In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Kay Scarpetta's past merges with the high-tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she enlisted in the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt and found herself ensnared in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa.
Now, more than 20 years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship to master the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy - a procedure the White House has mandated that she introduce in the private sector.
As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta's new Cambridge home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked insider the Center's cooler. Various 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen. These suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. She realizes that she is fighting a cunning and cruel enemy that is invisible as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die.
In Port Mortuary, Patricia Cornwell brings Scarpetta together with Marino, Benton, and Lucy in an intimate way that is reminiscent of the early novels, and we welcome a voice we haven't heard in years. The point of view is Scarpetta's - this is her story.
Flesh and bone: investigate more of Kay Scarpetta's forensic cases.
©2010 Patricia Cornwell (P)2010 Penguin
The monotonal, blasé delivery by the reader almost caused me to stop listening half way through, and download it onto my kindle. I will not listen to another book by this reader. I enjoyed the plot and continued development of the central characters.
A.T.'s Wife - Barbara
Normally I read the reviews before I purchase a book. Sadly , this time I didn???t. Did I ever screw up! The last hour was pretty good, the rest was a shamble of excess words, and rambles just to take up space. It???s a shame that Ms. Cornwell???s writing has been lowered to this. What a waste of my time. If I ever consider another of her novels, in fact any novel, I will read the reviews. I???m so glad I finished this. Barf!
I did not recognize any of the charactors..the narrator was terrible. I have read every single book by this author and this was the most painful one to finish...
The narrator dictates the mood and pulse of this book. What could have been a caring, thought-provoking Kay Scarpetta, turned into a negative, psychological twist that was irritating to listen to and not the intent of the author. Kay may be going through a life changing experience but not necessarily in the negative interpretation that the narrator displayed. I will think twice before listening to this narrator again.
This was a major disappointment. The last few Scarpetta books have been less than stellar and I hoped that this one would be better. This one was worse! I really loved the earlier books. I know some are saying that the narrarter was part of the problem but she had nothing to work with in the book.
I generally like the Scarpetta novels but this one is a real snooze. The first half drove me crazy. The reader is monotone and makes Kay Scarpetta seem dull and mean. The second part picked up as the reader seemed more animated.
This is my first review and my first big mistake in choosing a book.
I used to love this series but I think this is the last one I'll read. What an ego Kay Scarpetta has developed. No matter what happens she's sure its about her in some way. And all she does is whine throughout the book. If I were Benton I'd go back into the witness protection program just to get away from Kay.
This is it. I am now officially giving up on Patricia Cornwell. Although the case at the center of this novel might have been reasonably interesting, most of the book was taken up with Scarpetta's angst, anger and self doubt bordering on paranoid fantasies. It was a profoundly irritating and repetitive read. Basically, this is a criminal case worthy of perhaps a short story or possibly a novella. Cornwell pads it with a lot of needless organizational and personal diversions. Don't bother, folks. This is not classic Cornwell, it's more of her recent drivel.
Tell us about yourself!
I have enjoyed past Scarpetta novels. However, I feel that while clinical accuracy gives the character credibility, extreme amounts of detailed clinical information that neither aids in character development nor moves the story forward is merely tedious and suggests that the author's desire to demonstrate their own knowledge in the specified clinical area greatly exceeds their desire to write a good novel. That unfortunately was the case with Port Mortuary.
At the same time, the best thing that can be said about the main character is that she has become quite self-indulgent, spending a great deal of the (too long) time dwelling in the past, while distrusting those closest to her, even though they are the people she has repeatedly chosen to surround herself with and the people she has helped them to become.
I don't like the Scarpetta we've seen of late...the past few books have been such a disappointment. I loved this series but won't read it anymore. This was the last straw...not sure how it's a best seller, it's awful. The narrator is awful too. Not sure if it's the writing or the way it's read but it's just very very hard to MAKE yourself finish this book. I am so sad too because I have always looked forward to the new book in this series coming out, but can't waste anymore money on it. It's not good anymore.
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