In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, 26-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning - except the weather is perfectly clear, with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center's director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental act of God. Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie.
"The Kay Scarpetta series is almost out of fuel"
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is working a suspicious death scene when an emergency alert sounds on her phone. A video link lands in her text messages and seems to be from her computer-genius niece, Lucy. But how can it be? It's clearly a surveillance film of Lucy taken almost 20 years ago. As Scarpetta watches she begins to learn frightening secrets about her niece. That film clip and others sent soon after raise dangerous legal implications that increasingly isolate Scarpetta and leave her confused, worried, and not knowing where to turn.
"A train wreck you can't look away from."
Four young women have been found murdered—tortured and strangled in their own beds—all victims of the same brilliant monster. Using a skilled hand and the latest technology in forensic medicine, Kay Scarpetta begins the process of gathering the microscopic clues the latest battered body has to give.
"Forgot how much I loved the old Scarpetta novels"
It's Dr. Kay Scarpetta's birthday, and she's about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids' game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car.
"Series badly needs to change focus"
Following the post mortem of a stowaway that reveals neither cause of death nor identity, Dr. Kay Scarpetta travels to Paris in search of information. In Paris she is given a secret mission--one that could ruin her career.
"scariest book I've ever read!!"
After working one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history, Scarpetta returns home to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Exhausted and ill, she's recovering at home when she receives an unsettling call. The body of a young woman has been discovered on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's rugby field. The victim, a graduate student named Gail Shipman, is oddly draped in ivory linen and posed in a way that is too deliberate to be the killer's first strike.
"Way too much angst"
A serial killer is stalking Virginia’s young lovers, taking their lives and taunting police with a single clue: a jack of hearts. For two years, the meaning of this card has eluded FBI investigators. But as Scarpetta begins searching the victims’ remains for microscopic clues, she begins to suspect that someone in the FBI knows more about the murderer.
"Good early one..."
Late one night Beryl Madison turns off her burglar alarm, puts down her gun and opens her door to the man who has stalked and terrorized her for months. Hours later, her brutally mutilated body lies in the city morgue. As Scarpetta begins searching for the microscopic clues to the killer’s identity, one question keeps nagging her: why did Beryl let him in?
"Worst Performance EVER!"
The body of an elderly woman is found dismembered in a Virginia landfill. Scarpetta initially believes the clues mirror that of a serial killer she's tracked before. But upon further investigation, she discovers puzzling pox-like erruptions on the woman's body that, perhaps, point in another direction.
When an executed murderer’s fingerprints turn up at a new crime scene, Kay Scarpetta investigates. Prepare for the kind of riveting suspense this best-selling author delivers so well.
"Not her best work"
A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over 2,000 miles away, in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist's disappearance is connected to a series of crimes - much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
"A tedious disappointment - Don't Bother!"
Determined to find out what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months earlier, Kay Scarpetta travels to the Georgia Prison for Women, where an inmate has information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings. The murder of an Atlanta family years ago, a young woman on death row, and the inexplicable deaths of homeless people as far away as California seem unrelated. But Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding's death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning....
"Too much dialog, too little story"
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.
"A little harsh?"
Physically and psychologically bruised by her encounter with the killer Chandonne, Dr. Kay Scarpetta has to leave her home in the hands of the police team investigating the attack. She finds shelter with an old friend, Anna Zenner, but it is not the haven of security she needs when she discovers that Anna has been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury that is investigating Scarpetta for murder. Kay knows she is being framed, and she knows she can trust no one.
"Novembers and a new Scarpetta book"
Dr. Kay Scarpetta has left Virginia in search of peace but instead finds herself drawn into baffling, horrific murders in Florida, where she becomes entangled in an international conspiracy that confronts her with the shock of her life.
"Rereading the older books"
Convicted serial killer Carrie Grethen has escaped from a psychiatric hospital with plans for revenge. Wary and shaken, Scarpetta also has to investigate the death by fire of an unknown woman. The post mortem reveals that the woman was stabbed before the fire was started, and soon Scarpetta and her colleagues are called out to the scene of another fire and another murder.
"Great Story Dreadful Narration"
Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.
"Fair At Best"
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.
On a quiet day, away from the hustle of Richmond, in a small cottage on the Virginia coast, Dr. Kay Scarpetta receives a disturbing phone call from the Chesapeake police. Thirty feet deep in the murky waters of Virginia's Elizabeth River, a scuba diver's body is discovered near the Inactive Naval Shipyard.
"Marcum Welby you are Fired!"
Fresh from her bruising battle with a psychopath in Florida, Scarpetta decides it's time for a change of pace. Moving to Charleston, South Carolina, she opens a unique private forensic pathology practice, one in which she and her colleagues, including Pete Marino and her niece, Lucy, offer expert crime-scene investigation and autopsy services to communities lacking local access to competent death investigation and modern technology.
"Time to end the series"