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Black Notice Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

3.8 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Abridged edition edition (20 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000105595X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0001055957
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 10.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,058,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The postmortem is in--Black Notice, the 10th in Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series--is a gore- splattered, intensely exciting read.

As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of sombreness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tinkered with the e-mail system, stealing Kay's identity and sending off slanderous and hurtful messages. Emotionally battered, Scarpetta fears she is going insane. Or, could it be that someone is deliberately sowing this harvest of sorrow?

Despite her personal problems, Scarpetta is still the reigning diva at the department of death. She is sent to investigate the purified remains of a man found inside a container ship, "eyes bulged froglike, and the scalp and beard were sloughing off with the outer layer of darkening skin." Kay finds strange, animal-like hairs on the man's clothing--the same hairs that she discovers on a murdered store clerk a few days later. In actuality, the bizarre killings extend well beyond Virginia; whoever killed the Richmond victims also butchered people in France. Kay and police captain Pete Marino are whisked off to Paris where they must collect top-secret information from a Paris morgue, and avoid becoming victims themselves.

This macabre tome is the stuff that classic Scarpetta tales are made of: creepy but compulsive autopsy scenes, plentiful plot twists and the compelling, if slightly more vulnerable, chief medical examiner herself. --Naomi Gesinger --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Cornwell's books run on high octane fuel, a cocktail of adrenalin and fear. BLACK NOTICE is no exception (THE TIMES)

BLACK NOTICE is undoubtedly her best book for some time: not only because of some excellent scalpel work, but mainly because it is not so much about crime as about Scarpetta. (EVENING STANDARD)

She's a wonderful writer. (DAILY MAIL)

Imitators now abound, but - pathologically speaking - nobody does it like Cornwell (LITERARY REVIEW) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I used to love the Scarpetta novels, especially the first few. Then Kay Scarpetta seemed to disappear up her own arse. Does this woman possess a sense of humour? My friends and family became used to hearing my screeches of anguish as I read yet another passage in which Kay makes fresh pasta or cooks some amazing stew from scratch. I thought she was supposed to be a busy woman! Now I find Cornwell's written a book called "Scarpetta's Winter Table", which appears to include a collection of recipes. Either Cornwell's got a better sense of humour than her protagonist, or she's totally gone insane. Anyway, as for Black Notice - I was relieved to find myself enjoying it, after the astonishingly anti-climatic ending of "Point of Origin", but once again, the ending left a lot to be desired. There's no interplay between heroine and villain like we used to get, just the obligatory break-in and the chase through the various rooms of the house. Ho-hum, seen it all before. Hey Patricia, how about a nice prolonged confrontation scene? Pretty please?
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Format: Paperback
Could it be with this, the tenth, book in the Dr Scarpetta series that Patricia Cornwell has just begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel with both plot ideas and character progression?
I'd given the previous offering, Point of Origin, a lukewarm reception and accused Cornwell of not being able to offer Scarpetta fans anything new. For the first half of this book I was pleasantly surprised as there seemed to be a lot more pace and punch to the opening chapters. There was some great Lucy and Marino interplay and some great dialog between all the main characters. There was also an insight into how the ultra-professional and seemingly mechanical Scarpetta was hurting from the death of Bentley in the previous book. What was also great was to see another appearance of Scarpetta's nasty sister Dorothy who at the very least is great entertainment value.
Alas it then went rapidly downhill extremely quickly. The main storyline of the book is a real half baked and half produced idea of yet another motiveless serial killer. He's just thrown into the plot with no reason other than to produce another book. There's no significance and no consequence. What is even worse though is the absolutely absurd affair that Scarpetta carries out whilst in Paris. Apart from the fact it is extremely unbelievable, it is so poorly presented I would expect this style of writing and dialog more of a soap opera or Mills and Boon romance.
Finally just went I thought with the amount of pages left in my right hand there was no way this book could be brought to conclusion but would be strung over to the next one, the whole story is wrapped up in one final crazy chapter.
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Format: Paperback
I am an avid fan of Cornwells novels and have read them all...over and over ! I have introduced many friends and family to the intricate world of Kay Scarpetta and like most i rushed out to buy Black Notice. Oh dear..... i got the impression that Cornwell was in one big rush to finish this. There were several plot elements that could have been expanded in more detail, which would have improved the overall read. In my opinion, there is too much in too little detail.Which is a shame as the rest of the series are EXCELLENT ! But maybe this almost lack of enthusiasm from Cornwell reflects Scarpetta's lack of enthusiasm at everything that is so familiar but no longer holds the same intrigue or purpose (since Benton's death). But i live in hope that the next one will be better and that Scarpetta will cheer up ! I much prefer it when the atmosphere is a little more upbeat and not so dark and depressing ! Come Scarpetta...look on the bright side ! you still have Lucy and Marino ! (although i fear that Marino may not last much longer, especially as we are constantly reminded of all his bad habits ! ) So fingers crossed for the next installment and i promise you it'll all work out ok in the end !
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Format: Paperback
This gets three stars mainly because it was a better book than the previous one 'Point Of Origin'
This sees Scarpetta and the gang mainly dealing with the emotional fallout from that book.
as the book goes on the characters seem to lose all sense of themselves and do things which make no sense. e.g. Scarpetta's 'relationship' with the Interpol agent. This passage required utter suspension of disbelief
A big problem with this book and with the series as a whole is the character of Lucy.
The more angst and hangups the author saddles her with, the harder it becomes to like, or identify with her. She beats up her girlfriend, ignores Scarpetta for months at a time if she even looks at her wrong and treats everyone around her with nothing less than contempt, yet everyone throughout the book consistently make excuses for her and treat her as if she were a Goddess. This is one character who desperately needs a reality check. There is one passage where Scarpetta does finally let rip at her, yet this is undermined a couple of pages later by Scarpetta apologising as if 'poor' Lucy had done nothing wrong!
The story is not bad, however regular readers of Cornwell's novels won't find a lot that's new here -
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