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Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta #10)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  29,411 Ratings  ·  556 Reviews
As winter grips Richmond, Virginia, an air of somberness pervades chief medical examiner Kay Scarpetta's world. Her beloved niece Lucy is involved in a dangerous undercover police operation in Miami, and auntie fears for her life. A tyrannical new deputy chief, Diane Bray, wants to get Kay's department under her jurisdiction. Meanwhile, back at the office, someone has tink ...more
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published August 2nd 1999 by G. P. Putnam & Sons (first published 1999)
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Feb 19, 2013 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-done-it
If you ever want a prime example of a book series that has taken a sharp nosedive in quality, this is the one.

Kay Scarpetta is the chief coroner for some place, somewhere in Virginia and consequently sees her share of unusual murders that need to be solved. The early books were clever variations on the procedural genre and are entertaining reading. Then things went south.

Shifts in narrative, from first person to third person, from book to book, didn’t work and were jarring. She stretched plotl
Book Review
3.5 of 5 stars (rounded up due to the topic in the book) for Black Notice, the 10th book in the "Kay Scarpetta" thriller and suspense series, written in 1999 by Patricia Cornwell. For me, this was a transitional book in the series, not so much from good to bad, but in the terms of who Kay Scarpetta is and what happens with the people in her life. If you are still reading the series, or think you will, don't read the next few lines... then skip ahead to the next paragraph where it
Aug 16, 2008 _inbetween_ rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about Black Notice are the many white pages between the short chapters. My copy doesn't even have any contents or a blurb, just the author's picture covering the back, underlining that she's sold as a must to a certain group of people I guess.

As predicted, now that Cornwell "killed" off Benton, he's suddenly much more beloved and gets more space. Kay is exactly the same, but her frequent crying and "feeling depressed" is now attributed to his loss (I will never ever buy another s
Amy Metz
Aug 11, 2012 Amy Metz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting to be disillusioned with the Scarpetta series. The characters are getting harder to like--including Kay Scarpetta herself--and the plots are just so-so. We have a bad guy, he kills a lot of people, Marino and Scarpetta go after him, Kay has a brief fling, the killer tries to kill Kay, the end.

I didn't like the abrupt ending of this book, and I didn't buy Kay's feelings for Tally. Two business meetings, a one-night stand, and a lovers' spat, and suddenly she can't get him off her mi
Feb 06, 2009 Mappi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Overall - 1/5 : Dog catching its tail !

Plot - 1/2/5 : Good start, but disappointing finish. Kay and Marino come together to solve the mystry behind a unidentified body found in a container, which leads them to France to unreveal a horrible serial killer who calls himself Le Loug Garou - The Werewolf. Kay is again put down when she choses to flirt and Lucy irritates me that i feel I have reached my limit. And the way Marino is treated shows clearly that the series has started to sink.

Writting - 4
Mahoghani 23
It's hard for me to get into books when I know what happened. Even though I read these books out of order, it still was a good read from start to finish.

There's a killer on the loose that no one seems to understand his motives. He's vicious and very destructive to his victims body. He started his murders in Paris and has now transferred his evil doings into the United States, particularly the state of Virginia. However, there's something strange about this killer. He has a rare disease called hy
May 16, 2014 Guera25 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It never ceases to amaze me how Cornwell can spend four hundred pages setting up complex cases and building suspense and then blow it all in the last three pages like a case of explosive flatulence. It doesn't help that the narrative arcs of her books all follow the identical repetitive sequence of evil, evil criminals and corrupt bureaucrats gunning for the noble, studiously moral Kay Scarpetta, who spends ninety percent of the time being a complete jackass and pettish, needy judgmental harrida ...more
Kay Scarpetta has not handled Benton Wesley’s death well. She has worked herself into the ground. She has distanced herself from her friends and employees. She has even started smoking again. She is mired in guilt and regret over every unkind word she ever spoke to Benton. No, Kay Scarpetta is not handling her grief well at all.

Now, just before the second Christmas since Benton’s death, Senator Frank Lord, one of Kay’s oldest friends and professional confederates, delivers to her a letter from B
Aug 09, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was exactly what I needed. Mystery.. excitement..suspense. I was sitting on the edge of my seat speculating most of the time. I didn't want to put it down. It was not boring in the least!

There is an international killer on the loose in Richmond and this killer is leaving behind some strange evidence. There are dirty cops in high places on the force. It's up to thorough Chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her watchdog/best friend tough detective Captain Marino to get to the bot
Barbara Mitchell
Aug 23, 2012 Barbara Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My friend periodically gives me bags full of books she's read and I found this one in the last batch. It's been ages since I've read a Cornwell/Dr. Scarpetta book, just long enough for me to miss them and really enjoy this one.

The mystery in this case begins with a decomposing body found in a cargo container that docks in Richmond. The murderer's trail will lead Scarpetta and Marino to France and back again and will be very difficult to solve. Meanwhile, it has been one year since her FBI lover
Anne Hawn Smith
Nophoto-f-25x33 Patricia Cornwell's books get more and more painful to read. Kay Scarpetta's friends and family angst intrude too much in this story. Police Captain has got to be the worst of his breed acting in a manner so unprofessional as to be ludicrous. And her neurotic niece acts in a way that belies her profession.

I used to just love Cornwell's books, but I have begun to think that I am watching the worst soap opera in the world. This is a shame, because the early books were so good I cou
Dec 20, 2012 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
A great Scarpetta novel with an intriguing twist to leave the reader excited and curious at the same time. When a body turns up in a shipping crate, Scarpetta is called to look into what might have happened. Odd French writing on the side of the crate adds to the mystery, especially once it has been translated. Are authorities looking for a man or beast? Clues left at the scene do not help clarify this conundrum, nor does liaising with officials on either side of the Atlantic. As Scarpetta delve ...more
I'm beginning to think I've read to many Scarpetta books... easily predictable! But it was ok to read.
LaTonya Reed
I was annoyed by everyone in this book, everyone was miserable and I mean everyone. I knew this was not going to be a happy go lucky book, but damn!! I found myself ready for the book to be over. It was just okay.
margaret alyse
This is, most definitely, a contender for the worst book I've ever read.

Horrible writing ("'Brrrrrrr,' he shivered"), an awful plot (don't let the guise of a thriller fool you. This was the most angsty book I've ever read - and it failed at being a mystery, as well), and casual sexism and homophobia and other bigotry (Marino. I hate him. Hate hate hate hate -) combined to form this book. Ew.

The front had a sticker that said "Great read guaranteed!" Bah. That's a lie if I've ever heard one.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This crime mystery is the tenth book in the series featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Virginia. I very much enjoyed reading this book, and will be reading the next book in the series in the fullness of time.

As the book opens in early December, a letter is delivered to Scarpetta from Benton Wesley; he wrote it to have delivered to her if he was ever killed (which happened in the previous book). Kay, still deep in grief, goes to the Richmond docks, as a body has b
Hmmm. I hadn't read one of Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta novel in a few years, and was looking forward to this one because I had enjoyed the previous entries in the series. But this wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped. One of two things is occurring here: either the stories are getting much more gruesome, or I'm getting much more squeamish about the grue.

Oh it's still a decent story, but there's so much gore and angst and anger. My gosh, the anger! Lucy is a loose cannon and Marino is almost complet
Allison Ann
Feb 22, 2013 Allison Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: library
MY LETTER: B - title Black Notice

Book: Black Notice by Patricia Cornwell
Finished: March 16, 2013
Rating & Book Review: 3 stars - I've been reading/re-reading through the Scarpetta series and not particularly enjoying them. The characters are SO unpleasant that I can't get past it, but I've been forcing myself to keep reading. This one was actually less horrid. The characters were still wretched, but this time they were being wretched on purpose so I could a
Jul 29, 2011 Tammy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, murder
This is the 10th book in the Kay Scarpetta Series written by Patricia Cornwell. This is a really amazing series of books about Kay Scarpetta, the chief medical examiner of Richmond, Virginia. Together with her sidekicks Captain Marino, her niece Lucy, FBI profiler (and lover) Benton and others, she picks apart crime scenes to discover murderers. This book was good, but not nearly as good as some of the earlier books in the series. They seem to be getting less realistic as they go on and get a bi ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Nicol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, queer
Another book that goes on without explaining a really important point - all the sudden Marino is back and uniform and Lucy is in another agency - wtf?? Then Kay's character goes on a rant about tattoos - Kay is getting more conservative and less likable as each plot goes by - the weird tension between Marino and Kay and the relationship between Kay and Lucy is out of control. The one thing that could be said is at least Kay is going through grief. On to the actual mystery - this is the saving gr ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Dhuaine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
Even a fortress can't protect the stupid.
1) Learn how the murderer approaches the victims.
2) Conveniently ignore all common sense.
3) ???
4) Might as well fire half of detective division and simply keep watch on Scarpetta. Every major criminal ends up near her sooner or later.

Not marking this as spoiler because every Scarpetta book ends this way. This one is just more blatant and even more stupid than usual. It never ceases to amaze me how Cornwell spends time and effort on establishing a bizarre,
Richard Brand
Well, it was exactly what you expect from Cornwell. I don't know of a single page where anybody was nice to anybody. Anger, fear, resentment, hostility, even the love scene was not a nice pleasant scene. The criminal was a monster with a one in a billion chance to exist. Everybody was out to get Kay. Marino was not cordial to a single person. The people who are supposed to like each other don't do anything to be kind to each other.
Apr 26, 2010 Chanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a fan. The main character in this book is self righteous and her friend the cop is an ass. All of that could have easily been forgiven if the mystery part was very suspenseful but even that was without true merit. http://bibliofilesbookrating.blogspot...
Apr 19, 2012 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All of the Kay scarpetta series are pretty much the same. I like picking an author and reading all if the series on their feature character but, at times, it can be tedious. I do wonder which book is the one where Benton Wesley is murdered.
May 31, 2010 Marianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy (cathepsut)
I liked the first 4 or 5 Scappetta novels a lot, but then it all became so repetitive. This was boring. I felt as if I was reading the same book over and over again. No more Scarpetta for me.
Feb 18, 2009 Louise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Last one I'll read....going downhill
Dec 26, 2008 Jaime rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to be a really big Patricia Cornwell fan. Everything before this book I thought was really good. And everything after? Practically unreadable.
May 31, 2016 Alatea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I just.... I don't know what went wrong, but the book couldn't catch my attention...
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The Women's Myste...: #10 Black Notice 1 3 Aug 09, 2013 10:38PM  
  • Grave Secrets (Temperance Brennan, #5)
  • The Clinic (Alex Delaware, #11)
  • I is for Innocent (Kinsey Millhone, #9)
  • Bones of Betrayal (Body Farm #4)
  • Il silenzio dei chiostri
  • Dust to Dust (Kovac and Liska, #2)
  • The Big Bad Wolf  (Alex Cross, #9)
  • Sudden Prey (Lucas Davenport, #8)
  • Bad Blood (Alexandra Cooper, #9)
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)
  • The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)

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“And let me tell you another thing,” Marino threw back at” 0 likes
“More to the point, odors are important. They have their own story to tell. A sweet smell might point at ethchlorvynol, while chloral hydrate smells like pears. Both might make me wonder about an overdose of hypnotics, while a hint of garlic might point at arsenic. Phenols and nitrobenzene bring to mind ether and shoe polish respectively, and ethylene glycol smells exactly like antifreeze because that’s exactly what it is. Isolating potentially significant smells from the awful stench of dirty bodies and rotting flesh is rather much like archaeology. You focus on what you are there to find and not on the miserable conditions around it.” 0 likes
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