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Trace Mass Market Paperback – Jul 3 2012


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (July 3 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780425250310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425250310
  • ASIN: 0425250318
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Cornwell's latest after the disappointing Blow Fly has indomitable medical examiner Kay Scarpetta returning to her office in Richmond five years after being fired. This homecoming will cheer fans: not only does the move put Scarpetta on her own turf, it reinvigorates Cornwell's storytelling, restoring some of the spunk lately lacking in her lead character. Dr. Joel Marcus, Scarpetta's replacement as Virginia's chief medical examiner, has summoned her back to help him puzzle through the mysterious death of a 14-year-old girl. Marcus is generally loathed: he's petty, inept, has a secret garbage-truck phobia and harbors an intense hatred for Scarpetta. Meanwhile, Scarpetta's niece Lucy, owner of a fabulously successful private-eye firm, has her own troubles trying to sort out who attempted to kill her friend Henri (short for Henrietta), who's now under psychiatric treatment by Scarpetta's lover in Aspen, Benton Wesley. Lurking in the background is Edgar Allan Pogue, a nutcase who has a thing for dead bodies and a grudge against Scarpetta. It's her job, as always, to connect all the puzzling forensic dots and identify the killer in time to save herself and her loved ones. She does this, mostly, but leaves the reader to puzzle out a few salient points on his or her own. Cumbersome backstory slows the action, but in general the old Scarpetta comes through, at least in the main, and this will be enough to reassure her many fans and carry them over until her next appearance. BOMC, Literary Guild, Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection.
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 Booklist

Against advice from her niece Lucy, Kay Scarpetta answers a request to return to the Richmond medical examiner's office, the same office from which she was fired, to help with the sensitive case of a dead teen. When she and Pete Marino arrive, they find the new medical examiner to be a vituperative, uncooperative martinet and the office that Kay ran so efficiently in chaos. Two murders, oddly linked, demand their attention. In the meantime, Lucy, still unsettled despite her success with the Last Precinct investigative agency, is having personal problems (there's been an attack on her housemate), which strangely enough find her treading the same path as her aunt Kay. Traces of the smart, dynamic, yet vulnerable Scarpetta of the early novels are in evidence here, and Cornwell has better control of her plot and characters than in her last few efforts, faltering only occasionally when psychobabble weighs things down. The mystery is intriguing, there's plenty of forensic detail, and the ending, though perhaps too abrupt, opens the way for Scarpetta and her associates to proceed in any direction that calls to them. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CGP TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Feb. 26 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The reviews of Trace on Amazon.com, over three-hundred of them, are much poorer than the nine or so here. I thoroughly agree with the Amazon.com reviewers. Cornwell started downhill with Isle of Dogs, a terrible book. After that I only read Blowfly, to give her another chance. I thought Blowfly was nearly as bad. I bought Trace just on spec, expecting little...and got less. Everybody in the book is unreasonably angry, the sub-plots drag on, Benton risks his relation with Kay to work with a totally uninteresting woman (Lucy's ex-lover) and his efforts come to nothing. Marino magically gets the baddie in the end, though it's unclear how. And the baddie is a most unbelievable wacko. A lot of fuss is made over trace elements found at two crime scenes and no real resolution is ever given. A construction worker may or may not have been murdered...who knows and who cares. A most unlikeable Dr. Marcus is introduced, with a weird hang-up, and then dropped. When I finally finished the book, doggedly working through it in case it got better, my question was: Why did I bother? Terrible book.
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By Dobrin on Jan. 8 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Against advice from her niece Lucy, Kay Scarpetta answers a request to return to the Richmond medical examiner's office, the same office from which she was fired, to help with the sensitive case of a dead teen. When she and Pete Marino arrive, they find the new medical examiner to be a vituperative, uncooperative martinet and the office that Kay ran so efficiently in chaos. Two murders, oddly linked, demand their attention. In the meantime, Lucy, still unsettled despite her success with the Last Precinct investigative agency, is having personal problems (there's been an attack on her housemate), which strangely enough find her treading the same path as her aunt Kay. Traces of the smart, dynamic, yet vulnerable Scarpetta of the early novels are in evidence here, and Cornwell has better control of her plot and characters than in her last few efforts, faltering only occasionally when psychobabble weighs things down. The mystery is intriguing, there's plenty of forensic detail, and the ending, though perhaps too abrupt, opens the way for Scarpetta and her associates to proceed in any direction that calls to them.
If you like reading books by Patricia Cornwell, try also the following two books:
Predator
Blow Fly
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 15 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Trace is well named. It has a trace of the good characteristics of the early Scarpetta novels . . . and the trace is indeed hard to find underneath an unkempt undergrowth of character and plot developments left over from prior books and compounded here with new, needless alley ways about mentally bizarre characters. A medical examiner is definitely needed to uncover the trace of the qualities that once made this a compelling and enjoyable series.

A few years ago I decided I wouldn't read any more Scarpetta novels. They were just too angry, too gross and too ridiculous in their plots involving off-beat characters who want to "get" Scarpetta for various sick reasons. I often felt like I was reading about the frustration dreams of a paranoid person . . . and I didn't enjoy it.

Trace sounded less intense . . . so I gave it a try. The good news is that the story is more entertaining than the ones that drove me away. The bad news is that the aftertaste of those stories lingers on to mar the characters and plot line here.

Scarpetta, Benson, Lucy and Marino want to be with one another . . . but they are so devoted to keeping secrets from one another . . . that they spend the maximum time apart. It's a curious way to run a novel.

A partial reunion occurs when Scarpetta is asked to consult on a mysterious death of a 14-year-old girl and Marino returns with her to Richmond where she was embarrassed and harassed by a former governor five years earlier. The old ME shop has never been in worse shape, and you will find out why in greater detail than you really want to know.

Naturally, Scarpetta figures out the cause of death within minutes of beginning her examination.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book so much more than BLOW FLY. Kay Scarpetta returns to Richmond after five years, and the pick-back-up idea is both refreshing and evidently invigorating to not only readers, but Scarpetta as well. She seems to have gotten a second (fifth? sixth?) wind and boy, does it show! The plot centers around the mysterious death of a fourteen-year-old and Scarpetta is there to help out Marcus--the completely inept replacement for her while she was gone. He's one of the best characters she's written, incorporating every evil, stupid, and loathsome boss that's ever existed. Can you relate? I know I can. There's even a character named Edgar Allan Pogue to round out the cast of this wonderful book. Do yourself a favor and buy it . . .now!
I would also recommend two very different books which I enjoyed. The first is THE PIANO TEACHER--a little racy and disturbing, and the second is THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD--also disturbing but VERY funny and well written. All are great.
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