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About the Author

Patricia Cornwell is recognized as one of the world's top bestselling crime authors with novels translated into thirty-six languages in more than 120 countries. Her novels have won numerous prestigious awards including the Edgar, the Creasey, the Anthony, the Macavity, and the Prix du Roman d'Aventure. Beyond the Scarpetta series, Cornwell has written a definitive book about Jack the Ripper, a biography, and two more fiction series among others. Cornwell, a licensed helicopter pilot and scuba diver, actively researches the cutting-edge forensic technologies that inform her work. She was born in Miami, grew up in Montreat, NC, and now lives and works in Boston. Find out more at, at, on Twitter: @1pcornwell, and on Instagram: @1pcornwell.


Another victim of a serial killer has been tortured and strangled, and chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta is called on the case. Using her painstakingly thorough medical skill, and the help of a police detective, Scarpetta digs deep into the investigation to find the killer's most private secrets. What is the strange, sparkling substance that shows up on the victims' bodies? What is the nature of the maple syrup-like smell lingering over the scene of the crime? As the murderer circles ever closer, Scarpetta must also ponder why someone is trying to sabotage her investigation. A wealth of forensic detail and fine characters make this one of the best mysteries around. Narrator C.J. Critt's reading is truly superb, as she intensifies the intrigue, terror, and suspense. This tale is definitely not for the squeamish. Strongly recommended for public libraries.-- Susan B. Lamphier, Somerville P.L., Mass.

Cornwell, a former reporter who has worked in a medical examiner's office, sets her first mystery in Richmond, Va. Chief medical officer for the commonwealth of Virginia, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the narrator, dwells on her efforts to identify ``Mr. Nobody,'' the strangler of young women. The doctor devotes days and nights to gathering computer data and forensic clues to the killer, although she's hampered by male officials anxious to prove themselves superior to a woman. Predictably, Scarpetta's toil pays off, but not before the strangler attacks her; a reformed male chauvinist, conveniently nearby, saves her. Although readers may be naturally disposed to admire Scarpetta and find the novel's scientific aspect interesting, they are likely to be put off by her self-aggrandizement and interminable complaints, annoying flaws in an otherwise promising debut. (Jan.)

"The New York Times Book Review" Reads like gangbusters! "Los Angeles Times" Dazzling...fascinating...a first-rate thriller. "San Diego Union-Tribune" Terrifying...clean, crisp and compelling...highly satisfying. "Newsday" Excellent...well-paced, well-written...beautifully done.

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