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Cruel And Unusual [Paperback]

Patricia Cornwell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Cruel And Unusual (Scarpetta Novels) Cruel And Unusual (Scarpetta Novels) 4.3 out of 5 stars (57)
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Book Description

13 April 2000

The fingerprints say the murderer is the man who's just been executed ...

At 11.05 one December evening in Richmond, Virginia, convicted murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell is pronounced dead in the electric chair. At the morgue Dr Kay Scarpetta waits for Waddell's body. Preparing to perform a post-mortem before the subject is dead is a strange feeling, but Scarpetta has been here before. And Waddell's death is not the only newsworthy event on this freezing night: the grotesquely wounded body of a young boy is found propped against a rubbish skip. To Scarpetta the two cases seem unrelated, until she recalls that the body of Waddell's victim had been arranged in a strikingly similar position ...

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere; New edition edition (13 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751530441
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751530445
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The Agatha Christie of the DNA age (EXPRESS)

Perhaps the first entirely credible woman sleuth, Scarpetta is closest to Sherlock Holmes in relying entirely on her brain rather than breaks or brawn to solve baffling cases (INDEPENDENT)

Chillingly detailed forensic thriller, confirming Cornwell as the top gun in this field. (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Highly addictive. (EVENING STANDARD)

Book Description

The fourth novel in the best-selling Dr Kay Scarpetta series which was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of 1993

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cruel and Unusual 23 Jan 2005
This is the forth of the Dr Kay Scarpetta novels and they just get better and better. Certainly this is the book with the most political intrigue and career back-stabbing in it and we see for perhaps the first time Dr Scarpetta more than just a pathologist, but as a political figure to be used by others.
The "thriller" part of the book is as good as ever, with a great twisty-turny ride through the plot and a cunning surprise around every corner. The characterisations are a brilliant as ever, and the Scarpetta - Marino interplay is just fantastic.<POn the plus side this book sees a couple of good new characters appearing, including the lawyer Nicholas Grueman who I certainly hope we'll meet again.
Great book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! Couldn't put it down. 7 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
If you like crime mysteries, this one is for you. This book had me gripped with suspense but couldn't work out who was the murderer. I loved this book so much I want to read more by Patricia Cornwell. Very well written.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that 'grabs' you from start to finish. 26 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I have read all the previous Scarpetta stories and I certainly wasn't disappointed when I came to this book. From the moment I picked it up the story had me guessing just who was doing what to Kay Scarpetta. Patricia Cornwell had you guessing as to who was involved in the murders and when you thought you had an idea of where she was going with the story she turned it on its head and surprised you. The fact that while solving cases the book also shows Kay's private life and follows on from the previous books makes her more believable and human. The only disappointment that I found with the book was a bit of repetiveness on the lack of security with her office - this was also the case in a couple of other stories in the series. This part I cannot find totally believable as I know how secure medical computers are. One security leak yes, three or four, no. On the whole this book is like the other Kay Scarpetta books - A VERY GOOD READ.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ploddy and disappointing 26 July 2009
By Link
This is the first book that i have read by Patricia Cornwell and i was a little disappointed as the plot seemed to be a good idea at first but as you read on the different twists and turns do not lead to anything that surprises you. I also found the style of the book to be rather tiresome as there seems to be a good idea which intrigues you then it seems to be solved very quickly and a bit of an anti climax. I would only recommend this book if you have nothing else to read on a long journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thriller with twists. 17 Aug 2006
Although not quite as good as her earlier books this still makes for a scintillating crime novel. With twists and turns galore this book takes you on an enjoyable journey.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a great read but disappointing 15 Mar 2001
This was the first of her books i'd read and generally enjoyed the experience. Is is a well written piece of work with lots of quirks and turns alwasy keeping you guessing, which I suppose is the art of good crime fiction. I was however disappointed with the ending...but i wont spoil it ...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read! 27 July 2007
I have bought all the Scarpetta books and have read the first 7 in less than 2 weeks - that's how great they are.

This one if maybe not as thrilling as the previous ones BUT it leads to the next two books, and altogether they are truly amazing.

The reason I read so much in so little time is not because I don't have much to do or my life is boring but because once you have started to read there is no stopping.

A truly superb writer!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cruel and Unusual 31 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed many Scarpetta book in the past and this was no exception. With her friends and family, amongst them, Benton, Mike Marino and Lucy are all invaluable to the plots. It is superbly written as usual, full of intrigue and mystery. Ms Cornwell writes with such smoothness, understanding of her characters and an ability to make you believe the book actually happened. This story about a dead convicted murderer who Kay autopsies but whose MO is discovered at another recent murder. It leads Kay through drugs abuse, deceit and lies of colleagues and reaches a grim conclusion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice clean second hand book
Published 1 day ago by jan williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Great read.
Published 19 days ago by ppcallaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great buy, great price speedy delivery
Published 24 days ago by Cheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a compelling read
Published 1 month ago by J M Mercer
4.0 out of 5 stars rushed ending
They didn't get their man, assuming it has been left open for him to make a return at some point. Beginning to see a possible relationship developing between two of the main... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nikki Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Briiliant
Another great story, well written and keeps you guessing.
A brilliant heroine and character.
on to the next one with pleasure
Published 3 months ago by mrs r cassidy
3.0 out of 5 stars more long winded than her others and unsatisfactory ending
Not her best. Ending squeezed into only a few pages. Far too much domestic and family details. I've read much better Patricia Cornwell books.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. P. J. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
Although I'm only half way through the book, it's gripping...just as the previous ones. I haven't read much over the last few years but seeing Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Soozie
5.0 out of 5 stars really interesting
Really interesting and fun book...lots of twists and turns and cliff hangers at the end of chapters keep u awake at night!!!!
Published 5 months ago by nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop Scarpetta!
Brilliant storyline, as usual patricia Cornwell drags me into the story, the race against time to find the killer & I'm unable to put the book down!
Published 6 months ago by Nicky labram
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