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Post-Mortem (Kay Scarpetta Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Dec 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 225 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 29 Dec 2009
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star Books; Reprint edition (29 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439148120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439148129
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 2.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,259,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'An excellent chiller with pace and tension' --Sunday Telegraph

'Devilishly clever' --Sunday Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


'An excellent chiller with pace and tension.' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'Devilishly clever.' (Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The women die on Saturday mornings. They die horrifically and seemingly randomly. They are brutalised and strangled in their bedrooms by an intruder. This is all that is known. This is how they die.
When newly installed Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner of Richmond, Virginia, gets a call at just after half past two in on Saturday morning, she knows even before she answers the phone that a fourth woman has died. Though deeply distressed at the actions of this latest devious, unfathomable serial killer, all Scarpetta herself can do for the victims is to let them speak through her to help catch he who is responsible. Diligently she performs her morbid task, investigating the bodies of the fatally wronged, even though not all are pleased that she occupies this job.
There's little doubt that this is one of the most successful debut novels of all time, winning a plethora of awards upon its release and still drawing people into the series even today, and I am sure it will continue to do so. It deserves too, as well. Post-mortem is a cunning, powerful, emotional and clever debut from a woman who is now the most successful (not to mention wealthy!) female crime writer in the world. With this book Cornwell pretty much created an entire new genre, and blew out the gates for a new generation of writers to follow her through. None of them are quite as good, though. None have ever matched the quality or the fascination of the so-well-described forensic detail, none have ever managed to create a more interesting and complete character than Scarpetta, who still develops to this day, thanks to Cornwell's ability to keep her series growing in different directions.
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Comment 65 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I'm reading a book and all the while I'm thinking of what to read next, that's not a good sign. When I'm reading a book and I have to constantly fight the urge to put it away, that's not a good sign either. It means that I'm bored and not enjoying the book at all. Unfortunately this is what I felt like while reading Patricia Cornwell's debut novel Postmortem. Having read so many good reviews and received recommendations for this book, this was really an anticlimax for me.

I knew that this book was written a quarter of a century ago, so I was expecting to read about some obsolete forensic and DNA tests and computer systems and programming. It wasn't that that put me off. It was rather the way the author delivered such information in her book. I found myself reading whole pages about how to insert a new password or a certain query function in the computer to obtain a certain result or about how a forensic test is carried out step by step in the lab. Though the author's intention was to give us a clearer picture, (since DNA testing and computers were at a very early stage back then), I found such detailed information too technical and annoying and it actually did not add anything to the story. I thought its use was simply to increase the book's volume. The book could very well have had half its pages axed.

Though the actual crimes are very gruesome and well illustrated and explained, the story was more concentrated on politics and on how somebody wanted to taint Dr.Scarpetta's reputation. I have to say that the only chapters I found somewhat engrossing and exciting were just the first and the last one. The chapters' excessive length simply added to my frustration.
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1 Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
What a great read! The first book I read in the Scarpetta series was Unnatural Exposure and I was hooked...had to have more. Since then I've started at the begining of the series with Postmortem and got to know the characters better before moving on to another crime scene. There have been some negative reviews on this book that have really surprised me. The whole series is fabulous. I have a degree in a medical field so maybe I "get it" more than someone without a medical background. Who knows. I do recommend starting from the beginning of the series. Each book is a completely different crime, but the characters' lives pick up where they left off. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
Postmortem was Patricia Cornwell's first published novel and was also the first in what has become the multi-million copy shifting Kay Scarpetta series. In Richmond, Virginia a serial killer seems to be on the loose three women have died and as we join the story Dr Kay Scarpetta has been woken with the news there is now a fourth. Now it's a race against time and more killings for these crimes to be solved and the killer to be caught. Scarpetta is not the detective in the scenario though she is the Chief Medical Officer and through this we get a lot more of the science of crime scene investigations (which of course with the TV now is an incredibly popular angle though this book came out long before) as well as the detective work to find the killer.

While all this goes on of course we are given an insight into the personal life of Scarpetta which isn't simple either. She cannot stand the detective (Marino) with whom she has to liaise with on these cases. It appears her peers and bosses aren't sure that as a woman she is capable of the job. One of her peers has become a very complicated possible lover. On top of that she has her niece staying with her who thinks of Scarpetta as a surrogate mother. That's a lot of stuff going on. Yet oddly, despite the fact you have all this I didn't feel like I knew who Scarpetta was. I know she liked to garden and she liked to cook, though I wondered how she had time, and that her family history is Italian. That was about it maybe that will come with the books as I go further along the series which is something I definitely intend on doing.
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