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Blow Fly (Kay Scarpetta #12)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  29,405 Ratings  ·  674 Reviews
America's number-one bestselling crime writer is back with another scorching thriller featuring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.

Abridged * Five CDs * 6 hours
Audio CD, 1 page
Published October 13th 2003 by Penguin Audio (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 26, 2007 Jen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the few Scarpetta books that I hadn't read yet, and I must say that it doesn't live up to the expectations that Cornwell set with the earlier Scarpetta books. Not much mention through the entire book of the actual forensic work or investigation. I am a huge Cornwell fan and this one left me quite disappointed!
J.C. Wing
Jul 16, 2013 J.C. Wing rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading through many of the reviews of this book on goodreads it's impossible to ignore the negative feedback Cornwell received after publishing this 12th installment of her Kay Scarpetta series. I will be honest...this review comes after having read this book a second time. I was a devoted Scarpetta reader and many years ago I quit following this series after reading Blow Fly. It wasn't because I thought the book was badly written. It isn't. I have always enjoyed Patricia Cornwell's prose. My p ...more
I really used to like Corwell's books but the Scarpetta series seems to have become more and more ludicrous as time has passed. Perhaps that is what other readers want but the whole thing has become rather silly.

Everyone is the best at what they do, everyone has technology from NASA, fast cars and political contacts.The plot wanders far and wide with links to the past and the oddest meaderings of a murderous mind. All fair enough I suppose but to lead the reader through these corridors of fanta
Jun 13, 2011 Margaret rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't recognise that I'd already read this when I found it in a charity shop. This is one of the ones where Cornwell's lost the plot completely as far as I am concerned. At the start of the series I liked the books, despite Super Scarpetta's habit of coming home from an exhausting 27-hour day as the world's best forensic pathologist and pulling together a gourmet multi-course meal beginning with making the pasta from scratch. (Who did the shopping / cleaning in the mega mansion?) But at the e ...more
Jan 19, 2011 Lize rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2004
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2008 lionlady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to lionlady by: Gabi
Shelves: shoot-em-ups
The Dr. Kay Scarpetta series is one of my very favorite mystery series. The character development from book to book is quite good, you really get to know them. The bad guys are really bad and, of course, there is one that keeps returning. There's some real good twists. Also, I loved the forensics.
Jan 14, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

Cornwell makes many changes to the twelfth novel in the Scarpetta series, easily identifiable to series regulars. Scarpetta, now a Florida-based forensic pathology consultant, returns to deal with the endgame presented in the final chapters of The Last Precinct while trying to acclimate to her new life. She investigates a crime down in Louisiana after receiving a call from the local medical examiner, full of questions and no easy answers. Meanwhile, Lucy is forging her own adventure hunting down
Jul 20, 2010 Jerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Poor contination of the Scarpetta/Chardonne ugly soap opera...

That we've had to wait a few years since the "Last Precinct" [skipping the wretched non-Scarpetta "Isle of Dogs" and Cornwell's non-fiction book about Jack the Ripper:] made us anxious to devour Kay Scarpetta's return. Alas, Kay is little more than a bit player as first niece Lucy, as head of her own investigative firm, then a resuscitated Benton Wesley (what a rip-off!!) steal most of the scenes. Pete Marino is around for little mor
Jun 24, 2010 Stina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what the fuss was about this book, as I had received quite a few negative comments in regards to saying it was the worst book etc, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I liked the change in perspective because I felt as though Scarpetta was getting a little stale and needed a change. "The Last Precinct" (the novel prior to this one) was the worst one I had read and had I not known it was paramount to the following books I would have thrown it away.

However "Blow Fly" was
Jul 04, 2010 Bex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Well, what to say. I guess there's hope for the Scarpetta series, but I've forgotten why I ever liked her. She'd be a major downer to know. And Benton, there's a bore. At first, I was sorry Ms. Cornwell killed him off, but now I'd rather see a more appealing character than him written in, one who doesn't need a fire built under him, than have Benton back to do little more than contribute to Scarpetta's already gloom-ridden persona. I'm sick to death of Wolfman Chandonne too. There could be some ...more

Why do I keep reading books that are part of a series that I've never read? Because people give them to me and say "this is a really good book!" And maybe it was to people who have read the Kay Scarpetta series from book one, and are really into the personal relationships of the characters, but I have not, and I was not.

There were hints along the way of an actual murder mystery going on, you know ... somewhere in between all the blah, blah, blah, and I kept hoping it would come to the fro
Stuart Malcolm
Oct 06, 2015 Stuart Malcolm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The worst ending to a book ever. I mean it wasn't great up until then, but it was really like she couldn't be arsed anymore and thought "Screw it, five more pages is all I can be bothered with."
May 14, 2009 Ben rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009, audio
Pants crapping awful.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2014 Leslie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2014 Bart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the best of the later Scarpetta novels.

That annoying grown up Lucy/Kay dynamic is not as central and mind-numbingly repetitive and boring as it is in several other of the later books. (I mean, could that Lucy character be ANY more blandly self-obsessed?)

Despite being built around the ridiculous antagonist from the silly wolfman book set in Paris, this time around he's used to much better and more persuasive effect--for the first 3/4 or 4/5 of the book. Then, as so often happens i
Hali Sowle
It is hard getting used to the third person recitations of these later Kay Scarpetta novels, but they do have one positive aspect, you really are getting to know the mindsets of Lucy, Marino and Benton. Yes, Benton, and I don't think I'm revealing anything by saying his name. The book also introduces at least one new character who will play a part in future novels, and his backstory explains why Lucy really left the FBI. It also brings to a closure many of the previous novels threads, but not ev ...more
Mar 28, 2015 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series in order. My appreciation and enjoyment of the series went from a high level to a very high level, back to a high level … and then plummeted. Finally, with “The Last Precinct”, I thought that Cornwell's rut might be over and the series was about to climb back into my favorites. That book felt like a literary “catch-up, catch breath, and prepare to move forward” effort.

I was wrong. “Blow Fly”, the 12th in the series (13 if you count “Winter Tab
Dec 29, 2008 Sandy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who follow P Cornwell or the Scarpetta series
Recommended to Sandy by: Christy
Shelves: 2008
I used to really like Patricia Cornwell, especially the Scarpetta series. However, this being the 12th in the series, she's getting a little wild. Cornwell has gotten much gorier and more gruesome in her writing. I think she's reaching rather than telling another story in Scarpetta's life.
Judith Shadford
Dec 24, 2009 Judith Shadford rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sigh. Well, it was airplane reading that lasted a little longer than the flights. Frustrating, because I think Cornwell is capable of slightly better writing. The book is a walking definition of MELODRAMA!
John Devlin
Apr 11, 2016 John Devlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There's a boring backstory why I continue to read these(I have 3 left).

More writerly than her previous Scarpetta's: shifting POV's and a more distant narration make the book more interesting than the rest.

However, the plot, as it is, borders on the lands between absurd and batshit crazy. I won't mention the 2 giant insanities so as to avoid a spoiler alert but they're gargantuan.

From all reports Cornwell has had a troubled life and reading this book I have to wonder what she was going through b
Peggy Barker
Nov 27, 2011 Peggy Barker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Cornwell holds my undivided attention in 'Blow Fly', as usual, with another page-turning saga. I welcomed the diversion of the typical 'Kay Scarpetta' story plot to the point of her losing her position as Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond,VA and relocating to Florida where she becomes a consultant.

However, had it not been for the strong roles of Lucy, Rudy, Pete Marino and the reappearance of FBI agent Benton Wesley, I don't think I would have rated this novel so highly. I honestly fel
Jul 29, 2011 Tammy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, murder, thriller
Meh! I didn't really like this book. I certainly didn't read it eagerly like I did with her previous books. This one was definitely worse than Black Notice. First of all, after writing the entire Kay Scarpetta series in first person through the eyes of Kay, she suddenly skipped to third person. Not only that but she started telling the story through the eyes of everyone involved. It would change from chapter to chapter and made the story feel very... broken. Also there were too many characters i ...more
Alice Rachel
May 25, 2016 Alice Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know that I can ever forgive *** for breaking my heart like that! I don't care about the reason! : ... (
#12 in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Kay Scarpetta series - Kay Scarpetta stands at the threshold of a new life after her work as Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner has come to a jarring end. At the close of The Last Precinct (2000), she knew she would have to leave Richmond if she were to find any peace. She feared that she was about to be fired by the governor. More alarming, she was hounded in the media and in the courtroom, for what some claimed was her involvement in the murder of a deputy police
May 25, 2015 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
This one had more to do in some ways with Scarpetta's niece Lucy than with Scarpetta herself. Of course, the monster Jean-Batiste Chandonne figured prominently as did his handsome twin brother Jean-Paul - aka Jay Talley. Much of the action takes place around the Mississippi delta region of Louisiana. The change of setting away from either Richmond or New York was a good one and also gave the novel a Southern gothic feel. I do like mysteries and like all of the medical details contained within th ...more
Dec 22, 2014 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It has been a long while since I visited the world of Kay Scarpetta. In this installment of the series, Kay Scarpetta is a forensic pathologist, former Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia. She is called in to consult on the death of a wealthy woman who died of a drug overdose. Kay soon discovers that her death is tied into the organized crime family, the Chandonnes, with whom Kay has had intimate dealings with before. Jean-Baptiste Chandonne, the Wolf Man, sits on death row and is demanding an au ...more
May 02, 2014 Nicola rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read 'Point of Origin', 'Black Notice', and 'The Last Precinct' in quick succession as they are very much interlinked and there is a definite sense of continuity between them. I then picked up 'Blow Fly' a short time later...

In all honesty, I haven't finished the book yet. It's possible that I'll begrudgingly finish it and then amend my review; it's unusual for a book to irritate me so quickly that I wanted to post so quickly.

When the last book finished, I expected it to go one of three ways:
Jason Nomura
Jun 29, 2009 Jason Nomura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I was disappointed in the plot and the turn the characters have taken in this book. They changing from the ordinary people who were intelligent and resourceful into hard to believe super-hero types Those were not the characters that I began to follow from book 1. This book has cooled my interest and passion for the Scarpetta series somewhat. I have book 13 sitting on my shelf unread, just can't bring myself to read it just yet (years after it has been published).
Jul 17, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never read reviews until after I have read the book. To be honest I don't agree with some of the reviews. But everyone has their own opinion. Blow Fly was about a main character coming back. Scarpetta finding out. She quits her job in Virginia moves to Florida. Marino of course is just Marino that cocky ass character which everyone loves. Lucy and Rudy go over seas and makes it look like Marinos son committed suicide, which Rudy helps him. No they don't get caught. Jay Talley and his girlfrien ...more
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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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