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Postmortem (The Scarpetta Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Cornwell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 12.99
Kindle Price: CDN$ 10.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Cornwell, a former reporter who has worked in a medical examiner's office, sets her first mystery in Richmond, Va. Chief medical officer for the commonwealth of Virginia, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the narrator, dwells on her efforts to identify "Mr. Nobody," the strangler of young women. The doctor devotes days and nights to gathering computer data and forensic clues to the killer, although she's hampered by male officials anxious to prove themselves superior to a woman. Predictably, Scarpetta's toil pays off, but not before the strangler attacks her; a reformed male chauvinist, conveniently nearby, saves her. Although readers may be naturally disposed to admire Scarpetta and find the novel's scientific aspect interesting, they are likely to be put off by her self-aggrandizement and interminable complaints, annoying flaws in an otherwise promising debut.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This award-winning novel based on Richmond's real-life "South Side Strangler" case introduced Virginia's chief medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta, and launched Cornwell's career. Narrator Lorelei King generally has a pleasant reading voice and uses good pacing to build suspense. However, this is not a successful merger of book and reader for American ears. Listeners may be confused to hear that Kay wears "cocky" (khaki), for instance, and accenting the second syllable of such words as modem and condom distract the listener from the story. Furthermore, the voices of supporting characters (such as Marino, a "stoopid" New Jersey cop, and Lucy, a fussy Southern child) are stereotypical. Fortunately, an unabridged version of Postmortem is available from several other producers, including Recorded Books (Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/94). Not recommended.?Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Williamsburg, Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1590 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (Nov. 26 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002YPORR6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,415 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Won't do this again any time soon Jan. 11 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I did with the Jack Reacher series a couple of years ago, I started with this, the first novel in the Scarpetta series when I decided to check out the much-lauded Patricia Cornwell. On the plus side, I read it through to the end without feeling polluted and brain damaged, which is something I cannot say about the Jack Reacher novel. However, Cornwell is clearly not a master of the English language or the novel, and her style became irritating by the midpoint of the book. I began to cringe every time I had to read once again how Scarpetta's various bodily organs reacted to this or that, and I found more than one sentence to be incomprehensible. I have no intention of reading another in the Scarpetta series any time soon, but I can imagine that I might one day try a later novel in the hope that Cornwell's skills have been honed. By contrast, I will never, never, NEVER read another book by Lee Childs. That one experience of Jack Reacher left me feeling poisoned and I still haven't recovered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant debut Jan. 22 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The women die on Saturday mornings. They die horrifically and seemingly randomly. They are brutalised and strangled in their bedrooms by an intruder. This is all that is known. This is how they die.
When newly installed Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner of Richmond, Virginia, gets a call at just after half past two in on Saturday morning, she knows even before she answers the phone that a fourth woman has died. Though deeply distressed at the actions of this latest devious, unfathomable serial killer, all Scarpetta herself can do for the victims is to let them speak through her to help catch he who is responsible. Diligently she performs her morbid task, investigating the bodies of the fatally wronged, even though not all are pleased that she occupies this job.
There's little doubt that this is one of the most successful debut novels of all time, winning a plethora of awards upon its release and still drawing people into the series even today, and I am sure it will continue to do so. It deserves too, as well. Post-mortem is a cunning, powerful, emotional and clever debut from a woman who is now the most successful (not to mention wealthy!) female crime writer in the world. With this book Cornwell pretty much created an entire new genre, and blew out the gates for a new generation of writers to follow her through. None of them are quite as good, though. None have ever matched the quality or the fascination of the so-well-described forensic detail, none have ever managed to create a more interesting and complete character than Scarpetta, who still develops to this day, thanks to Cornwell's ability to keep her series growing in different directions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great forensics, great mystery, great tension Nov. 6 2003
By Andy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the book that introduces us to Kay Scarpetta, Virginia's first chief medical examiner. She is a tough cookie, a woman in a "man's world" and somebody who doesn't take no for an answer.
The novel gets right into the action as Kay is awakened at night with a phone call from detective Moreno. It looks like a serial killer has struck again and Moreno immediately suspects the latest victim's boyfriend. Kay, meanwhile, is desperately looking at this from the forensic angle - what are the links, what is the mysterious glitter that's showing up, what motivates this killer.
Lurking in the background are the good old boys, desperate for results and desperate to pin the blame for any failures on someone. A female chief medical examiner might take the fall perhaps? Kay certainly finds that her ship is in danger of sinking - a misplaced file and her database hacked into are some of the problems showing up. Meanwhile she's not having the visit she hoped for from her niece who's bored and fed up of being ignored by her aunt, busy solving the mystery. She's a bit of a computer expert - could she have hacked in as revenge?
Kay has a love interest too - in fact, one of the good old boys. But is he really on her side? Cornwell handles all of the various threads going on very well. As usual with this genre you can argue about whether the infighting is really that brutal, whether the sexism is really that ingrained. To me it doesn't matter, it doesn't dominate but it does provide additional tensions that help rather than hinder.
Fans of Kathy Reichs may get a sense of deja vu. Cornwell was first, though, and at least in this book handles some of the issues better. Although both characters rather overstep the boundaries of their jobs, Kay does so less than Tempe Brennan, the heroine of Reichs' novels. If you are a fan of Reichs, I think you will enjoy Postmortem immensely. And even if you're not, you will still get plenty of pleasure from this novel!
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3.0 out of 5 stars It didn't stand the test of time Oct. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel was written un the begining of the 90s and won a lot of awards. But, that was then, and this is now. And from my point of view this book lost at least part of its appeal.
Most characters are three-dimensional and interesting, but Kay, being a woman in a men's world and having to prove herself every step of the way ... well, you've read it and seen it in movies more than once.
When this idea was novel (and i guess it was in '91), it was good, but now it only serves to underline the stereotipically stupid male in a position of power, who does everything to make her work harder (and to do that he does things too stupid and damaging to his own career).
So, we have a sub-plot which weights down the novel, we also have to read through passages telling us in detail how it is possible to access your computer at work from your computer at home.
The novel is told in first person, but it seems somehow clinical. We have dead mutilated bodies, but Kay is more conserned in proving herself, then stoping a serial killer.
There IS a good mystery in this novel, with a clever answer.
But for me it was not worth the novel attached to it.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good read
Published 1 day ago by Alvin Kloeck
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love kay scarpetta
Published 21 days ago by mublues
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost missed out !
My whole family have read them, i finally hot around to reading it and its amazing! At first I wasnt sure about it, but once i got further in I couldnt put it down! Read more
Published 27 days ago by Brooke Rossen
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was good especially if you consider it was written quite...
This book was good especially if you consider it was written quite awhile ago. I wanted to start the series at the beginning and it proved to be a good idea as it was still an... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dawn G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Read..Awesome
Wow, what a captivating read. This author has a unique way of keeping you up late at night to try to find out another clue to lead you to the Who done it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by canmera
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Patricia Cornwell
This is where it begins as the characters begin their introduction to the many layers they become throughout the series.
Published 22 months ago by Jaime
3.0 out of 5 stars So-So
If you're looking for a light read, you could do worse than to get this book. It's entertaining and decently written. It wasn't boring but it wasn't particularly memorable. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2012 by HeaLea
2.0 out of 5 stars Just so-so
It was a really great plot, very well detailed story, so interesting, and then had an anti-climactic ending. Could have been better.
Published on April 19 2009 by Backstreets
3.0 out of 5 stars Forensic Mystery
Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia, gets involved investigating a string of murders. However, while 911 was dialled, no one came. Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2004 by Ez
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start of the series
Postmortem is a great start to the Kay Scarpetta series. Read this and I'm sure you'll be hooked for the series. Good mystery reading and leaves you wanting more, and there is!
Published on March 29 2004 by Patty Philbrook
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