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The Scarpetta Factor (Kay Scarpetta #17)

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3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,815 Ratings  ·  1,177 Reviews
From the world's #1 bestselling crime writer comes the extraordinary new Kay Scarpetta novel.

It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta-despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN- to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all,
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Hardcover, 494 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2009)
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Rebecca Allen I'm listening to the audiobook right now. It's the first of the series that I have read, and it is clear that I'm missing a lot of history. I think it…moreI'm listening to the audiobook right now. It's the first of the series that I have read, and it is clear that I'm missing a lot of history. I think it would be more enjoyable to read a few of the others first. (less)
Postmortem by Patricia CornwellCruel & Unusual by Patricia CornwellThe Body Farm by Patricia CornwellUnnatural Exposure by Patricia CornwellBody of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell
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6th out of 20 books — 39 voters
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The "Can't Wait" Book of '09
175th out of 443 books — 2,064 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katherine Coble
Dec 30, 2009 Katherine Coble rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Somewhere in the 500-plus pages of this book is a good 300 page mystery struggling to get out. There were many points where I thought it would succeed, only to lose it again under the suffocating weight of each character's relentless self-absorption and analysis.

Since The Body Farm, Cornwell has increasingly given over her books to a sort of public self-examination. She uses the pages of the Scarpetta series to work out her own issues, turning her characters into a sort of Greek Chorus for her
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Gennine
Jan 13, 2010 Gennine rated it did not like it
This book was long, redundant, like a song with no end. There were times when I felt the need to scream, yell in frustration, toss the book as the point was never made. The story line was slow, confusing and erratic. It reminded me of a time when I first started reading and thought how great books were, not caring how the plot rambled or made a point, not caring for significance, not caring if it wasn't organized, like I was smarter then most because I could follow along, because I read the book ...more
Mia
Feb 16, 2012 Mia rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no
I can't begin to describe how disappointed I am, not only in this book, but in the last several. Scarpetta is un-recognizable from the early books-when she was a smart, loving, still hopeful woman with a life outside of the morgue. Back then I knew why her co-workers were devoted to her. I wish Benton had stayed dead, I wish Lucy had never grown up and Marino had never become...this Marino.
I am convinced that Kay Scarpetta is a thinly disguised Pat Cornwell and I can't help wondering why she hat
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Barbara Elsborg
Dec 31, 2011 Barbara Elsborg rated it did not like it
I read all her early books, I still have them on my shelves and then I read one that made me think - no more. So I stopped. Saw The Scarpetta Factor on sale and thought I'd give her another try. Oh dear. Wished I hadn't. What on earth has happened to the writer she once was? POV changes all over the place - including the same paragraph - that left me confused. I liked reading just from Scarpetta's POV. I liked her as a ballsy character and what I read in this book was a stupid woman who should h ...more
Angela
Oct 30, 2012 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, audio, library
I was lucky enough to have a training class with the New York Medical Examiner's Office this past week. Patricia Cornwell was kind enough to stop by with some books for the class -- so this is signed to me.

Thank you Miss Cornwell!

Even though I have a lovely hard cover I have started listening to this take...must say thus far I am impressed.

I continued to be impressed. If the other Scarpetta novels are this well researched (the forensics side sounded really accurate, I can only guess the bomb and
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Mike
May 01, 2011 Mike rated it did not like it
I've been slack in reviewing my books lately, but had to savage this one after finishing it. The story itself is so convoluted while really not saying anything, it borders on stream-of-consciousness when trying to be a CSI/Police thriller. There's really no suspense, and the "conclusion" was a quick 30 seconds where the bad guys are dispatched without any buildup, with one "offscreen" as I guess it wasn't important enough to actually write about the finish. The "mastermind" of the whole thing sh ...more
Mamma23
Sep 10, 2012 Mamma23 rated it it was ok
Meh...

This just didn't do it for me like the older pre-Benson-came-back-to-life Scarpettas.

Kay is definitely losing her mojo, as evidenced by her not being able to learn to use a cell phone (Really, Kay? C'mon now you are a brilliant doctor and you can't use a Blackberry?) It's sad to watch. Plus she's not cooking up a storm like she used to. I miss her.

Marino. Oh, Marino, what have they done to you? I am really, really mad at Cornwell for ruining this character. What he did to Kay in the last b
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Nanosynergy
A quick, mind-candy read. Still not the early Scarpetta that attracted me to reading Cornwell, but the climax was a fun bringing together of loose ends (although a bit predictable if you've read the previous books in the series). The writing at the end makes me a little suspicious that there's a future video version planned.

While I continue to be a Cornwell fan, I've grown more than a little weary of the continued belly button gazing in the series. Way too much time spent on the personal lives a
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May B
Mar 08, 2011 May B rated it did not like it
After a long break from reading Cornwell's books I stumbled across this one in a drug store line one day and grabbed it up. And I have to say this is the most painful read I've ever had for a book. I finished it but only because I wanted to know if I was right about who the killer was and ... really that was the ending?

It took me 4 months to read a paperback. I NEVER take that long it was just slow and just hard to read that I kept having to put it down and do something else. It makes me terrib
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Laurie Hanan
Apr 27, 2012 Laurie Hanan rated it liked it
I bought this book because I loved Cornwell's older Scarpetta books. Then I read all the really bad reviews, and almost chucked it without opening it. Finally, I ran out of other things to read and opened this one. It took me several months to get through it, in between reading other things. It's very put-downable. Once I put it down, very hard to pick up and start reading again. I had to ask myself why - because this is an author I've loved from the start.

On the plus side, Cornwell is a good w
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KarenC
Jan 29, 2010 KarenC rated it liked it
Recommends it for: graduate psychology majors

Where do I begin with my reaction to this one? Seemed better than the previous, Scarpetta, although I'm starring them the same.

I thought Dr. Scarpetta was supposed to be into the forensics end of the criminal investigation. What happened to the forensics? For that matter, what happened to the poor dead "jogger" in the park? Her case seemed to get lost in the mountains of angst among the investigating "team." This book, similar to the last, spent more time on the psychological issues of the "tea

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Donna
Mar 14, 2010 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
In this series, "Scarpetta" has gradually become the center of an ever-shrinking universe in which the only important people are Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta herself and her long-time associates: her husband (Benton Wesley), her niece (Lucy), and her friend (Moreno). In the rest of this fictional world, everyone else follows their exploits in the tabloids and on CNN like fans in the real world follow events in the lives of stars like Tiger Woods. (BTW, how many real-life medical examiners can ...more
Greta
Apr 19, 2011 Greta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I should have known...Twenty years ago I started reading Cornwell's books featuring Kay Scarpetta. I enjoyed the first several of them. Seventeen books later... Ugh. I was looking for a good mystery, an easy read, about interesting characters, with a lot of forensics thrown in. Didn't find it here this time, unfortunately. What I did find was a boring mystery with a bunch of one-dimensional characters whose back stories take up much of the space in the book. Guess you had to be there for all of ...more
Arlee
Dec 22, 2011 Arlee rated it did not like it
Good grief. I just returned this book to the library (so glad I didn't spend money on it) after having already renewed it, yet I dropped it into the slot wth 60 pages still unread. It was a painful five weeks to get through 432 pages; I've never taken so long to MAKE myself try to finish something.

I have read all of Cornwell's Scarpetta books and absolutely devoured the first ones. Maybe it's that I haven't read any in quite a while...or maybe...just maybe I couldn't finish this one because Cor
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Nancy
Jun 09, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok
I have read, and enjoyed, many of Cornwell's books. After four or five years of no Kay Scarpetta, I picked this book up at the library and expected to be fully entertained. Not so.

It is usually pleasurable for me to start a book with recurring characters; I like the comfort level of running into someone I'm acquainted with, not starting over etc. Somehow, that never happened with this book:
. . . People I thought I knew didn't feel familiar;
. . . People I thought were dead re-appeared;
. . . Chara
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Kathy Davie
Seventeenth in the Kay Scarpetta forensics mystery series and revolving around a forensic pathologist and her psychologist husband. It’s a week before Christmas in New York City.

My Take
I tried to enjoy this, but all the whining and stupid reactions by the main characters made it an annoying read. It didn't help that Cornwell was constantly hinting and inferring tidbits, some of which were revealed openly, others were buried, and some were ignored. Loose threads, anyone? She was also vague about
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Matt
Jan 27, 2014 Matt rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Cornwell continues the Scarpetta series with another blockbuster, full of fabulous detail and strong story lines that tie in nicely with the previous novels, yet stand alone just sufficiently. Scarpetta is blindsided by the host of a prime-time CNN program about details related to a current case, one that has New York reeling and the talking heads speculating. The murder of a jogger shows ties to a recent Hollywood starlet's slaying in New York, bringing Scarpetta, Marino, and Berger onto the ca ...more
Aaron
Dec 04, 2013 Aaron rated it really liked it
Cornwell brings back the ever-popular Dr. Kay Scarpetta for a 17th adventure with her newest work. The good doctor has now settled into a position as a part time medical examiner with the New York Crime Scene department. On the side, she is also a senior analyst for CNN, covering topics relating to forensics.

The story revolves around two unique murders. One involves the mysterious murder of a jogger found in Central Park. It quickly becomes clear that her time of death was much earlier than expe
...more
Maria Meagher


The most convoluted, uninteresting storyline ever. I liked the early Cornwell books but the latter few, leading up to the Marino assault, I found tiresome. I stopped reading after that assault but picked up a copy of this free, so gave it a go for old time's sake.I really shouldn't have bothered. It was very badly written - and while I disagree with the direction Cornwell has been taking recently and the way she allowed her characters evolve over time, her books were usually relatively well-wri
...more
Kay
Nov 11, 2009 Kay rated it liked it
Shelves: medical-thriller
If we could rate by 1/2 stars I would have given it a 2 1/2. I gave it 3 stars because it is so much better than her last one, but it doesn't compare to her earlier Scarpetta series. This one is too long, too wordy, and just seems to ramble. The plot was good-- or maybe I should say the main plot was good, but she just seemed to jump around from one plot to the other. I would say it all came together at the end but I really don't think it did. There were a lot of unanswered questions but by the ...more
Nancy
Dec 04, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it
I am a huge Kay Scarpetta fan. Love that this book is set in NYC right next door to where I work (Bellvue) !

Story was typical Cornwell...A good fast enjoyable read
Anne
Oct 25, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing
WOW! A major part is more of the same recent stuff. Then, BAM! It changes back to older Cornwell. I couldn't put it down!
Sg
Jan 24, 2015 Sg rated it liked it
Not one of her best. Lots of cross stories which at the end, didnt really connect together. Dissappointing, really.
Ana T.
Apr 14, 2014 Ana T. rated it it was ok
I was bit confused while I was reading this. There seemed to be a lot of bad guys and I sometimes had a hard time keeping up with "who's who " and the "what are they doing and why". There was too much going on I felt - Benton's patient and former colleague, Lucy's relationship, Scarpetta's relationship with the TV channel... I'm finding hard to recognise them as the characters I enjoyed from previous books.

The only one that I enjoyed reading about was Marino. He seems to be closer to what he use
...more
Laurel
Nov 02, 2009 Laurel rated it really liked it
This book is very similar to all of Cornwell's other Kay Scarpetta novels-a little bit like the t.v. show 24 mixed in with a lot of CSI. My favorite types of novels!! This is a hefty book and a lot of the first half was character development; giving the readers a little bit more background on Scarpetta, Lucy, Benton and Pete Marino. This is to be expected since it is one of a series. So I totally don't suggest picking up this book unless you've read The Body Farm, Point of Origin, Black Notice, ...more
Buck
Apr 06, 2011 Buck rated it did not like it
Shelves: utter-crap
Honestly, I've grown tired of Patricia Cornwell. I used to love her books but over time they have become tedious soap operas full of dysfunctional people. This endeavor is no better. If anything it is much worse.

I'm not even halfway through the book and I'm ready to put it down and move onto something more engaging. That's quite rare for me, but this one is trying my patience. There is so much drama and angst between the growing cast of regular characters that I actually keep forgetting the deta
...more
Inga
Aug 29, 2012 Inga rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
... und nach Nr. 16 hier nun Nr. 17. Achtung, zynischer Spoiler.

Die altbewährten Darsteller Scarpetta, Benton, Marino, Lucy und Jamie befinden sich immer noch in New York. Eine Joggerin wurde ermordet und eine betrügerische Finanzberaterin ist verschwunden. Scarpetta soll in einer Talkshow vorgeführt und per Briefbombe verletzt werden. Gelingt beides nicht. Ein Nekrophiler geht um. Ein unfähiger, kranker Profiler mit Hörschaden bringt sich um. Jamie misstraut Lucy und umgekehrt, emotionales Dram
...more
Rusty Dalferes
Oct 25, 2013 Rusty Dalferes rated it it was ok
I have been a fan of Cornwell's Scarpetta series for years, but I can't keep from thinking that her last couple of books have been a bit phoned in. This was one of those.

The title is intended to refer to the main character's newfound role as a CNN expert, but the book should have been called The Scarpetta Characters' Internal Conflicts. The first 270 pages were filled with detailed (and often repetitive) narration of the characters' inner struggles, with almost no progression of plot. Quite lite
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Paulina
Sep 22, 2013 Paulina rated it did not like it
This is one of a few books I just couldn't finish. Could be my fault, since this is the first book I picked from the Scarpetta series and I got completely lost in it- in fact, I've read several plot summaries just to figure out who was who in this book, and, just like I thought, there are plenty of allusions to characters from, like, 10 books ago, which makes it impossible to follow the plot for a novice like me.

Apart from these problems, the plot was just, I don't know, weak, with all these re
...more
Kristi
Feb 06, 2010 Kristi rated it it was ok
If you've never read the Kay Scarpetta series, don't read this book. Start at the beginning of the series with Postmortem. First of all, the series was good then. Secondly, this book gives away huge plotlines for many of her previous books.

I read this book pretty much only to see the advancement of the characters. The story didn't pick up until at least halfway through the book. In typical fashion for Patricia Cornwell, she drags on and on at the beginning, and then at the end sums up way too fa
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1025097
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
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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