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The Scarpetta Factor | [Patricia Cornwell]

The Scarpetta Factor

It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta - despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN - to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events.
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Publisher's Summary

It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta - despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN - to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same telecast she receives a startling call-in from a former psychiatrist patient of Benton Wesley's. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds an ominous package - possibly a bomb - waiting for her at the front desk.

Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta's life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionaires with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past.

Scarpetta's CNN producer wants her to launch a TV show called The Scarpetta Factor. Given the bizarre events already in play, she fears that her growing fame will generate the illusion that she has a "special factor", a mythical ability to solve all her cases. She wonders if she will end up like other TV personalities: her own stereotype.

The Scarpetta Factor, the 17th in the series, finds the familiar cast of characters together again in New York. Marino is working for the NYPD; Benton Wesley uses his forensic psychological expertise at Kirby and Bellevue; and Lucy continues to dazzle with her expertise in forensic computer investigations as she works yet another case with New York prosecutor Jaime Berger.

Flesh and bone: investigate more of Kay Scarpetta's forensic cases.

©2009 Patricia Cornwell; (P)2009 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (702 )
5 star
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  •  
    Lee Shamrock, TX, United States 10-22-09
    Lee Shamrock, TX, United States 10-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    I've found since the "death" of Benton Wesley that the books have taken a very dark turn. There doesn't seem to be any joy in them at all. Even when they win there is no sense of triumph. Any sense of happiness seems to be out of obligation rather than emotion. I'm not buying this version of Marino at all. He has had such a sense of honor and duty in previous books that to accept this version is a stretch. There needs to be a book of healing to bring the characters back to life.When I started this book, I thought this could be the one but was disappointed to find I was wrong.NO healing began until the last 4 pages.

    56 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cleo Plainwell, MI, USA 10-29-09
    Cleo Plainwell, MI, USA 10-29-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "oh, for the good old days...."

    I used to absolutely love Kay Scarpetta stories. I couldn't get enough and eagerly awaited each new book - but the last two....well...they wouldn't have hooked me. This one is better than Scarpetta but no where near as good as the earlier books. The characters have gotten "thin", have lost a lot of their personalities, and it now seems that technical details are included just to show off the authors knowledge when they don't add to the story at all. Yeah, I'll listen to the next one, but with the spirit of hope more than eager expectation.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 10-31-09
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 10-31-09 Member Since 2005

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ms. Cornwell, Alright-Already"

    Again, I am sorry to say that in my opinion, this like the last, Scarpetta novel falls short. This series was once fun, engaging and scary, all one wants from a mystery I think.
    But here for more than the first 3/4 of the story, the author has us listen to charcters who do nothing but bicker and complain. Benton now can't seem to speak more than 10 words without using the F word (I'm no prude, but this is totally not like this charcter AT ALL). And finally in the last maybe hour we get some action relating to the mystery and other charcters, and this is where the book finally gets interesting, but then.... zip it's over, end of book.
    Really, I wish I hadn't wasted my credit, I'm sorry to say because I used to look forward to Conrwell's books. Oh well.... maybe next time.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    catherine Cambridge, MA 12-16-09
    catherine Cambridge, MA 12-16-09 Member Since 2005

    minnow

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    "Boring"

    I give up. I used to love her books. The narrator's manner of reading is so frustrating to listen to that I want to scream at her. Just speak naturally. Don't try to sound like a man. She really does a terrible job with that. Don't try to make Scarpetta sound like such a depressed prima donna. Her voice drones and drones and her inflections make no sense. And, don't tell the story like a prigish school marm. And why is everyone so angry and dysfuntional in this book. They all hate each other and complain about their behavior. Who wants to listen to that. I have noticed this occurring in her other recent books. There is no joy in the story. I feel like I'm wearing cement boots and I am exhausted.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Mililani, HI, United States 10-27-09
    Carolyn Mililani, HI, United States 10-27-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyable book"

    It's worth working your way through the middle of the story. There was too much anger in the middle of the book but it does end well.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gann 11-03-09
    Gann 11-03-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Do not waste your time"

    I don't know which is worse, the writing or the narration. Cornwell needs to drop the Scarpetta, et al characters and start over. She should begin by reading PD James to see how really good mysteries are written really well. As for the narrator, oy. So monotonous I could hardly tell which character was speaking. The last straw for me was the 20 minute sleep inducing dialogue between Benton and Clark. The text is hackneyed, the plot simplistic, and the writing and dialogue nervewrackingly tedious. What was the editor thinking? Wake up, Cornwell. Splash some water on your face and write something that does not cause drowsiness in the listener/reader.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. Short 12-25-09
    V. Short 12-25-09

    okshort

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "too much anger and head trips"

    cornwell has gotten away from telling a good story about a crime and spends too much of this book with her characters in angry, destructive internal dialog that really goes no where. her prior books followed an interesting crime with a different twist on solution. in this book it's hard to find the crime and focus on the bad guys - was there really a crime at all? my last cornwell book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-15-09
    12-15-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Did not like!!!"

    This is not like her other books. I will stop on this book. It just tells the same thing over and over..

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SolarFan Fort Myers Beach, FL, US 11-24-09
    SolarFan Fort Myers Beach, FL, US 11-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A tough read."

    Disjointed. Repetitive. Seems all characters have personal problems with each other, creating a dark, moody reading experience. Several implausible plot lines. Seemed like author deliberately tried to make the story longer with technical and psychological sidebars. Not an enjoyable read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Port Charlotte, FL, USA 11-17-09
    Michael Port Charlotte, FL, USA 11-17-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "couldn't wait to finish"

    I used to look forward to every Cornwell release, but not anymore. The "psycho-babble" she insists on inserting in place of the intrigue of her classics gets old really fast. There isn't an untarnished personality among the regulars and new characters are used to fuel the torment in the minds of the regulars. People in real life overcome their demons if they are as brilliant as Cornwells characters are portrayed to be. I won't be rushing to her next release.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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