Autopsy: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta, 25) - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : William Morrow
  • Published : 30 Nov 2021
  • Pages : 416
  • ISBN-10 : 0063112191
  • ISBN-13 : 9780063112193
  • Language : English

Autopsy: A Scarpetta Novel (Kay Scarpetta, 25)

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 Kay Scarpetta has come almost full circle, returning to Virginia as the chief medical examiner, the state where she launched her storied career. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she's inherited not only an overbearing secretary, but also 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 by civil and political unrest. Just weeks on the job, she's called to a scene by railroad tracks where 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 works the first potential crime scene in space remotely, an apparent serial killer strikes again very close to home. 

Editorial Reviews

"With a sophisticated narrative, an outstanding company of characters, a horrific crime, and a surprising ending [Cornwell] proves you can go home again… Scarpetta is brilliant, compassionate and humble, excelling in her profession and in diplomacy while trying to solve a heinous crime… Longtime fans will cheer Scarpetta's return." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"Thank you, Patricia Cornwell: Dr. Kay Scarpetta is back!... [Cornwell's] stories feature taut, complex, and well-wrought plots full of tension, suspense, unexpected twists, and a mood of danger and foreboding, all centered around an admirable central character… A solid entry in a memorable crime series." -- The American Spectator

"Autopsy revitalizes this venerable series and its beloved cast of characters... As always, forensics is at the forefront-but it is balanced by the themes of family, friendship, and food... Whether you're revisiting the indomitable Scarpetta or meeting her for the very first time, this is an ideal (re)entry point." -- Criminal Element

"The autopsy, remotely controlled by Scarpetta - and physically carried out by two astronauts - is an astonishing, groundbreaking sequence… Patricia Cornwell's terse, evocative style adds to the creeping sense of unease… Thirty years on, there's still no other crime writer like her." -- The Sunday Times (UK)

"Scarpetta is back at her former job as chief medical examiner for the state of Virginia. She has a lot of cleaning up to do… [Cornwell] pulls it off nicely. In fact, she pulls off the whole book nicely. Scarpetta's return to her Virginia roots feels just right." -- Booklist on Autopsy

"Dr. Kay Scarpetta… [is] an awesome force in the field of forensic science." -- New York Times Book Review on Flesh and Blood

"In this tense forensic thriller, an ingenious killer threatens to destroy that which Kay Scarpetta loves most-her family." -- Daily News on Flesh and Blood

"Everyone knows Scarpetta; she has the wit, intelligence, and strength that any forensic sleuth should own. This never-stop action plot is yet another gift to readers from Patricia Cornwell-a literary artist that is never going to stop writing some of the best and most memorable thrillers out there." -- Suspense Magazine on Flesh and Blood

"In Scarpetta, Patricia Cornwell has a character as strong as any in popular fiction." -- Wall Street Journal

"When it comes to the forensic sciences, nobody can touch Cornwell." -- New York Times Book Review

Readers Top Reviews

kevin treble
Book arrived with several dents in the back cover going through the dust cover and hard cover and the hard cover is actually broken showing white card inside. Disappointed as I like to keep my books pristine. Nevertheless will not detract from my enjoyment of reading the new Kay Scarpetta novel.
Matthew Loughmillerk
This book was slow to start with and somewhat boring. She repeats herself quite often and it's irritating. I love her previous books, I have read them all. They were exciting and kept your attention till the end. It seems like this book was not her usual style. I was so looking forward to her next Scarlett a book instead of the other books she has written lately. To say I was really disappointed wouldn't properly say what I want to. I am not sure I will waste goo money on another book says alot.
As with the last few Cornwell’s books, Scarpetta turned in to a cranky woman who thinks she’s smarter than everyone else. I’m halfway through it but I’m not going to finish it now. Everyone gets on her nerves, she’s just not pleasant. I understand when she’s all business but I don’t care for her personality nor do I like politics in my reading material.