Patricia D. Cornwell, Author, Patricia Corwnell, Author . Putnam $26.95 (480p) ISBN 978-0-399-15089-0

"Please don't go there. The past is the past," sighs New York Assistant District Attorney Jaime Berger, who herself was introduced in Cornwell's last Kay Scarpetta novel, The Last Precinct (2000). Alas, many of Cornwell's fans are bound to agree. One fascinating nonfiction bestseller (Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper, Case Closed ) later, Cornwell now returns to Scarpetta, formerly Virginia's chief medical examiner. From the start, however, the formidable author is up against the equally formidable task of getting her charismatic main character off ice and back in action. We encounter Scarpetta languishing in a crumbling little rental house in Florida. She has taken refuge there and become a private forensic consultant after she was driven from her job for her alleged involvement in the murder of a deputy police chief. The violent death of her lover, Benton Wesley, the brilliant FBI psychological profiler, has left her filled with an unappeasable grief. When the coroner in Baton Rouge asks her advice on a cold case concerning an affluent woman found dead of a drug overdose in a seedy hotel, it seems little more than a diversion. Yet it becomes clear that the overdose may be related to a fresh string of serial killings. Also disturbing Scarpetta's somber peace is a troubling letter from someone out to kill her, the sick and obsessed death-row inmate Jean-Baptiste. When Scarpetta is at last allowed to get back to business, she is a feisty, independent powerhouse whose capacity to concentrate and observe rivals Sherlock Holmes's. But too much of this book is bound up in retrospective musings about events in previous books. The great Scarpetta, her fiery crime-busting niece, Lucy, and a colorful supporting cast deserve better. 1,000,000 first printing; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club nd Mystery Guild main selections; foreign sales to Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Spain and the U.K.. (Oct. 13)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Show other formats
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-1-101-15592-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-41964-9
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-316-85475-7
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-7611-7
Hardcover - 978-0-7540-9472-2
Hardcover - 465 pages - 978-0-316-85474-0
Hardcover - 978-0-00-717682-3
Book - 978-0-06-237620-6
Compact Disc - 978-0-00-717683-0
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-7515-3074-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-7366-9577-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 478 pages - 978-0-425-26672-4
Hardcover - 656 pages - 978-0-7540-8729-8
Hardcover - 656 pages - 978-0-7540-9389-3
Ebook - 978-0-7865-4293-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-14-305745-1
Hardcover - 656 pages - 978-1-59413-059-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-399-15117-0
Analog Audio Cassette
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.