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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 millionaire 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

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

why did I buy?

After the last book that was a total waste, I thought the old Cornwell would come back. This has got to be the worst waste of time and money.
Please Kathy Reichs write more

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Disappointed again! Couldn't get through this one either!

I don't know why I keep wasting my Audible credits...I can not stand the way Kate Burton does New York accents. I used to love the Scarpetta Series when I had time to read books, but now that I am a "listener" I cannot get through them. It's bad enough that PC keeps tooting her own horn.....will not buy another of this series. If you want to try an awesome series, try Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny. Start at book one, Still Life.

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Yawn....

I read/listened to the condensed version and I'm glad I did. Other reviewers say that the book drags on and I believe it. There's a bit of drama near the end, but most is endless palaver. That it's in New York City is even more distressing--she should have stayed in Richmond. There are enough NYC dramas. However, Scarpetta does get into her work and her "family," whether she's the boss or not. There are some plot things wrapped up and some other family excitement occurs; but, overall the book could have been even shorter.