Trace: 1

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9780751530773: Trace: 1

Since Postmortem garnered critical acclaim and a record-breaking five awards for a first crime novel, the Scarpetta novels have often been imitated, but never bettered. Against her own judgement and the advice of Benton Wesley and her niece, Lucy, Scarpetta agrees to return to Virginia as a consultant pathologist on a case involving the death of a fourteen-year-old girl. Accompanied by Pete Marino she finds the once familiar territory of her morgue and her department much changed, and the new Chief Medical Examiner treats her with disdain despite the obvious fact that he is in desperate need of her expertise. But professional as ever, she re-examines the evidence and proves the girl was murdered. She also finds trace evidence which matches that found on an accident victim and at the scene where one of Lucy's operatives was attacked. It is not only a forensic puzzle, but opens up the probability that someone is after those closest to Scarpetta.

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Product Description:

Trace

Review:

Break out the champagne: Patricia Cornwell has thankfully moved on from her controversial campaign to lay the Jack the Ripper murders at the door of the painter Walter Sickert, and in Trace is again raising our pulse rate by taking us into the dangerous world of consultant pathologist Dr Kay Scarpetta.

In this latest outing, Kay finds herself back in Virginia examining a curious death, that of the youthful Gilly Paulson. Joel Marcus, her successor as Chief Medical Examiner, has summoned a reluctant Scarpetta to help out, but her professional work is compromised by her unhappiness at the radical changes occurring in her old territory: Scarpetta's old morgue has been bulldozed, and she isn’t happy working with the man who took her job. Other members of the familiar Scarpetta crew make an appearance: her partner Benton Wesley and her niece Lucy Farinelli are tracking down an assailant who has nearly ended the life of one of Lucy’s colleagues. The two cases turn out to be connected (surprise!), and soon several lives are at stake.

After the recent misfires, it’s a relief to note that Patricia Cornwell is back on track, dealing comfortably with her most familiar protagonist and a plot that yokes in bomb-makers and some bizarre sexual practices. A resounding welcome back, to both Ms Cornwell and Ms Scarpetta.--Barry Forshaw

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Patricia Cornwell
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