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Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta #10)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  23,958 ratings  ·  431 reviews
As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of somberness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tink ...more
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published August 2nd 1999 by Putnam Adult (first published 1998)
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If you ever want a prime example of a book series that has taken a sharp nosedive in quality, this is the one.

Kay Scarpetta is the chief coroner for some place, somewhere in Virginia and consequently sees her share of unusual murders that need to be solved. The early books were clever variations on the procedural genre and are entertaining reading. Then things went south.

Shifts in narrative, from first person to third person, from book to book, didn’t work and were jarring. She stretched plotl
The best thing about Black Notice are the many white pages between the short chapters. My copy doesn't even have any contents or a blurb, just the author's picture covering the back, underlining that she's sold as a must to a certain group of people I guess.

As predicted, now that Cornwell "killed" off Benton, he's suddenly much more beloved and gets more space. Kay is exactly the same, but her frequent crying and "feeling depressed" is now attributed to his loss (I will never ever buy another s
Amy Metz
I'm starting to be disillusioned with the Scarpetta series. The characters are getting harder to like--including Kay Scarpetta herself--and the plots are just so-so. We have a bad guy, he kills a lot of people, Marino and Scarpetta go after him, Kay has a brief fling, the killer tries to kill Kay, the end.

I didn't like the abrupt ending of this book, and I didn't buy Kay's feelings for Tally. Two business meetings, a one-night stand, and a lovers' spat, and suddenly she can't get him off her mi
Overall - 1/5 : Dog catching its tail !

Plot - 1/2/5 : Good start, but disappointing finish. Kay and Marino come together to solve the mystry behind a unidentified body found in a container, which leads them to France to unreveal a horrible serial killer who calls himself Le Loug Garou - The Werewolf. Kay is again put down when she choses to flirt and Lucy irritates me that i feel I have reached my limit. And the way Marino is treated shows clearly that the series has started to sink.

Writting - 4
Kay Scarpetta has not handled Benton Wesley’s death well. She has worked herself into the ground. She has distanced herself from her friends and employees. She has even started smoking again. She is mired in guilt and regret over every unkind word she ever spoke to Benton. No, Kay Scarpetta is not handling her grief well at all.

Now, just before the second Christmas since Benton’s death, Senator Frank Lord, one of Kay’s oldest friends and professional confederates, delivers to her a letter from B
Barbara Mitchell
My friend periodically gives me bags full of books she's read and I found this one in the last batch. It's been ages since I've read a Cornwell/Dr. Scarpetta book, just long enough for me to miss them and really enjoy this one.

The mystery in this case begins with a decomposing body found in a cargo container that docks in Richmond. The murderer's trail will lead Scarpetta and Marino to France and back again and will be very difficult to solve. Meanwhile, it has been one year since her FBI lover
This book was exactly what I needed. Mystery.. excitement..suspense. I was sitting on the edge of my seat speculating most of the time. I didn't want to put it down. It was not boring in the least!

There is an international killer on the loose in Richmond and this killer is leaving behind some strange evidence. There are dirty cops in high places on the force. It's up to thorough Chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her watchdog/best friend tough detective Captain Marino to get to the bot
A great Scarpetta novel with an intriguing twist to leave the reader excited and curious at the same time. When a body turns up in a shipping crate, Scarpetta is called to look into what might have happened. Odd French writing on the side of the crate adds to the mystery, especially once it has been translated. Are authorities looking for a man or beast? Clues left at the scene do not help clarify this conundrum, nor does liaising with officials on either side of the Atlantic. As Scarpetta delve ...more
It never ceases to amaze me how Cornwell can spend four hundred pages setting up complex cases and building suspense and then blow it all in the last three pages like a case of explosive flatulence. It doesn't help that the narrative arcs of her books all follow the identical repetitive sequence of evil, evil criminals and corrupt bureaucrats gunning for the noble, studiously moral Kay Scarpetta, who spends ninety percent of the time being a complete jackass and pettish, needy judgmental harrida ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
Nophoto-f-25x33 Patricia Cornwell's books get more and more painful to read. Kay Scarpetta's friends and family angst intrude too much in this story. Police Captain has got to be the worst of his breed acting in a manner so unprofessional as to be ludicrous. And her neurotic niece acts in a way that belies her profession.

I used to just love Cornwell's books, but I have begun to think that I am watching the worst soap opera in the world. This is a shame, because the early books were so good I cou
This crime mystery is the tenth book in the series featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Virginia. I very much enjoyed reading this book, and will be reading the next book in the series in the fullness of time.

As the book opens in early December, a letter is delivered to Scarpetta from Benton Wesley; he wrote it to have delivered to her if he was ever killed (which happened in the previous book). Kay, still deep in grief, goes to the Richmond docks, as a body has b
Even a fortress can't protect the stupid.
1) Learn how the murderer approaches the victims.
2) Conveniently ignore all common sense.
3) ???
4) Might as well fire half of detective division and simply keep watch on Scarpetta. Every major criminal ends up near her sooner or later.

Not marking this as spoiler because every Scarpetta book ends this way. This one is just more blatant and even more stupid than usual. It never ceases to amaze me how Cornwell spends time and effort on establishing a bizarre,
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Allison Ann
MY LETTER: B - title Black Notice

Book: Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell
Finished: March 16, 2013
Rating & Book Review: 3 stars - I've been reading/re-reading through the Scarpetta series and not particularly enjoying them. The characters are SO unpleasant that I can't get past it, but I've been forcing myself to keep reading. This one was actually less horrid. The characters were still wretched, but this time they were being wretched on purpose so I could a
Hmmm. I hadn't read one of Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novel in a few years, and was looking forward to this one because I had enjoyed the previous entries in the series. But this wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped. One of two things is occurring here: either the stories are getting much more gruesome, or I'm getting much more squeamish about the grue.

Oh it's still a decent story, but there's so much gore and angst and anger. My gosh, the anger! Lucy is a loose cannon and Marino is almost complet
Another book that goes on without explaining a really important point - all the sudden Marino is back and uniform and Lucy is in another agency - wtf?? Then Kay's character goes on a rant about tattoos - Kay is getting more conservative and less likable as each plot goes by - the weird tension between Marino and Kay and the relationship between Kay and Lucy is out of control. The one thing that could be said is at least Kay is going through grief. On to the actual mystery - this is the saving gr ...more
This is the 10th book in the Kay Scarpetta Series written by Patricia Cornwell. This is a really amazing series of books about Kay Scarpetta, the chief medical examiner of Richmond, Virginia. Together with her sidekicks Captain Marino, her niece Lucy, FBI profiler (and lover) Benton and others, she picks apart crime scenes to discover murderers. This book was good, but not nearly as good as some of the earlier books in the series. They seem to be getting less realistic as they go on and get a bi ...more
Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Duncan Mandel

The decomposed remains of a stowaway lead Dr. Kay Scarpetta on an international search to Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon, France—and on a mission that will pull her in two opposite directions: toward protecting her career or toward the truth.

** Review

It's Christmastime in Richmond, Virginia, but no one seems merry--least of all Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, back for her 10th outing as a crime-solving coroner. Actress Kate Reading also returns, reading her third unabridged a

Filled with unnecessary chunks, irrelevant to the actual story!
Slow-paced and tiresome read!
Richard Brand
Well, it was exactly what you expect from Cornwell. I don't know of a single page where anybody was nice to anybody. Anger, fear, resentment, hostility, even the love scene was not a nice pleasant scene. The criminal was a monster with a one in a billion chance to exist. Everybody was out to get Kay. Marino was not cordial to a single person. The people who are supposed to like each other don't do anything to be kind to each other.
 Northern Light
The 10th book in the series starts with the discovery of a decomposing body in a shipping container. While investigating it appears there is a serial killer on the loose whose violence is escalating out of control. Kay is also marking a year since the death of her boyfriend Benton and is not coping at all well. Her niece is working undercover and seems not to care about her own safety and there is someone pretending to be Kay online. As the story develops it becomes clear that everyone she loves ...more
Not as exciting as the last book, so just okay. I get so distracted with the detailed medical terminology - I can feel my brain shutting down. I like to have SOME detail so it feels authentic, but when it goes on and on and on I begin to lose interest. It begins to feel as if the author is just showing off. Don't get me wrong, I love this author but enough is enough. Lucy seems on the verge of going over the edge again and I swear, wasn't the name of her partner Janet in the last book? This time ...more
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Not a fan. The main character in this book is self righteous and her friend the cop is an ass. All of that could have easily been forgiven if the mystery part was very suspenseful but even that was without true merit. http://bibliofilesbookrating.blogspot...
Gregory Harris
I like Patricia Cornwell. I gave it 4 stars for the story. I thought about the book in between readings. That doesn't happen with all books. However, She seems stuck on the GD word. I have worked construction for 25 years. You can imagine the kind of talk that goes on around job sites. I have worked with 100's if not 1000's of different men and women. I have never heard anyone that uses the GD word like the characters in this book. In this 400 page book goddamn must be in print 150 times. Obviou ...more
Cathy (cathepsut)
I liked the first 4 or 5 Scappetta novels a lot, but then it all became so repetitive. This was boring. I felt as if I was reading the same book over and over again. No more Scarpetta for me.
I used to be a really big Patricia Cornwell fan. Everything before this book I thought was really good. And everything after? Practically unreadable.
I've read all of the Kay Scarpetta books. This one was a good read, but the ending wasn't the best.
Pat Buzby
This is my second Patricia Cornwell book. My mother-in-law gave me one a few years ago and it was good, so when a co-worker gave me this one I thought, why not take it to the beach and read it. The book was fair as I was remembering the character and I it was okay. As I got to the last few chapters I started to worry this was going to be a cliff hanger. The ending was so hurried and weak it was like she was running out of paper, or time and just quickly ended it and that was it. I don't write, b ...more
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The Women's Myste...: #10 Black Notice 1 2 Aug 09, 2013 10:38PM  
  • Bones to Ashes (Temperance Brennan, #10)
  • The Clinic (Alex Delaware, #11)
  • The Complete Patricia Cornwell Companion
  • H is for Homicide (Kinsey Millhone, #8)
  • Foreign Body (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #8)
  • Blind Alley (Eve Duncan, #5)
  • Cold Hit (Alexandra Cooper, #3)
  • Serpent's Tooth (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, #10)
Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. At her first signing, held during a lunch break from the morgue, Patricia sold no copies of Postmortem and fielded exactly one question – an elderly woman asked her where she could find the cookbooks.

Postmortem would go on to win the Edgar, Cre
More about Patricia Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Kay Scarpetta (1 - 10 of 23 books)
  • Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1)
  • Body of Evidence (Kay Scarpetta, #2)
  • All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta, #3)
  • Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4)
  • The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta, #5)
  • From Potter's Field (Kay Scarpetta, #6)
  • Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta, #7)
  • Unnatural Exposure (Kay Scarpetta, #8)
  • Point of Origin (Kay Scarpetta, #9)
  • The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)
Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1) Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4) The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta, #5) Body of Evidence (Kay Scarpetta, #2) Point of Origin (Kay Scarpetta, #9)

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“More to the point, odors are important. They have their own story to tell. A sweet smell might point at ethchlorvynol, while chloral hydrate smells like pears. Both might make me wonder about an overdose of hypnotics, while a hint of garlic might point at arsenic. Phenols and nitrobenzene bring to mind ether and shoe polish respectively, and ethylene glycol smells exactly like antifreeze because that’s exactly what it is. Isolating potentially significant smells from the awful stench of dirty bodies and rotting flesh is rather much like archaeology. You focus on what you are there to find and not on the miserable conditions around it.” 0 likes
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