Body of Evidence Paperback – Jun 11 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
This second commanding thriller by the Edgar Award-winning author of Postmortem and featuring forensic sleuth Dr. Kay Scarpetta was a Mystery Guild main selection as well as a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate in cloth. $250,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner of Virginia and heroine of Postmortem , gets involved in the case of a brutal stabbing death in Richmond of romance writer Beryl Madison. Now Madison's greedy lawyer accuses Scarpetta of losing his client's latest manuscript, an autobiographical expose of Beryl's early life as protege of a legendary novelist. As more deaths occur and the killer closes in on her, Kay suffers palpitations over the sudden and devious reappearance of long-lost lover Mark but still finds time to provide forensic details. Despite its foregone conclusion, a swift-moving, thrilling, and provocative second novel.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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RETURNING THE KEY WEST LETTERS TO THEIR MANILA folder, I got out a packet of surgical gloves, tucked it inside my black medical bag, and took the elevator down one floor to the morgue. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot involves a young female writer who is being stalked and, at the very beginning of the story, stabbed to death in her own home. Who has been stalking her, why, and is that the killer? The writer may have been writing her autobiography, which would include things someone didn't want written. This could be a motive -- but it could be something else entirely. Eventually Scarpetta (the medical examiner/detective in Cornwell's mysteries) is herself being stalked, apparently by the same killer -- whoever that is. A missing manuscript may hold the key clue to the identity of the killer, but where is the manuscript? And why has a an old lover suddenly reappeared in Scarpetta's life and then just as suddenly disappeared? There's a lot of questions to be asked and the pace of the book is pretty quick.
Now the down side: I find the editorial voice in Cornwell's mysteries annoying, and it's a shame, because the books are so well researched and plotted. But Scarpetta isn't very likable, and Cornwell clearly places great priority on physical beauty. Good people are generally attractive and thin, unattractive people are either comic, annoying, or evil. The narcissism of the author also seems to come through in her character Scarpetta, who is supposed to be wonderful and admirable, but just isn't. Scarpetta comes across as self-absorbed, arrogant, and shallow.
Otherwise, this is a very well-written book.
The protagonist Dr. Kay Scarpetta is interesting enough and the insights into the work of a forensic pathologist are morbidly intriguing (yes, I used to watch "Quincy" on TV, too). But what makes or breaks a mystery novel is the way that the plot is structured and the characters relate to one another. In a first-rate mystery, there are slight *possible* clues offered early on that later turn out to be pivotal to how the case is resolved. Here, however, Cornwell commits one of the cardinal sins of mystery writing: she creates a virtually unrelated character as the primary villain, one who isn't even introduced until halfway through the book. This results in an almost deus-ex-machina feel to the resolution of the crime(s). She also presents an unbelievably hokey identity twist that serves to bring some rather banally presented romantic interest into the story.
I can say no more here, lest I act as a "spoiler," boo, hiss. Let me add, however, that her descriptions of places are not a strong point. Having spent time in Key West, I didn't particularly feel that the island "came alive" through her depiction of it.
Overall, this book seems to reveal a still inexperienced writer who simply is still feeling her way along within the difficult but also overcrowded mystery genre.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you are into the TV show “Bones” (medical examiner/detective story) than this novel is for you.Published 1 month ago by TP
This is an interesting, if flawed, novel of suspense. A budding writer is found stabbed to death in her home. The 27 cuts were done in a frenzy of hatred, or by a crazed madman. Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by Acute Observer
This book, really went into nice character development. By the middle of it, I felt like Beryl Madison, the first victim, was a real person, and I too wanted to know how she died,... Read morePublished on June 10 2004 by - Kasia S.
Kay Scarpetta fans will thoroughly enjoy this one. In looking for a good mystery this book will satisfy that desire. A page-turner that doesn't dissappoint. Good reading!Published on March 29 2004 by Patty Philbrook
After reading the first book in Patricia Cornwell's series Postmortem, I knew that I was going to want to read the next book. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2004 by Alyssa
Although I didn't find this book as compelling as Postmortem, I still enjoyed the book. Ms. Cornwell really knows how to build up suspense in a story. Read morePublished on July 18 2003 by Shirley Schwartz
To be honest, I feel Patricia Cornwell has a true knack for Mystery writing. After all, she was everything this character is in true life. Read morePublished on July 4 2003 by Jimi Dracutt
This is my second in the series and I can't wait to begin #3, All That Remains. I really enjoy them and highly recommend the series!!Published on March 30 2003 by T. J. Robins