5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant debut
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...
Published on Jan 22 2004 by RachelWalker
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. It's the celery of books.
Published 16 months ago by HeaLea
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3.0 out of 5 stars So-So,
This review is from: Postmortem (Paperback)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. It's the celery of books.
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start of the series,
This review is from: Postmortem (Library Binding)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!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Job,
This review is from: Postmortem (Library Binding)Great book, wonderful literary creations with wonderful attention to forensic detail. Start here don't go zig-zagging all over the serise like I did. Just a wonderful point, one problem though in spite of the wonderful building up the climax they discovered who the bad guy was too easily.
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant debut,
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. They haven't always been universally popular directions, changes, but I feel they must be commended just for the fact that Cornwell has refused to write carbon-copies of this first book all through her career. God knows, she could have done, but I'm sure that lots of readers would by now be sick of them.
The plotting here is slick and easy, the personal contexts and conflicts nudge the quality even higher, and the writing has autumnal beauty in it. She can also find the stark bleak poetry of a dead body.
There's no doubt that Cornwell has found her unique place in the crime fiction Hall of Fame, as has Scarpetta, the most fascinating and complex female protagonist in the entire genre. Currently, it is very much in vogue to criticise Cornwell, and from what I can see this is almost solely because the most recent novels - Scarpetta or otherwise - are just different. But, whatever you think of them, Post-mortem is a brilliant forensic thriller, and it always will be.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great forensics, great mystery, great tension,
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!
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Cornwell,
3.0 out of 5 stars It didn't stand the test of time,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars I Couldn�t Put it Down,
However, I couldn't put the book down when I first read it, and years later when I read it again, I was up all night again. That is most certainly the mark of a five star novel.
Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down,
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!,
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Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell (Paperback - Dec 29 2009)
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