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Predator (Dr. Kay Scarpetta Book 14) [Kindle Edition]

Patricia Cornwell
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Florida is full of human predators, and they all give Dr Kay Scarpetta the opportunity and the means to do what she does best - persuading the dead to speak to her. And in Boston, Benton Wesley is working on a secret case involving convicted killers. It is a project which gives Scarpetta deep disquiet, as does the behaviour of her niece, Lucy, who is spending too much time in cheap bars looking for casual pick-ups. The Academy is called when a woman's body is found in Boston. She has been tortured, sexually abused, her body tattooed with handprints. The same sort of handprints Lucy had seen on the flesh of her latest pick-up.

Meanwhile, Scarpetta and Marino are investigating the disappearance of a family in Florida, called in by a concerned neighbour, but as they search and find the tell-tale signs of abduction rather than disappearance, they also discover that someone had assumed the identity of the caller, and she is now dead. They've been set up, and it becomes clear that someone is tracking their every move.

Product Description


Totally compelling with lots of twists and turns. (WOMAN)

As ever the atmosphere is brooding, the tension highly spun and engaging, the psychology subtle and the wealth of anatomical detail enough to make any bloke hide behind the sofa. (THE TIMES)

This book is sensationally plotted, with a twist at the end that will leave you gasping for breath. (DAILY EXPRESS)

Dr Kay Scarpetta returns with another first-class forensic thriller that will definitely keep you guessing. (CRIME CONFIDENTIAL)


'When she is this good, she is hard to beat.' (New Statesman)

'Forget the pretenders. Cornwell reigns.' (The Mirror)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1128 KB
  • Print Length: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (4 Sept. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TZ3D2Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,209 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is the 2008 winner of the Galaxy British Book Awards' Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year - the first American ever to win this prestigious award. Postmortem was the only novel to win five major crime awards in a single year and Cruel and Unusual won the coveted Gold Dagger Award in 1993.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Serves me right! 3 Feb. 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I keep buying these books in the hope that there will be a return to form but I am always disappointed. This one is the worst by far. We are now asked to stretch out imaginations to the point that Lucy is richer than Bill Gates and has a highly sophisticated computer network that the US Government, never mind the myriad super-hackers out there, have no idea exists. She then leaves the whole thing wide open without anyone noticing the breach for months. In reality the Marino phone tapping would have been noticed by any cheap call logging system, let alone Demi-God Lucy. Do some research Patricia!

Secondly, I found the resurrection of Benton Wesley tiresome when it happened, as it was so clearly a case of major backtracking once Cornwell realised that she actually needed him to pad out the stories quite a bit. Now we are supposed to believe that she and the so-called love of her life live mostly apart, communicate by email and nearly seperate when the child-from-hell Lucy comes between them, despite her 'burying' him once.

Thirdly, I just don't buy into the Marino falling-out. They have been close for years, with some unrequited feelings on Marino's side, and yet we are asked to believe that they fall out over a simple mistake on Marino's part. His transformation to pretendy hells angel doesn't work either.

The last few pages are rushed and laughable, and leave the reader feeling cheated out of a fiver. Avoid!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not the best ....but not the worst 4 April 2006
By Hugh Sutherland VINE VOICE
Thankfully better than her last two offerings but still no hint of returning to her former glory. As always the forensic and scientific detail are finely tuned and informative and there is a steady, if not slightly boring at times, pace
My biggest problems with Predator, and indeed Trace and Blowfly, were that i was completely indifferent as to what was happening, I just didn't care. The second is that, it's not the fact that Cornwell has switched from writing in the first to third person, but that we are now forced to spend time with charcters that are truly insufferable and who, as characters, haven't developed in any way, shape or form since the beginning, inparticular Lucy and Marino.
I'm a huge Cornwell fan and can only hope that things will get better.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappionting 29 Nov. 2006
By Nell88
Just like the past few books in the series, this was such alet down. I used to eagerly wait for the next book, but now I don't think I'll bother. Firstly, Patricia go back to the old style of writing, first person, past tense made the stories so much more gripping, the new format just creates a disjointed and confusing read. Secondly, what the hell happened at the end? I was left feeling cheated out of a decent ending, although by that point I didn't really care.

Also, how old is Scarpetta supposed to be? She was 40ish in Postmortem when Lucy was about 10, so now Lucy is 30ish I guess that makes Scarpetta 60 and Marino approaching his seventies. I think its time they retired.

This book is totally fogettable and nothing like the fantastic crime novels Cornwell deservedly earned acclaim for. My advice would be, don't bother reading it, try someone like Kathy Reiches instead.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Going through the motions 27 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
I wish Cornwell had stopped writing Scarpetta back when we would have been left desperate for more. Now she's obviously going through the motions. This one was particularly disappointing - without wanting to give anything away, the 'twist' at the end is laughable, a cliché of the genre that I would have hoped Cornwell was above using. And I can't take Benton and Kay's relationship seriously any more. In this book, she's angry with him for keeping something from her that she considers a huge breach of trust, which had me shouting at the book: 'What about when he pretended to be dead for two years??' It's infuriating, and I only read them now when I'm given them (but I'm always given them). I certainly won't be spending any more money on these books, which is a shame as I used to adore Scarpetta.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire 23 May 2006
By Jaimee
As a long-time Cornwell fan I was totally disappointed with this novel. The last couple have of releases have not been quite up to her earlier standard- but by comparison to this they were


This is lazily written with a limited plot.

The novel is all over the place making it hard to follow at times and seems to be padded out with huge amounts of irrelevant

text, so obviously Patricia was struggling on the word-count front.

Either she has run out of ideas or is taking her readers for granted...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and disappointing 14 Dec. 2005
By A Customer
Having read all the Scarpetta books I am very disappointed with this. I speak in the present tense as I am still struggling my way through it.
It reminds me of the increasing darkness of the series up to and including Black Notice, during which time I know a lot of die hard fans who lost interest.
However, after a break, Cornwell gave us The Last Precinct, Trace and Blow Fly all of which were a lot brighter and captivating. Therefore, I was looking forward to this book.
Unfortunately, I am struggling to get through it as I don't recognise familiar characters, everyone is unhappy, unlikable and depressed and I am finding it difficult to care about them, let alone attempting to make sense of the plot as it flits from character/plotline to character/plotline each chapter. (This works really well in some books, making you race through the books to find out what's happening with each plotline and/or character but here it is simply tedious and tiresome.)

Although I haven't yet dragged myself through to the end, it feels completely predictable and the other reviews don't really give me an incentive to get to the end.
Please, if you are new to Scarpetta, go for the earlier books and if you are a long term fan, don't waste your time and money.
If I do get to the end and have to eat my words I promise I will write another review!
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