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Scarpetta (A Scarpetta Novel) Audio CD – Audiobook, December 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: A Scarpetta Novel
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143143646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143143642
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (850 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Critics agreed that readers familiar with Cornwell's series will find Scarpetta a weak addition; novice audiences will certainly want to skip over this one and start with Postmortem (1990), Cornwell's award-winning debut. Although Scarpetta is not one of the better entries to date, the thriller contains Cornwell's meticulous attention to detail (from autopsies to investigations) and edge-of-your-seat plotting. However, reviewers cited too much backstory, overly complex twists, and only mediocre characterization. The Rocky Mountain Newseven accused Scarpetta of becoming "something of a cipher," while the Guardianfound nothing to like at all. The bright spot? A thrilling, unpredictable ending.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Patricia Cornwell was born on June 9, 1956, in Miami, Florida, and grew up in Montreat, North Carolina.

Following graduation from Davidson College in 1979, she began working at the Charlotte Observer, rapidly advancing from listing television programs to writing feature articles to covering the police beat. She won 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, 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.

Cornwell's first crime novel, Postmortem, was published by Scribner's in 1990. Initially rejected by seven major publishing houses, it became the first novel to win the Edgar, Creasey, Anthony, and Macavity Awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d'Aventure in a single year. In Postmortem, Cornwell introduced Dr. Kay Scarpetta as the intrepid Chief Medical Examiner of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1999, Dr. Scarpetta herself won the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author.

Following the success of her first novel, Cornwell has written a series of bestsellers featuring Kay Scarpetta, her detective sidekick Pete Marino and her brilliant and unpredictable niece, Lucy Farinelli, including: Body of Evidence (1991); All That Remains (1992); Cruel and Unusual (1993), which won Britain's prestigious Gold Dagger Award for the year's best crime novel; The Body Farm (1994); From Potter's Field (1995); Cause of Death (1996); Unnatural Exposure (1997); Point of Origin (1998); Black Notice (1999); The Last Precinct (2000); Blow Fly (2003); Trace (2004); Predator (2005); Book of the Dead (2007), which won the 2008 Galaxy British Book Awards' Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year, making Cornwell the first American ever to win this award; Scarpetta (2008); The Scarpetta Factor (2009); Port Mortuary (2010); Red Mist (2011); The Bone Bed (2012); and Dust (2013). In 2011 Cornwell was awarded the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France's most prestigious awards to honor those who have distinguished themselves in the domains of art or literature, or by their contribution to the development of culture in France and throughout the world.

In addition to the Scarpetta novels, she has written three best-selling books featuring Andy Brazil: Hornet's Nest (1996), Southern Cross (1998) and Isle of Dogs (2001); two cook books: Scarpetta's Winter Table (1998) and Food to Die For (2001); and a children's book: Life's Little Fable (1999). In 1997, Cornwell updated A Time for Remembering, which was reissued as Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham. Intrigued by Scotland Yard's John Grieve's observation that no one had ever tried to use modern forensic evidence to solve the murders committed by Jack the Ripper, Cornwell began her own investigation of the serial killer's crimes. In Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed (2002), she narrates her discovery of compelling evidence to indict the famous artist Walter Sickert as the Ripper.

In January 2006, the New York Times Magazine began a 15-week serialization of At Risk, featuring Massachusetts State Police investigator Win Garano and his boss, district attorney Monique Lamont. Its sequel, The Front, was serialized in the London Times in the spring of 2008. Both novellas were subsequently published as books and promptly optioned for adaptation by Lifetime Television Network, starring Daniel Sunjata and Andie MacDowell. The films made their debut in April 2010.

In April 2009, Fox acquired the film rights to the Scarpetta novels, featuring Angelina Jolie as Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Cornwell herself wrote and co-produced the movie ATF for ABC.

Often interviewed on national television as a forensic consultant, Cornwell is a founder of the Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine, a founding member of the National Forensic Academy, a member of the Advisory Board for the Forensic Sciences Training Program at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, NYC, and a member of the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital's National Council, where she is an advocate for psychiatric research. She is also well known for her philanthropic contributions to animal rescue and criminal justice, as well as endowing college scholarships and promoting the cause of literacy on the national scene. Some of her projects include the establishment of an ICU at Cornell's Animal Hospital, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown and the scientific study of the Confederacy's submarine H.L. Hunley. Most recently, she donated a million dollars to Harvard's Fogg Museum to establish a chair in inorganic science.

Cornwell's books have been translated into 36 languages across more than 50 countries, and she is regarded as one of the major international best-selling authors. Her novels are praised for their meticulous research and an insistence on accuracy in every detail, especially in forensic medicine and police procedures. She is so committed to verisimilitude that, among other accomplishments, she became a helicopter pilot and a certified scuba diver, and qualified for a motorcycle license because she was writing about characters who were doing these things. "It is important to me to live in the world I write about," she often says. "If I want a character to do or know something, I want to do or know the same thing."

Visit the author's website at: www.patriciacornwell.com

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
244
4 star
115
3 star
96
2 star
151
1 star
244
See all 850 customer reviews
This book was way too long(572 pages) and boring.
C. Burchett
As for the usual characters, Scarpetta, Lucy, Marino, etc., they are so incredibly one-dimensional it's difficult to care about them either.
R. M. Bostock
Clever plot, likable characters, in a story well told.
LizMM

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

724 of 752 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on January 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Your sales were down 50% from last year. You failed to hit the #1 slot on the NYT bestsellers list for the first time in, like, a hundred years. So what do we, the readers, want?

1. Brevity. Your last two books ballooned to 500 pages. And you used to be so concise!!

2. The third person has to go. We all loved Kay, we loved hearing her thoughts.

3. Dump the spouse. Benton is boring. Your new forays into the mind and psychobabble are also boring.

4. Go back to the morgue. Yes, it's been done a billion times since you introduced it but readers still like it and you still do it better than anyone.

5. Take a lesson from Sue Grafton. U is for Undertow just hit #1. The Scarpetta Factor did not. Kinsey's still Kinsey. Kay is no longer Kay. There's no more sharp tone, sharp heels, dread, bad dreams, bad tempers, worry, loss of appetite, compassion, sleepless nights, wry banter with Marino, ability to work 5 days straight without changing clothes .... We want that back. None of this idealized version you've given us, with everyone lusting after her or admiring her or losing it while she floats above it all in her highrise apartments. What happened to her gardens, the fresh tomatoes, the cooking? Highrises are so sterile. Benton is so sterile. (The Scarpetta Factor had one cooking scene at the end that felt very contrived.)

6. Stop trying to elevate Kay. She got fired from Richmond. She tried and ended several apparently unsuccessful businesses. With that past no way will she be on CNN hosting the Scarpetta Factor. That would be like you hosting CNBC. Ain't gonna happen. Kay's superiority came from her brains and moral compass -- not her jobs and not her money.

7. But what's wrong with being "just" an M.E. in NY or Boston anyway?
Read more ›
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236 of 262 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Verlen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
To be frank, I was never going to read another Scarpetta mystery after the last few disasters that Cornwell wrote. However, there the book was on the new releases shelf at the library staring down at me with a silent "read me" plea. Seemed like fate that I got to the library in time to pick up Cornwell's latest entry in the ongoing Scarpetta series. I opened it and started reading with a lot of trepidation as her last few books have been truly dreadful. To sum it up--I was pleasantly surprised to find Cornwell has regained her stride in the series and has written a taut, suspenseful mystery with believable characters and situations. There are a lot of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.

The series opens with Scarpetta doing pro bono work in New York City as well as fulfilling her role as senior forensic analyst for CNN. During her appearance on the CNN show she is asked about details on the ongoing case of Hannah Starr. The complexity of the mystery starts to weave almost immediately. Her husband Benton and her friend Marino are clashing. Her niece Lucy continues to waiver between the gray areas of the law. But all three must work together with Scarpetta as they race to solve this mystery.

This book still lacks some of the sparkling dialogue of the first books and rehashes old hurts and insults. However, Scarpetta comes of more human somehow as she struggles with the mystery of Hannah Starr, the offer of her own show, her shaky marriage, her injured friendship with Marino, and of course her troubled niece. It is truly nice to see Cornwell once again pick up the reigns of the series and alter course for the better!
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128 of 143 people found the following review helpful By A.R.N. on October 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At 500 pp this book needs serious editing. Parts of it were incredibly boring (mostly the Benton parts) and parts of it were meaninglessly techno-filled. Cornwell tries to dazzle us with all the research she does but the book would be A LOT better if Kay and her world were the focus and the Bentons and Lucys remained minor satellites. In fact, if she cut out most of the stuff she probably learned from the list of people in the acknowledgements, she'd have a stronger and more readable book. Resorting to recycling one of the most mocked and reviled characters in Scarpetta lore was unnecessary, too.

Not one of her best, not one of her worst, but I don't understand what's now a two-book trend of forcing us to swallow 500 pages. She leads us on long and detailed side trips with characters and drama that turn out to be irrelevant and unnecessary and I'm not talking about red herrings, either, but long, winding meanderings: Agee, his hearing problems, Berger and her romance woes with Lucy, the ridiculous voodoo/poo-poo bomb, Hap and his necrophilia, the missing Blackberry and the huge drama surrounding it, the RIDICULOUS and boring psycho-babbling between Benton and an old colleague in the beginning of the book that nearly had me putting the book down for good; the immature Benton-Marino tension that dissolved seemingly in an instant. It's a shame that Cornwell feels the need to keep piling on to keep our interest.

It was interesting that Lucy apparently has lost a substantial part of her fortune. It may be the best thing to ever happen to Lucy as her brattiness and craziness seemed to increase with her wealth. That was an event that I thought deserved more detail and certainly more of an emotional reaction from Kay.
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