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Scarpetta - A Scarpetta Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable twenty-fourth thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, twenty-six-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning—except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center’s director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.

Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta’s conclusions, the threatening messages don’t stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly twenty-four hours after Elisa’s death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.

She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta’s surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can’t explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief’s judgment and "a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion."

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 26, 2016 – In bestseller Cornwell's uneven 24th Kay Scarpetta novel (after 2015's Depraved Heart), the forensic pathologist investigates the bizarre death of 23-year-old Brit Elisa Vandersteelis, who was riding her bicycle in a Cambridge, Mass., park when she suffered a fatal electrical burn that looks like a lightning strike but isn't. Meanwhile, Scarpetta's FBI agent husband, Benton Wesley, is called away on matters of national security, which turn out to involve the sudden death of Gen. John Briggs, a long-time friend of Scarpetta's and one of the backers of her Cambridge Forensic Center. Electricity seemed to play a role in his death, too, making Scarpetta believe there's a connection. Of course, whenever there's a series of suspicious deaths, the specter of Carrie Grethen, Scarpetta's nemesis, isn't far from her thoughts. Coupled with threats she's been receiving from the mysterious Tailend Charlie, these new deaths appear to fit Carrie's MO. Lots of cutting-edge forensic detail and some revelatory character moments help compensate for a plot with only occasional flashes of narrative energy.

Customer Reviews

Don't waste your money

I've been a big fan of PC ever since her very first book...but the last 4 or 5 have been mediocre at best. 90% of "Chaos" covers a 24 hour period with 1/3 of the story dedicated to the trouble KS' staff has tenting a crime scene & describing how hot and humid the Boston weather is. The ending is rushed with the most important "scene" described in a scant 3-4 pages. I've never felt compelled to write a book review before but PC's lack of effort with this book is an insult to her fans, and the characters she has spent years developing. If this is what we can expect from her, she should stop writing and stop taking our money. I used to wait months/years waiting for the next KS book to come out as i knew it would provide hours of escape with wonderful writing and storytelling..."Chaos" might only be worth the $1 or $2 it'll be sold for at your library's book sale in a couple of years.


How I used to love these books. How I used to wait for them! No more. They have become terribly boring - so much ado about nothing. I don't care about your ridiculous musings! I don't care! It's always a conspiracy - the people who work for you. Please, please, just give me a character to care about!!!


Impossible to read
Goes nowhere....very slowly
A waste of time
Could not even get halfway
.can I get my money back

View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Nov 15, 2016
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 480 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Scarpetta
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings