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Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Oct 1997


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc; Open market ed edition (30 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425158616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425158616
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,923,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

** 'Vividly compulsive' MAIL ON SUNDAY ** 'Ingenious, persuasive and unsettling' LITERARY REVIEW ** 'A one-sitting read' COSMOPOLITAN --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.

Book Description

The seventh novel in the best-selling Dr Kay Scarpetta series. --This text refers to the Perfect Paperback edition.

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ON THE LAST MORNING OF VIRGINIA'S BLOODIEST YEAR since the Civil War, I built a fire and sat facing a window of darkness where at sunrise I knew I would find the sea. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dr Evil TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
'Cause of Death' is the seventh book in the Kay Scarpetta series from Patricia Cornwell and begins when a reporter is found dead in the icy waters of the Elizabeth River in Virginia. This then leads Scarpetta, Marino, Wesley and Lucy into the world of terrorism when the death is found to be related to an investigation into the terrorist group The New Zionists.

I've been reading through the Scarpetta novels in order for about a year now and this was the first one that didn't really grip me at all and in places I was even a little bored. The Kay/Benton relationship is also getting a little tiresome as well as Kay's over-protective relationship and over-exageratted problems with her neice Lucy.

The actual murder investigation is ok, if a little unbeliveable. I did find it interesting how forensics were becoming more advanced at the time that the book was written, as some of the procedures and equipment used are things that are fairly basic in this day and age and really made me think how things have rapidly progressed over the past 10 years.

Overall it is a fairly entertaining read for the most part that unfortunately does get a little boring at points, but is one that regulars to the series should read to keep up to date with the flow of the series. If you're new to the Cornwell books, I'd definitely start at the beginning (Postmortem) as the first six books are much better thank this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark M on 7 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
The first half of the book was quite good - Scarpetta was doing her job etc etc (although the reference to Lucy listening to Melissa Etheridge was a bit hamfisted). However, the second half of the book was ridiculous! Dr Scarpetta goes from being the literary equivalent of Quincy to become some kind of undercover CIA operative! I mean, I don't expect my fiction to be believable, but I don't expect it to be this unbelievable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By molko VINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 7th in Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series and is the 7th I have read this year (I've been reading 1 a month since May.) and I have to admit this is the first in the series where i've started to grow a bit bored of it all. There's a good enough synopsis on Amazon so I won't go into too much detail of the plot but suffice to say it kicks off with Kay being called out to a scene of a grisly crime. Again, suffice to say the story escelates and Scarpetta seems to be promoted to the level of a FBI agent rather than the mundane forensic scientist that she really is. Add to that the fact she's a lawyer, a mother figure to her seemingly constantly off-the-rails niece Lucy, a teacher at a University, having a risque affair with the head of the FBI and health consultant to chief honcho of Virginia; Pete Marino.
It seems highly unlikely that with all this going on Kay has the time to solve every quirky case thatshe comes across, delving in headfirst and devoting all her time to the case while heading off around the globe. It's all starting to be a bit much for me. Ok, Ok we get it, Kay is one tough cookie, and great at her job but it's highly unrealistic that this absurd character would be able to perform all the dutied to such a high standard, fiction or not.
I will continue with the series in hopes that the next book is a return to form.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Torialouise on 3 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Kay is called to a murder of a reporter, Ted Eddings on New Year's Eve. The body is found underwater, which gives the reader Kay's first underwater crime scene. This cases pulls together Lucy, Pete and Benton as further murders follow. The story weaves in the usual dectective work with the high tec world of Lucy. As with all Scarpetta novels, the lives of the characters have significantly moved on since the last novel, you are only given snipbits of information at a time to try and piece together what has happened in the intervening time period. Another great novel. The relationship between the key characters just gets better and better and there is a part of me that is routing for Marino and Kay to get it toegther - who knows....??
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. H. Mccormack on 24 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read all Patricia Cornwells books in the Scarpetta series but this one irritated the hell out of me. Her constant putting of adjectives before the verbs really grated on my nerves. Eg but not literally, "she moodily looked", "he manfully said". Plus if I was related to the incredibly rude and impertinent Lucy she'd have felt the back of my hand long since. And why anyone would carry on with the smug, self satisfied Benton is beyond me.

That said,in will read the next one in the hope that Patricia finds her way back.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 May 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
This was the 4th or 5th Scarpetta novel I'd read. In a number of others it was difficult to believe how she managed to be so closely involved in so many parts of the cases. This one takes that beyond the limit of credibility.
I don't think it gives away the plot, but several areas are totally unbelievable: how does her ex-assistant get a job in London without any references? How on earth did the terrorists expect to get their contraband to the destination once they had recovered it from the site? Was Kay Scarpetta really the only person who could make the trip to London (in the middle of a national emergency), or gone into the middle of the siege? Is it likely that the same small group of characters from different agencies would be involved in so many cases together?
From their reputation, I was expecting far more realistic stories from this series, I am dissapointed. Ms Cornwell should stick to what she does well (the procedural stuff and some of the characterisation) and not stray into Tom Clancy territory (especially when it is done as badly as here).
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