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The Body Farm (Kay Scarpetta #5)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  45,819 ratings  ·  764 reviews
This classic forensics thriller by New York Times bestselling author Patricia Cornwell, featuring Virginia State Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, is now repackaged in this specially priced edition. Reissue.
Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Berkley (first published 1994)
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Arrgh! From the misnomered title (A 'body farm' is only in a small portion of the book) to the implausible plot--how did this get past editors??? SPOILER!!! For starters...Only 3 people work at this TOP SECRET section of the FBI and 2 are dismissed because of malfeasance??? One has a dubious past and 'lied' on her application??? Come on!!! Our protagonist easily found that out, but NOBODY from the bureau vetted this crooked employee? Geez! Give me a break! I'm willing to suspend a bit of logic b ...more
Do I like PC or do I not like PC? I'm tending toward the latter with this book. It's the 2nd PC book I've read. Kay is unappealing as a main character, and grows even moreso the more I read her. Is it believable that she has all of these incredible insights into fingerprints, car wrecks, etc. that ever other law enforcement agency & specialty misses? Please! Are we to be ambivilent and accepting of the fact that she is an active accomplice in marriage-wrecking? Above and beyond this, there's ...more
I am still not sure if I dislike the author's writing, or if the books are just so old that I dislike the books because they are just that dated.

The stupid Lucy storyline:
1)There has never been any indication prior to this book that there was any reason to even hint that Lucy had an addictive personality, and or had a problem with drinking. So, it's amazing how in only the course of one book, Lucy became this supposed alcoholic.
2)The lesbian storyline. I think Patricia was starting to question h
Chinablue_25 West Bostedor
This book was fast paced and complicated with a twist. I really liked it! Scarpetta's relationship with Wesley changes from professional/friendship to an affair. This upsets me because he is married and Scarpetta has met his wife on a few occasions and likes her very much. What bothers me most is Scarpetta feels no remorse whatsoever. Nor does Wesley. Because of the change that goes on with Wesley and Scarpetta's relationship it makes Morino very upset and you start to realize that he has feelin ...more
In the fifth mystery/thriller, Cornwell has introduced so much about which praise is deserved. Picking up the threads left in the previous novel, Scarpetta has agreed to advise the FBI on some of its cases, to create a better mechanism by which to catch the seediest. Scarpetta's niece joins her at Quantico, on an internship and seeks to forge her own paths. With the murder of a young girl, all fingers point at the elusive serial killer who got away in 'Cruel and Unusual', leaving Scarpetta to de ...more
Ten pages to go but I gotta expurge some of the annoyed boredom now. The only reason I read two Cornwells in two days was that I was waiting for mail, but it enhances the flaws of her writing (or logic? I can't even say). Where no. 4 had been just boring and unpleasant and boringly unpleasant, in no. 5 now all the same people involved have completely forgotten that in the case they are actually following up here, fingerprints had already been unreliable. Yet now nobody even seems to doubt them. ...more
Danielle Beaulieu
I am new to reading Patricia Cornwell and I have so far read two of her books, which unfortunately I did out of order. Despite my little snafu though, I have found that I really enjoy her books and her writing style. This (like probably most of her books) was a thriller/suspense and it definitely kept my attention throughout the whole book, as I constantly read quickly to see what was going to happen next. Cornwell is really good about developing characters that you care about and despite their ...more
Lisa H.
This book was my introduction to Patricia Cornwell and her character, Kay Scarpetta; also my introduction to the concept of a "body farm", a forensic testing facility that puts cadavers in various environments over long periods to determine their effects on the corpse (the point being to be able to determine cause and time of death despite extensive decomposition.)

Let's just say I was sufficiently compelled by the writing and interested enough in the characters to go back and read the previous
Nov 09, 2008 rivka rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scarpetta fans
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Don Kaiser
I must be missing something. I see an awful lot of positive reviews for this terrible book. I've seen episodes of "Murder She Wrote," or even "Scooby Doo" with a more plausible story line. Don't waste your time on this crap.
Laura Nagle
Like the previous books in the series, I read it fast because I couldn't put the dang thing down. I've never read mystery or dead-people-everywhere kinds of books, but I am sucked into these.
Finished reading: November 29th 2014
Rating 3

“Sometimes I saw his eyes in my sleep, saw them bright like blue glass staring through a barely opened door leading into a strange, dark room filled with a putrid smell.”

(view spoiler)
Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia and FBI consultant, investigates the murder of an 11-year-old girl, whose mutilation brings to mind an escaped killer met in a previous book. Evidence prompts Scarpetta to request that certain experiments be made at the University of Tennessee's Body Farm. Meanwhile, she investigates the probably related apparent suicide of a local FBI agent. Scarpetta's computer-whiz niece Lucy, who works at FBI headquarters at Quantico, is ...more
Thom Swennes
Aug 20, 2012 Thom Swennes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of suspense, mystery and murder
First published in 1994, The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell features Dr. Kate Scarpetta, a forensic pathologist working for the FBI along the eastern seaboard of the United States. Kate has the further distinction of being also a lawyer which puts her above many of her colleagues. At first glance the stories and characters seem closely paralleled with the Rizzoli and Isles characters introduced by Tess Gerritsen. On closer examination the differences become more and more apparent. Kate Scarpetta ...more
When a young girl is murdered in a similar way to Eddie Heath from the last book, Kay is worried that her failure to catch Temple Gault has cost another life. However, the investigation becomes more and more bizarre, leading detectives to believe this might be the work of a copy-cat, a local weirdo or someone else entirely. Complicating matters, Kay's niece, Lucy, is now working for the bureau in the computer department and it looks like she's been caught stealing classified information. Kay has ...more
Familiar with what a body farm is due to reading Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan novels, I expected the title location to play a larger role in Cornwell's book. For example, perhaps the killer was using a body farm to murder and then hide his or her victims' remains. Instead, though, the farm was used to merely simulate the days following eleven year old Emily Steiner's death, a young girl who was shot in the head, sexually molested, and had pieces of her skin excised to remove bite marks, reca ...more
I picked this trade paperback up from a friend who was moving and cleaning out her bookshelves. The 2 star rating is purely for personal reasons; I should stick to cloak and dagger British countryside mysteries instead of thrillers. As thrillers go, I think this one is decent, fast-paced and easy to read. However, I did have the killer identified early in the book (#5 in the Kay Scarpetta series), and it was hard to understand the somewhat convoluted personal relationships of the characters with ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think I've watched too much CSI because I had the culprit pegged very early in the book. I still enjoyed it, but it would have been better I'm sure if I'd read the previous books in the series. A problem with this story is the stereotypical way the locals are portrayed. Being a local living in western North Carolina, I feel slightly offended by the insinuations about clueless local cops, mentally challenged mountain dwellers, and other stock character elements. Thank heaven this gal from the b ...more
Stacey Barber
Waaay to descriptive, annoyingly boring! By the time you finish a rambling of the back story on one of the main character's co-workers who isn't even really pertinent to the story itself, you've almost forgotten what you've previously read and are utterly confused as to where the story is even going...about a quarter of the way in I began getting frustrated asking aloud "what is your point woman!?". By the way, for those who don't know, a body farm is a research facility where human decompositio ...more
Edward Beavers
The absentee farm

I guess that the title was only in deference to the actual "body farm" as it's brief appearance was so short that it's hard to see why the book his titled that way. I enjoyed the book but the title and use of the farm is a significant step in the process of solving the victim's murder.
It was hard to rate this book, but eventualy I settled on a 3 star, barely a recommendation. I know many folks love Patricia Cornwell. This is the first book I've read of hers. It's a great page turner with sparse, but excellent descriptions. She is good with metaphors, but she also adds too many forensic details. I wasn't interested in the specific gas, methylxxx something or other, that a body gives off. It just smells is good enough. Also the climax arrived and ended abruptly with little susp ...more
This is the first book I've read by Patricia and it was good enough for me to go out and by the first two she had published... She's worth reading!
Duncan Mandel
1 bestselling author Patricia Cornwell returns to the chilling world of gutsy medical examiner Kay Scarpetta in this suspense classic.

Little Emily Steiner left a church meeting late one afternoon and strolled toward home along a lakeside path; a week later, her nude body was discovered, bound in blaze-orange duct tape. Called by the North Carolina authorities, forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta recognizes similarities to the gruesome work of a serial killer who has long eluded the FBI But as s

This is the first PC novel I've read and I was very disappointed. First of all, I hate her style of writing. She tries too hard. The first paragraph of the first page had me rolling my eyes:

"On the sixteenth of October, shadowy deer crept to the edge of dark woods beyond my window as the sun peeked over the cover of the night. Plumbing above and below me groaned, and one by one other rooms went bright as sharp tattoos from ranges I could not see riddled the dawn."

I mean come on. Maybe I'm just
A typical Cornwell book, enjoyable but a little predictable.

I finished reading it during a plane flight to Sal - Cabo Verde, in a mini vacation :o)
Brooke Pfannkuche-swain
So, this was the first Patricia Cornwell book I have read and is a book that lands somewhere in the middle of a series. I chose it because of the title, "The Body Farm," because I've read up on the body farm at the Forensic Anthropology Center: UT Knoxville as well as seen it on Stephen Fry's "America". If you are interest on this subject, the book "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers," by Mary Roach is a great choice. Of course, though it is mentioned briefly, this book has very little t ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the fifth novel (published in 1994) in the series featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Virginia. I enjoyed reading this murder mystery, even though we do not get to the Body Farm itself until about page 300.

It is fall in northern Virginia, and a young girl has been murdered in a small town in North Carolina near Asheville. Kay Scarpetta and Benton Wesley of the FBI are called in because the murder appears to be connected to uncaught serial murderer Temple
Bam! Guessed who the killer was.

I can see why this character was something new and refreshing when she debuted. Scarpetta comes across as a bit entitled and full of herself, which threw me off at times. She is not quite like any other female character I have read. But there is something satisfying in listening to her take care of business #bossbitch style, and the plot was compelling enough to keep me going.

The dynamics between Scarpetta and different characters really help elevate this above
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The Body Farm 3 49 Apr 06, 2015 03:45AM  
Kay Scarpetta does it again 4 49 Mar 02, 2014 05:44PM  
New to crime 8 27 Feb 22, 2014 06:38PM  
The Women's Myste...: #5 The Body Farm 1 4 Aug 09, 2013 10:33PM  
The Body Farm 2 28 Jun 08, 2012 06:35PM  
  • Bare Bones (Temperance Brennan, #6)
  • Bones of Betrayal (Body Farm #4)
  • Devil's Waltz (Alex Delaware, #7)
  • F is for Fugitive (Kinsey Millhone, #6)
  • The Cold Moon (Lincoln Rhyme, #7)
  • For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley, #5)
  • The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles, #3)
  • Mind Prey (Lucas Davenport, #7)
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)
  • 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)
  • The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)
Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1) Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4) Body of Evidence (Kay Scarpetta, #2) Point of Origin (Kay Scarpetta, #9) All That Remains (Kay Scarpetta, #3)

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