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Predator (Kay Scarpetta series Book 14) [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Cornwell
2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (546 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $9.25
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel
Belfast, 1985, in the midst of the “Troubles”: Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burn-out as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point blank and then jump off a nearby cliff? See the other Detective Sean Duffy novels

Book Description

Investigating the disappearance of two sisters in Florida, Dr. Kay Scarpetta follows clues that twist and turn, leading her into the psychopathic depths of a jailed serial killer's mind.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It's not often a crime novel offers such a smorgasbord of oddball elements, including autopsy advice, methods of combating tree blight, the use of spiders in sadomasochist torture and couples covering the sexual and psychological waterfronts. There's even a little nasty fun at the expense of television psychoanalysts. With geographic locations switching slightly faster than the speed of sound, it's to Reading's credit that she smoothes out the ultra rumpled excesses of Cornwell's mind-boggling plot and takes full advantage of the yarn's narrator-friendly present tense. Having given voice to several earlier books in the series, she's got the main characters down cold. Her Dr. Kay Scarpetta is all snarky professional reserve and personal insecurity. Self-loathing lesbian niece Lucy, sounds properly troublesome and troubled, with an added catch in the throat due to a secret she's keeping. Pete Marino, the bullet-headed, gym rat security chief of the Lucy-originated National Forensic Academy, sounds so gruff and aggressive, he should be kept on a chain leash. And Scarpetta's inamorato, Benton Wesley, whose study of mass murderers' brain patterns gives the novel its title, is, as his name suggests, the very model of a dry, annoyingly passive-aggressive personality. The joke here-intended or not-is that the novel's protagonists are almost as mentally or emotionally disturbed as its homicidal villains. Cornwell seems to have grown weary of the lot of them. But there's still a flicker of life left and Reading has the skill to make the most of it.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


'When she is this good, she is hard to beat.' New Statesman 'Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns.' Mirror

Product Details

  • File Size: 970 KB
  • Print Length: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OZ0NU8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,349 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
506 of 526 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing November 2, 2005
I've been reading Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta novels on and off for some time now. There was a time when these stories were innovative, and even groundbreaking in their introduction of the strong female lead into the serial killer, suspense genre. But something happened along the way. I don't know if Cornwell changed her story lines for her own reasons or due to bad advice, but rather than forensic suspense the stories turned into adventures in dysfunctional families. Scarpetta became a flaming codependent trying to mother Lucy, whose goal in life was staying in trouble. And Pete Marino, never the most likeable of characters became increasingly large, loud and obnoxious. To put it bluntly, the killers were often the most attractive characters in the stories.

Cornwell long ago fell off my 'buy in hardback' list. But when I picked up Predator the blurb sounded pretty good, and I decided to give Cornwell another try. The story finds Kay Scarpetta, Pete Marino, and a whole cast of crimestoppers working at the National Forensic Academy, the institute Lucy created so that she could work as a free agent. All isn't well at the Academy, strange events and thefts are interspersed with intense personality conflicts and mistrust until it is obvious that a crisis is brewing.

In the meantime a subtle series of deaths and disappearances come to light that seem to link Basil Jenrette, an imprisoned serial killer who has become the subject of Benton Wesley's research into the deviant mind, with killers down in Florida where the academy is. The connections surface painstakingly slowly after in depth forensic work. This is the formula which made Cornwell a success, and I hoped for a return to the Scarpetta of the early stories.

Unfortunately, that was not to be.
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262 of 284 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not a good effort October 30, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Any Cornwell work is better than some other books, but...

I have NEVER liked the way Marino has been handled in the entire series - now he is like a caricature- before he was street wise liasion to Scarpetta, then he blew up to a large smoking drinking person who had health problems, and now he is aloof big muscle bound biker guy who is at odds with Scarpetta and knows something funny is going on with the misinformation -

The series and this novel does not have the BITE it did - if you would reread the first books that made a wave in the thriller genre you will understand what I mean.

We've gone through a lot with the regulars of this series - they have not progressed in the way the folks who pay hardback prices would like. Not so sure I will pay hardback prices again for this series again. and that's sad.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Longing for the Good Old Days? May 7, 2006
Do you long for the days when Scarpetta lived in a gorgeous house, which she designed and which was described in intimate detail to the reader? Do you miss imagining the smells of the fabulous meals she would prepare in her gourmet kitchen? Ever think back fondly to the time when Lucy was a totally kick ass cop, who just happened to be a lesbian but that was really a side story and not very important? And it was only mentioned when the story required an explanation of how she came to shoot her first lover? And she had normal love relationships like most people do, they just happened to be with women? And Benton was dashing and a workaholic like Scarpetta, and Marino was a salvagable sad sack but basically a good guy? And there could be animals that could walk through scenes and not be gratuitously tortured and killed just to show us that sociopaths pick animal victims as well as human victims?

Oh, yes. Yes I do.

You don't want to read her books if you miss that stuff. If, on the other hand, you like to see the world as a place where nobody can be trusted and people in power dream of necrophilia and everybody argues and makes bad choices in their lives and the descriptions of Italian food cooking are replaced by detailed accounts of the smells of bloated dead bodies, have I got a book for you...

It's just too much. I'm no stranger to the world that Scarpetta lives in. After 19 years in paramedicine I've seen alot of that stuff, but even I am sick of reading about it.

It's almost enough to make a person turn to Harlequin romances.

This book was more uneven than the others, with subplots that fizzled out and so much jumping from scene to scene that I lost track of who was who. Yuck.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No sign of improvement June 6, 2006
I remember loving the early Scarpetta books. Flanked by an array of interesting characters, she was definitely front and center in every story (as was proven by the fact that the books were written in the first person). She was a capable medical examiner, but also a skilled cook (Cornwell's delicious descriptions of Kay's Italian recipes in her gourmet kitchen were so vivid, you could almost smell the food), and a woman with a sense of humor. She and her sidekicks (Marino, Lucy, Benton, etc.), though surrounded by tragedy and death, did have happy moments, and were capable of being happy at times.

Then something happened a couple of books ago: after a tired plotline about a European "werewolf" which spanned a couple of books, the point of view changed to third person, the story became much more of an ensemble cast with Scarpetta as one of the characters, and everything became permeated by a depressing, unhappy, dreary atmosphere that sucked the happiness out of the characters, and turned them into automatons who did nothing else but work, argue, and deal with death. Gone was any "off-time", sense of humor, or even sense of hope. Gone was also any sense of realism, as every new books showed Lucy's fortune more and more outlandish with mansions, academies, motorcycles, helicopters, improbable stunts and toys of all kinds.

This time we're asked to believe Lucy's fortune has started a private "academy" that supports police investigation. But what happened to Lucy's previous endeavors, The Last Precinct? What about other characters present in the previous book that have been dropped without so much as a mention?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Predator (A Scarpetta Novel)
a little involved, but a good read
Published 7 days ago by C. Tuxhorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I liked the book.
Published 17 days ago by S. Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars I love all her books
I love all her books, she's one of my favorite author's.
It keeps you interested and involved in the story line,
till the very end. A good read.
Published 20 days ago by Marie Chan
5.0 out of 5 stars Predator Dr Kay Scarpetta
I would give any Dr. Scarpetta book five stars, The author gives the story intrigue, suspense, with a glimpse into the world of forensic medicine. Great stories.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars love those books
Patricia Cornwell is a master with Scarpetta, love those books. Highly recommended!!!!
Published 1 month ago by MasterI
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!!!
Oh my gosh!! You must read this book!!!
Published 1 month ago by Cari Bergeron
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this mystery
Published 1 month ago by Regina
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
All of Patricia Cornwell Books are for great reading. There isn’t one book I’ve come across that wasn’t great. Read more
Published 1 month ago by No Time
1.0 out of 5 stars Predator - Don't waste your time, or your money
I'm so glad that I borrowed the audiobook from the library, and didn't waste my money on it. Too bad I wasted my time on it, though. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Susan
2.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed and Confusing
As the first book by this author that I have read, I was quite disappointed. I have heard about Patricia Cornwell's novels and knew she was popular plus coming from my home town... Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. Wiedemann
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More About the Author

In 1990, Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. An auspicious debut, it went on to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure prize - the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year.

Today, Cornwell's novels and now iconic characters, medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, her niece Lucy and fellow investigator Pete Marino, are known all over the world. Fox 2000 is actively developing a feature film about Kay Scarpetta. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Patricia has written a definitive account of Jack the Ripper's identity, cookbooks, a children's book, a biography of Ruth Graham, and two other fiction series based on the characters Win Garano and Andy Brazil.

Cornwell was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, North Carolina, and now lives and works in Boston.

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Topic From this Discussion
I agree that it was a oddball in the Scarpetta series. I was confused and disappointed, and didn't think the "personalities" were integrated well enough at the end to make me believe they were all the same person---would like to see some additional books using these characters, but I... Read More
Nov 25, 2011 by casarosa |  See all 4 posts
I was disappointed with the lack of explanation as well.
Mar 9, 2011 by M. J. Burke |  See all 2 posts
Any suggestions for a good mystery series?
I love the Lincoln Rhyme series. Another favorite of mine is John Sanford's macho detective, Lucas Davenport. The Faye Kellerman Decker/Lazarus series is good also. I've almost given up on Cornwell and that's a shame, I used to love her books.
Jan 6, 2006 by B. Hammontree |  See all 27 posts
Was Dr. Joe Amos really Hog AKA Helen Quincy?
I think Corwell threw Joe in as an awkward red herring. Everything in the book was flashing hot neon signs at Joe which is a poor writer's way of creating a so-called surprise ending. Joe Amos was a loose end that needed to be tied up. She never explained why he hated the "dynamic"... Read More
Dec 28, 2006 by Amazon Customer |  See all 9 posts
What about the red handprints?
Stevie had infiltrated Lucy's academy and knew her from a distance. She staged the meeting in the bar to get close to her, so their meeting wasn't a coincidence. But I agree with your other points.
Jun 15, 2009 by Robert Schmidt |  See all 2 posts
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