4 star

Total 1,112 Ratings

Autopsy by Patricia Cornwell Book Summary

New York Times Bestseller

In this relaunch of the electrifying, landmark #1 bestselling thriller series, chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta hunts those responsible for two wildly divergent and chilling murders. 

Forensic pathologist Dr. Kay Scarpetta has come almost full circle, returning to Virginia, the state where she launched her storied career, as the chief medical examiner. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited both an overbearing secretary and a legacy of neglect and potential corruption.

She and her husband, Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria, where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn apart by civil and political unrest. After just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks—a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine—and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood.

 At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret labo­ratory in outer space, endangering at least two scientists aboard. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House and tasked with finding out exactly what happened. But even as she remotely works the first potential crime scene in space, an apparent serial killer strikes again very close to home.

This latest novel in the groundbreaking Kay Scarpetta series captivates readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and forensic detail that Patricia Cornwell is famous for, proving once again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer.

Autopsy (Patricia Cornwell) Book Reviews

Ran out of time?I have been reading Ms. Cornwell’s books from the beginning and this one is the worst one that she has written. The ending comes out of nowhere and ties up everything in the last 5 pages. It feels like she had a deadline and so summed it up at the end. I am also tired of Kay being such a victim. Everyone is mean to her and people who report to her walk all over her. At her age, with her experience, she should grow a backbone and stand up for herself. Very disappointing book..Score: 2/5

My FAVORITEPlease tell this is not the last I’ll hear of Kay Scarpetta! I’ve them all and Autopsy was my favorite! Thank you, Ms Cornwell!.Score: 2/5

Is this really Patricia Cornwell?I love Patricia Cornwell’s previous books. This one was disappointing. It seemed as if there were three storylines that would tie together at the end but they didn’t. The ending was abrupt and implausible. Characters were shallow and undeveloped as well..Score: 3/5

Not Her Usual Crisp Careful WritingThe plot was interesting as usual. However, the dialogue was jumbled, often confusing as to what was spoken vs. thought by the characters. Made for some muddy conversations. It felt like this book was hurried to press without careful editing..Score: 3/5

SloppyYou can tell this was written in a rush. So sloppy. Pandemic affected lots of things including Cornell’s writing. I would like my $14.99 back..Score: 1/5

AutopsyLoved it!!! Have read them all and can’t get enough!.Score: 5/5

AwfulI loved the early Scarpetta books and have long felt that they have declined over time. Nonetheless, I continue to read them and it’s fortunate that I read fast. This book was awful. The last chapter ties everything up neatly but has almost nothing to do with the first 400 or so pages. There is little character development despite many changes in the main characters’ lives between the prior book and this one. On the bright side, the constant product name dropping (Mercedes, Apple, Breitling) is gone as are the repeated mentions of Lucy’s rose-gold hair and immense wealth (and the asides that she and Scarpetta care nothing about money despite having piles of it and spending it pretty ostentatiously). The major storyline is, honestly, ridiculous, and the city of Richmond takes a bit of a beating from our heroine, who previously loved it. It’s just bad. Not worth the time..Score: 1/5

AutopsyDr. Scarpetta guides an astronaut through an autopsy while he is in a space capsule without gravity. Seriously?.Score: 2/5

Do Better Ms. CornwellI grew up on the Scarpetta series, and this book was an absolute waste of time. We get it, all the characters are rich and famous and have fancy titles... This book was so busy talking about how important everyone is that they forgot about the plot. Absolutely terrible. And she wrapped the entire book up in the last 5 terrible pages where she just pulled random people out of a hat and made them guilty. Seriously disappointed. Don’t read..Score: 1/5

The Fabulous Dr. ScarpettaI have read all the Scarpetta books. The first half of the series was SO good. Then the narrative changed. Everyone is out to get Kay no matter where she lives and works. Same for Lucy and the FBI husband. Maybe you folks are the problem. I don’t care about your fancy watches, antique furniture or the vintage car, coffee makers, wine or clothing. It is less Scarpetta with mystery and intrigue than a pompous display of wealth. This was the last one I will read..Score: 2/5

AutopsyI really love this book by one of my favourite authors I will always be buying all her new books.I finish then so quickly and I alway want more Bell 32905.Score: 5/5

AutopsyAgree with others. Used to really enjoy the reading her books. Got 300 pages into it and lost interest. Wonder if it was written by the same author. Autopsy seems to wander in and out and hard to follow. Random character development and background details. Disappointed that in this book Dr. Scarpetta comes off as insecure, petty and materialistic..Score: 1/5

AutopsyI have read the entire series from Patricia Cornwell, and I look forward when she has a new book coming out. Her book Chaos, was a disappointment but w/Autopsy, she’s back to her outstanding work. I throughly enjoy reading these books, and hope she continues the series. My favorite author!.Score: 5/5

Sara F.I have read all of her books and this one was extremely disappointing. Boring story line and the conclusion was weak. Hopefully Patrica Cornwell will do better next time..Score: 2/5

AutopsyGreat book until the rather abrupt and disjointed ending..Score: 3/5

How?The reader spends 400 pages building up to two major plot lines, only to have them both wrapped up in the last 5 pages. I’ve never experienced a worse ending..Score: 1/5

AngrySusan Erickson narrated this book and sounded so angry all the time. It spoils the experience..Score: 1/5

Avoidance of Ms Cornwell’s Writing has EndedShe’s back in form and I loved reading this book. I have a comment to make about the reviews I have read that readers have not liked the “political” comments. These are not political comments but observations of the state of our society. There is a difference. Looking forward to her next book and hope she continues her journey now that she has found her path..Score: 5/5

AutopsyNot one of her better reads. The ending was rushed and lots of details and story lines left unanswered..Score: 2/5

AutopsyLike always one more engaging book,once you start reading you can’t stop.Score: 5/5

Is this it?Love the Scarpetta books have been waiting for a new release but somewhat disappointed! Started out well but at the last minute some unknown character comes in as the bad guy and boom it’s over, lots of unanswered questions! Not worth the $12.99 I paid!.Score: 2/5

ExcellentAs usual, great story. Wish it were twice as long!.Score: 5/5

She’s back!Classic Patricia Cornwell! If felt like reading a Kay Scarlett’s book for the first time..Score: 5/5

AutopsyGood read. Moved quickly. I felt the ending was too quick, and the killer not developed at all in the story. Kay’s reinstatement not credible.Score: 3/5

AutopsyI enjoyed this book and it’s story. I found that some of the characters Were similar to the characters of the in-depth series books by Nora Roberts. Susan Erickson is an excellent narrator. Susan manages to create a different voice for the characters. eventually as you listen to the story that goes away and you see the difference in the characters. i’m looking forward to the next book that I choose. HBC.Score: 4/5

The Scarpetta series should have ended with Scarpetta.I have been a fan of the series since the beginning, but since Scarpetta I found the subsequent books not as engaging. I figured that I had read so much of the series that I was so familiar with the style of writing, plot line, character lines that I felt it was the same stories with different scenery. I had stopped reading a few books ago. I decided to give the series another try hoping for the best, but getting the worst I have read of the series. The majority of the book is stuck in Kay’s rambling thoughts and insecurities and food that I found myself speed reading thru to some actual interactions with the other characters. New characters are introduced but never truly brought to light. Then out of the blue it ends. The whole book felt fractured and meandering. The last good book in the series was Scarpetta, everything afterwards is predictable and redundant. The characters were stuck and never let to grow..Score: 1/5

So disappointedI was so excited when I saw this book. I have read every Scarpetta novel and bought this right away. Honestly, it terrible, rushed and not anything like the previous novels..Score: 1/5

AutopsyGreat read, finished in two days. I enjoy the major players in her Scarpeta universe. I’d recommend this book to anybody who enjoys murder mysteries and crime thrillers..Score: 5/5

Never DisappointsI loved Autopsy, Patricia Cornwell always keeps me intrigued cannot wait to read more..Score: 5/5

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