is the continuing saga of Dr. Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner for Richmond, Virginia. In this tale Scarpetta is on the trail of a killer who seems to only target couples, and one of his victims comes from a VIP family, so the government is anxious to have this murderer caught.

This psycho leaves a jack of hearts at each crime scene and removes the shoes and socks of the victims. Very strange fetish! Will these clues be enough for Scarpetta and Pete Marino to find the killer? They've succeeded with fewer clues before! This time they have a reporter dogging them who is intent on writing a book about these murders.

Patricia Cornwell wrote this book after BODY OF EVIDENCE and continued with that standard of excellence with this story. This doesn't have the power punch ending that some of her other books have had, but it is a decent story. Her characters are vibrant and she encompasses a wide range of different personalities that keeps the reader interested and entertained.

This isn't her best work, but is definitely worth reading. She has a few twists to her stories in that she brings in sidelines that are out of the ordinary. For example, the side-glance at the scene with the dogs trying to track the missing person/victim was unique and not something most writers would include - that's what makes Cornwell different than most writers. She's unique!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Allan on September 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like all Cornwell's Scarpetta books, this is a little cracker. Well worth the admission price.
The story is, as ever, complex. There are twists and turns in Scarpetta's personal and professional life which leave the reader wondering just how strong she has to be... then the character herself breaks down in tears to let you know that even the toughest of Chief Medical Examiners has a beart.
Mind you, as these books are written in the first person, Scarpetta never fails to sieze an opportunity that she "kindly" does something. No sooner done than said, eh old girl? A picky thing, but it does irritate me.
Nonetheless, I have every Scarpetta book. And I've read them all more than once.
Patricia Cornwell is a stylish writer, her heroine is stylish, and by god she wields a Stryker saw superbly. If you like whodunnits, you'll love Scarpetta.
But don't read "Southern Cross". It's really, really awful.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Powerful, mysterious, suspenseful: these are all words that describe the book "All That Remains." In this book, the main character is the chief medical examiner for the police department. But when she starts finding clues on victims' bodies, she and some of her fellow cops try to figure out a baffling case of a serial killer, but the killer knows that they're on his tail. Patricia D. Cornwell does an excellent job of describing feelings, people, places, crime scenes, everything. Although the plot is great, she does get a little bit graphic when she is explaining what the killer does and what he has done. So I would recommend this book to jr. high school and high school students, and adults. Now it's your turn to try to figure who the killer is. Go read "All That Remains."
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Brandon T. on October 6, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Being a Virginia native, I deeply enjoy Patricia Cornwell's excellent novels. This particular one holds a great deal of appeal to me. Reason being is that the events Cornwell speaks of took place at a rest stop near my home. Having a knowledge of the setting, I settled in, for I knew I had a great read ahead of me.
ALL THAT REMAINS is a wonderfully crafted and suspenseful novel. Each character is beautifully written, and adds a unique touch to the plot. Anyone who enjoys great works of suspense will want to read this novel. For it is a true masterpiece.
I recommend this book to you if you are a Virginian, or even if you are not. This truly fine display of Cornwell's talents will not leave you disappointed. Pick up ALL THAT REMAINS today!
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