Shellys♥ Journal's Reviews > Postmortem

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
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Oct 23, 11

bookshelves: year-2011, fiction, mystery, series, thriller
Read from October 17 to 20, 2011

This is the first of the Kay Scarpetta mysteries. Dr. Scarpetta is the Medical Examiner for the state of Virginia working out of Richmond. There is a serial killer in the city, raping and brutally murdering women who appear to have nothing in common. Alongside detective Marino, she attempts to discover who this man is. Is he also the same one breaking into the computer in her office.

This was my first Patricia Cornwell book, and I really liked this mystery. I tend to shy away from thrillers, especially when the villain is a psycho, but the book is not about the villain so much as the attempt to discover who he is.

Some reviewers have been critical because this book is dated. DNA testing and crime scene investigation has evolved since the writing of this book, and with a number of television programs and movies showcasing the technological changes, readers are certain to be more of an expert than Dr. Scarpetta currently is. I think it is unfair to judge this book in light of our modern world. The real story is still about taking the evidence and trying to find out who the killer is. It doesn't matter that the computer systems are archaic, the evidence testing has evolved, and that Scarpetta does not carry a cell phone. Would we fault Sherlock Holmes for these same inequities?

This is a chilling mystery with a dynamic female investigator in a place long known as the "murder capital" of the US. Cornwell weaves a compelling tale. I look forward to reading more of these mysteries.
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10/18/2011 page 301
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