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Trace: A Scarpetta Novel | [Patricia Cornwell]

Trace: A Scarpetta Novel

In Trace, Kay 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 meddles with the case.
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Publisher's Summary

Trace is the heart-stopping new Dr. Kay Scarpetta thriller from America's #1 best-selling crime writer.

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (417 )
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4.2 (158 )
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  •  
    Ruthann Belleville, MI, USA 02-28-05
    Ruthann Belleville, MI, USA 02-28-05 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "That's 12 hours of my life I'll never get back..."

    Let's get this bit out of the way: The recording itself is uneven. The narrator recorded the book in many sessions, which is entirely understandable given the book's length. Recording sessions, however, must have been done on different equipment or using different settings because some sections sounded completely different -- something I found very annoying and a wee bit unprofessional.

    Now onto the book itself. The storyline was OK, maybe even interesting in parts. I'm a fan of Cornwell's books -- her early books. Of late she has gotten more and more sensational, and her main characters have gotten more annoying. (Except for Pete Marino, who is still gruffly loveable.) The main problem with the book, though, is that Cornwell must have said to herself, "Well, this book is long enough," and wrapped it up too quickly. The ending was so abrupt that I found myself sitting with my headphones listening to "We hope you have enjoyed...," not realizing that the book had actually ended.

    Not one of her better works. Good thing I was listening to it when I was doing housework, otherwise it would have been a waste of 12 hours and a few sawbucks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Ellenwood, GA, United States 01-28-05
    George Ellenwood, GA, United States 01-28-05 Member Since 2001
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    "Real Shocker"

    I have read or listened to all of Patricia Cornwell's books and enjoyed most of them. Isle of Dogs took awhile to get into the humor of it but I even enjoyed it. This one was a bomb. I was listening while on a long car trip. I had saved this for a special trip where I could listen to the whole story uninterrupted. Unfortunately, I had no other stories with me so I listened to the whole thing. It was such a disappointment. I wished that I had heeded the advice of the other reviewers.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Schultz 01-11-05 Listener Since 2002
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    "the worst"

    I have always enjoyed Patricia Cornwell's writing until now. This book was horrible from the unlikely happenings (everbody is just so rich now)she flopped back and forth so much it was hard to follow. The ending was a total wash out I think she looked at the calendar and realized the book was due so she finished it in two minutes. Her worst book. Hope she gets it back together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy ROCK SPRINGS, WY, United States 11-27-04
    Sandy ROCK SPRINGS, WY, United States 11-27-04 Member Since 2014
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    "great start, disappointing ending"

    I have always enjoyed Patricia Cornwall's characters, especially Kay Scarpetta and Pete Marino. The novel builds to a disappointing conclusion. It felt like she just got sick of writing and stopped, without tying up alot of loose ends...what about "Sweetie"? How did the killer connect with the Paulson girl? Why the rush to the conclusion? A REAL disappointment to a fine beginning.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn McAllen, TX, USA 11-24-04
    Kathryn McAllen, TX, USA 11-24-04
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    "Love Scarpetta....not so much this book, though"

    I am a true Cornwell/Scarpetta fan, but I must admit - I was not terribly thrilled with this book. I agree with a previous reviewer -the whole thing involving Benton and Henri was stretching things a bit, and I can't imagine Scarpetta allowing things like what happened with Dr. Marcus to continue. She didn't seem nearly as strong and forceful to me in this book. Also, I felt that in Blow Fly, things were starting to cook between Lucy and Nic, which in my opinion would have been infintely more intriguing a pairing. I'm glad Marino is finally taking care of himself, though! All in all, I have to give this book only 2 stars - it's interesting, but not nearly what I was eagerly anticipating after reading Blow Fly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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