Dr. Kay Scarpetta, now freelancing from south Florida, returns to the city that turned its back on her five years ago.
In Trace, Scarpetta travels to Richmond, Virginia, at the odd behest of the recently appointed Chief Medical Examiner, who claims that he needs her help to solve a perplexing crime. When she arrives, however, Scarpetta finds that nothing is as she expected: her former lab is in the final stages of demolition; the inept chief isn't the one who requested her after all; her old assistant chief has developed personal problems that he won't reveal; and a glamorous FBI agent, whom Marino dislikes instantly, meddles with the case.
Deprived of assistance from colleagues Benton and Lucy, who are embroiled in what first appears to be an unrelated attempted rape by a stalker, Scarpetta is faced with investigating the death of a 14-year-old girl and working with the smallest pieces of evidence, traces that only the most thorough hunters can identify. She must follow the twisting leads and track the strange details in order to make the dead speak, and to reveal the sad truth that may be more than even she can bear.
Don't miss the other titles in Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series.
©2004 Cornwell Enterprises, Inc.; (P)2004 Penguin Audio
"The mystery is intriguing, there's plenty of forensic detail, and the ending...opens the way for Scarpetta and her associates to proceed in any direction that calls to them." (Booklist)
It's not worth buying. I've read all of the series and by far thought this was the worst. It was disjointed, hard to follow, and even the mystery was very predictable and not filled with any suspense. I hope it gets better from here.
I am a big fan of Scarpetta, but this book did not have the interest or coherence of the earlier novels. The perspective here has changed from first person to third person, and along with that change there is an odd penchant to repeat certain words and phrases over and over. I wondered if the author was paid by the word. The end is abrupt -- I had to check and make sure that I had not missed the end of the audio file. Overall, a big disappointment.
Patricia Cornwell is running out of gas. This book is her worst. Had it been her first it would never have been published.
The main storyline, Scarpetta's return as a consultant on a complicated case in the Virginia state medical examiner's office, is pure great Cornwell. The secondary story line, of political deterioration of that office, is left unresolved. Add the inclusion of Lucy (wonderwoman saves the day for auntie Kay, and is then crushed by a new homosexual partner) and Benton (reincarnated, a la Bobby Ewing, for a cameo role in Kay's emotions) and the result is a chowder with too much potato for this reader's taste... Yes, I will read her next book too.
This one got a little different for me. It was a great book, don't get me wrong, I like the Scarpetta novels, but it has so many bad characters and all, but still a good book.
I didn't read it in print.
Kay Scarpetta is a great concept.
There are background musical interludes that attempt to transition "scenes" or chapters… or when something ominous is about to happen. Why? It's distracting, and useless. Also, the editors are getting sloppy with pronunciation of anatomical structures and medical terminology… come on guys! This is a MEDICAL MYSTERY and many readers are going to actually know what the words SHOULD sound like. It's getting sloppy!
I was very impressed with the different plots and their eventual intertwining. The story line was very captivating and technically superb. I loved the softer side of Marino and found myself liking Lucy a bit more as well.
I found myself making excuses so that I could spend more time listening to the book and even offered to run errands so that I could have more time in the car to listen.
I have two; when Lucy goes over to visit her neighbor and pretends to be a Hollywood actress ... the dialogue was great. The other scene was when Marino catches the bad guy.
As usual Patricia delivers every time. She is by far my favorite author
Although I started as a real fan of the Kay Scarpetta novels, I never really liked the other novels that Cornwell wrote. Unfortunately, I've had enough of the Scarpetta novels as well and have quite simply started to dislike Kay & Lucy. I'm not sure when Kay became such a bore, but I had an inkling a few books ago. I kept thinking my disappointment was all in my mind and would buy another to prove myself wrong. I haven't been able to disprove it yet and think I'll just quit trying.
I'm going to move on to other authors since Cornwell's writing has become stale in my mind.
I have read all of the Kay Scarpetta novels and this is not Ms. Cornwell's best work. The ending is uneventful and it just doesn't have the zing of previous books. It's okay, but I expect more from Patricia Cornwell
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