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The Bone Bed (Kay Scarpetta #20)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,027 Ratings  ·  1,617 Reviews
A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 16th 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 24, 2012 Deb rated it liked it
Dear Patricia Cornwell,

I swear this is the last book of yours I will read. You had 463 pages of which you filled too much with your petty disagreements with your husband, niece and chief investigator. If these people are making your life as miserable as they are mine, divorce/fire/tell them to go to hell!

I got mad years ago when I felt like you were just "phoning" it in. Now you take a good plot and just clutter it up with too much stuff that isn't germane to the story. If you weren't a best se
What can I say about Scarpetta number twenty? I didn't dislike the book, but in my opinion, Cornwell has yet to produce a follow-up book that is in anyway comparable to the quality of her first six to eight books. This review does contain a few mild spoilers!

Before I air my complaints, I will give credit where credit is due. Bone Bed reintroduces readers to the Kay Scarpetta they met in Virginia. For the first time in I don't know how many books, Scarpetta is back in her diving gear and working
Jan 02, 2013 1mackie rated it did not like it
Cornwell used to write interesting stories; she was one of my favourite authors. But about 10 novels ago, she decided to expand on her character's personalities. This would be fine, except she can’t seem to shut up about it. I get it that Scarpetta's partner (Marino) is a uncontrollable, unreliable slob who's in unrequited love with her. I also understand her husband (Benton) is an uncontrollable, unreliable narcissistic jerk. And I know her niece (Lucy) is unreliable, uncontrollable, gay and ha ...more
Moira Russell
Whyyyy do I keep reading these. It's like a sickness.
Nov 01, 2012 Dawn rated it it was ok
i haven't finished yet but I should really just stop buying these books. I was convinced that (at least 5?) some books ago she changed her writing style and it totally turned me off. Then I felt like a few books ago (2?) she changed back to normal. Yet, I feel her characters have just gone off the deep end. I can't stand any of them anymore. Marino turns worse every book, Lucy becomes almost total background and into such a superwoman that she's just completely unbelievable anymore. Now, in this ...more
Oct 21, 2012 Angie rated it it was ok
I feel obligated to keep reading Scarpetta because I've been with her since the beginning. The first 6-8 books were fabulous and then it was all downhill from there. Scarpetta isn't likable anymore. I get annoyed reading how every man wants her and every woman is jealous of her. We know. We know. Scarpetta is the most beautiful, smartest, best cook, toughest female medical examiner on the planet. It's getting to be a little much. Every book someone is in love with her, in which Benton whines and ...more
Liz Barnsley
Mar 13, 2013 Liz Barnsley rated it did not like it
Very sad to say but I think I will at last have to give up on the hope that Patricia Cornwell is ever going to return to brilliance again with her Scarpetta series. I have made my way through the last few books hoping each time that they will be as enjoyable as her earlier efforts. Its just not happening folks. I read "The Body Farm" way back in my late teens and it was this novel that started me on my love of crime fiction,and indeed a new Patricia Cornwell novel was a treat I looked forward to ...more
Amy Tait
Oct 19, 2012 Amy Tait rated it it was ok

I have been with this series since the beginning. It was exciting and interesting, considering this was well before CSI. I hate to say I have fallen into the habit of reading these novels just because I've read the others.
In the previous two books Dr. scarpetta seemed to be getting back on track, getting back to the case with just the right amount of personal life and also handling those problems was more like earlier novels. I started to like them again, putting her books on the "must get whe
This book was painfully boring. I had no idea who the victims were, who the bad guy was, why the crimes were committed and I didn’t even care in the end. The forensic science in this book was not interesting as in past books. I didn’t care for Kay’s annoying inner dialogue, her food choices, her new cat and her trip to the pet store to buy supplies. Scarpetta is so full of herself. It drives me nuts. Every man wants her. I may be wrong, but it seems the Marino attack on Scarpetta has been discus ...more
Nov 25, 2013 Jeff rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
CONCLUSION: This book should have been subtitled “When Reading A Book Becomes A Chore/Bore”

SUMMARY: The men in Dr. Scarpetta’s life are making it complicated. Benton won’t let go of the incident that night where Marino had too much too much drink and could’ve “had his way” with Kay. Meanwhile, Kay isn’t fond of one of Benton’s colleagues, a female FBI agent named Douglas, who tries to sleep with Benton. One of Kay’s staff is leaking information to the defense attorney in a case Kay is unnecessar
Alex is The Romance Fox
Why do I continue with this series???? Since book #10, it’s been downhill for me!!! Yet I keep hoping that just maybe the next one will be a great return.

The Bone Bed, the 20th novel in Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta Series was one of the most disappointing books in the series. Is it just me that finds the author’s writing style in the latest books different from the first ones? I don’t like the writing in this book at all!!!

I had no idea what was going on from page 1 to the end. What began w
Feb 11, 2013 Kelly rated it liked it
Shelves: series, fiction, medical
I was able to stomach this one better than the previous 6 or 7 in the series. Oh, Patricia Cornwell, what happened? I used to look forward to my yearly visits with Kay Scarpetta, but you have made her so arrogant, Marina so pathetic, Lucy so angry, and Benton so haughty that I find them all insufferable and must force myself to continue to read the books, hoping that you will redeem the characters. I find it tedious that men fawn over Kay, and women become feral in their lust for Benton. All of ...more
Eva Bradshaw-Burnett
Oct 22, 2012 Eva Bradshaw-Burnett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: forensic-mystery
The Bone Bed had me captured for 18 consecutive hours of almost unbroken reading. Still based at the Cambridge Forensic Center, all of the usual characters are present. Her FBI Profiler husband, Benton Wesley, her niece Lucy and the ever present Marino. Lucy is still ensconced in electronic data, but she is keeping secrets from her aunt. Like wear did that heavy gold ring she is wearing come from. Marino seems to be drinking again and collecting miniature Skull Head vodka bottles and making orna ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Andrea rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-requests
On the plus side: at least Kay Scarpetta didn't shower for several chapters this time. Or cook too much.
And there was a bit of actual detecting (which in retrospect was totally irrelevant to the denoument...)

On the minus side: tedious whining yet again re relationships that I have stopped caring about several books ago. Irritating admiration yet again of Lucy's hot body and general perfect awesomeness. Disjointedness of plot. Non-engaging plot. Plot taking half the book to get going.

For the last
Anita Wilkerson
Nov 18, 2012 Anita Wilkerson rated it did not like it
After several bad experiences recently with Cornwell, I read this book mostly for two reasons: 1) It was free, 2) the last reader said it wasn't as awful as the last ones she's read by Cornwell.

Well, if you've got an afternoon with nothing to do, this might be a good idea, especially if you can get it for free. For God's sake, don't pay a lot of money for it!

I originally liked the Scarpetta series because there were great plot lines, good science, and characters I cared about even if some were
Oct 21, 2012 Leslie rated it it was ok
I am coming to the realization that I need to remove Scarpetta books from my must buy list.

How do I loathe these let me count the ways.

1] All these smart people are neurotic morons.

2] Several of them should be in jail or at least a secure psychiatric facility

3] The technophobe Marino is played out and over used.

4] Twitter as an example of 'freaky internet technology'

The book feels like the second half was written as an almost complete book and then it was discovered it was too short so the f
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Oct 01, 2012 Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides marked it as maybe-read-sometime
Shelves: mystery-genre
I should stop trying to read this series but ... I don't know. Somehow I can't resist?
Feb 17, 2013 Sandra rated it liked it
I don't find Marino, Lucy, or Benton at the cause of Kay's problems. I find Kay at the center of Kay's problems. She seems to want to control her personal life like she controls her work life. Down to a microscopic detail.
I have read all of the Kay Scarpetta books and I have to agree with most of the people here. At first I was hooked. Then, the books just turned into a soap opera most of the time. I like Marino, Lucy, and Benton just as they are, but Patricia Cornwell seems to be turning them
Liz Dean
Oct 28, 2012 Liz Dean rated it really liked it
Is it just me, or is Patricia Cornwell getting mentally ill?
I think back to her first Scarpetta novel and I compare it to her recent books and there is a total disconnect. There is so much dysfunction within the personal relationships that never seem to get resolved, even after, like 15 books by now. There is no heroism or triumph- there is hopelessness and darkness. I really feel like I'm reading the transcript of a therapy sesson with every new Scarpetta episode.

I will keep reading her, becaus
Kathy Davie
Dec 18, 2012 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Twentieth in the Kay Scarpetta forensic suspense series. This one is based in Boston.

I really want to give this a "3", but when I try to figure out my reasons for doesn't cut it. Cornwell has made me angry, uncomfortable, and worried. And that's not a good reason to drop it a point. Sure, there are some loose threads and some really lazy issues in this story, but she's mostly kept the pace and the excitement of the forensic sleuthing. And...I guess I should appreciate that Cornwell is
Sahara Kelly
Dec 09, 2012 Sahara Kelly rated it it was ok
I used to love Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Feisty, brilliant, unorthodox - her cases were challenging and her life adventurous. She was, fundamentally, the kind of woman detective we'd all love to have been. Toss in the uber-fascinating landscape of forensics and I was hooked from the first chapter of Post Mortem.

Unfortunately, that was many years, and many Scarpetta books, ago. The latest outing, The Bone Bed, failed to grasp me in any way and I struggled through it, missing the original woman who had s
Oct 16, 2012 Bobbee marked it as to-read
If this Scarpetta book is as great as Cormwell's other 19 books, it will be a hit with me! Not yet read.

UPDATE: I read the book last week, and found it to be up to Cornwell's usual standard. Enjoyed and think others will also.
Jan 04, 2013 Yelena rated it did not like it
Kay tracks serial killer. Kay worries about Lucy. Kate worries about Marino. Kate worries about Benton the morose. Kay cooks something with lots of fresh herbs and garlic.
Luanne Ollivier
When Patricia Cornwell first started writing, I loved her books featuring forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta. But, slowly but surely the love affair ended and I stopped following this series. Well, recently I needed something to listen to, so I decided, what the heck, I'll give her another shot. So I picked up her latest book - The Bone Bed.

Scarpetta is now the medical examiner for the state of Massachusetts. Her niece Lucy, a talented tech wizard and investigator Pete Marino also work with/for
Dec 21, 2012 BooksnWool rated it it was ok
I tried this book because it was on the New Books shelf at the library and the setting sounded intriguing, and I haven't read a Cornwell for a while. Unfortunately the action is NOT actually set at the dinosaur dig in Canada. We only get two secondhand glimpses of it. For the rest of the book we follow Dr Scarpetta around Boston, from home to work to Court, to a couple of domestic locations. There is an interesting scene at the beginning where she goes diving to retrieve evidence at the scene of ...more
Natalie Brown
This is undoubtably the worst book I have ever read. I've never read a Cornwell before but it is clear she is the kind if writer who churns out books year after year with no care or love for her craft.
The writing is utterly appalling. Characters make pretty clear statements and the author then precedes to explain it to the reader thus duplicating what was already a mundane point. And the dialogue was already pretty endless. Pages and pages of mindless chatter. Where is the action? Where is the
Jan 11, 2013 Joanna rated it liked it
It seems all my favorite authors are running dry lately, and this was no exception. I'm normally a huge Scarpetta fan but this one was awful to get in to. The retrieval of the body in the water, along with the turtle event, was dragged out interminably. I almost gave up. It felt like she needed to make the book longer and so she just went on and on.

And ultimately, the plot was tenuous at best. The bone bed had little to no bearing on the rest of the book, and the 'connection' was loose, to say
Oct 29, 2012 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
I'm so disappointed. I was excited for this book because the "bone bed" dinosaur dig is practically in my back yard, but we didn't even get into that part of the story until the last third of the book. Until then, it was wading through pages of pointless, irrelevant dialog with Marino, endless lamenting on the status of Kay's relationship with Benton, and a perp who turned up at the end whom I'd totally forgotten about since he'd only been mentioned briefly many pages back, I actually had to do ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Grace rated it it was ok
Not her best im my opinion... I was hoping for alot more description of the setting in Canada, and even the whole dinosaur "bone bed" premise... I thought after a few chapters, that just didnt seem to even play much into the story line anymore... eh, to me, in a word, disappointing....
Jun 03, 2013 J rated it it was ok

I've stayed away from Cornwell for a while, as I've been known to O.D. on her books about Kay Scarpetta, medical examiner. When I picked this one up, I thought I'd allowed enough time to pass.

Apparently not. Either I'm getting jaded as a reader, or the author is getting a bit jaded.

I saw in "Bone Bed" all the clever plot twists and flourishes of forensic analysis that I associated with Cornwell. I also noticed some tried and true strategies,
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The Women's Myste...: #20 The Bone Bed 1 10 Aug 09, 2013 10:48PM  
Kay 9 91 Aug 07, 2013 07:56PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Not sure what to do with this mess of a book 5 79 Jan 19, 2013 01:53AM  
Kay Scarpetta Boo...: The Bone Bed 1 20 Nov 14, 2012 09:38AM  
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Patricia Cornwell sold her first novel, Postmortem, in 1990 while working as a computer analyst at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia. Postmortem, was the first bona fide forensic thriller. It paved the way for an explosion of entertainment featuring in all things forensic across film, television and literature.

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

Other Books in the Series

Kay Scarpetta (1 - 10 of 24 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)
  • Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta, #10)

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“Don’t announce what you fear could happen or someone evil might make it come true.” 2 likes
“I behave myself, but it doesn’t mean I’m not interested. Being faithful to my commitments doesn’t mean thoughts don’t cross my mind or that I’m foolish enough to believe I’m not capable.” 1 likes
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