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Body of Evidence

(Kay Scarpetta #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  70,870 ratings  ·  1,260 reviews
After months of menacing phone calls and feeling that her every move is being watched, successful writer Beryl Madison flees Key West when a terrifying message is scratched on her car. But the very night she returns to Richmond, she deactivates her burglar alarm and opens her door to someone who nearly decapitates her. Why did she let him in, wonders Chief Medical Examiner ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published November 30th 2004 by Pocket Books (first published February 5th 1991)
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Nilisha Rampersad Most definitely. The books are not that connected they each deal with one case so you won't be lost or confused or feel like you're missing something.…moreMost definitely. The books are not that connected they each deal with one case so you won't be lost or confused or feel like you're missing something. You can start with any book you like.(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  70,870 ratings  ·  1,260 reviews

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Kylie D
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable book that sees Kay Scarpetta looking for the killer of a young author. The author was working on her memoirs, but the potentially explosive manuscript goes missing, and several high profile people are invested in finding, and hiding, it's whereabouts. As the body count starts to climb, Scarpetta finds herself under siege and scared. I found this book to be easy to read and highly entertaining. A worthy addition to the series. ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was such a gruesome kid... in that I loved to read this series. Blood never bothered me, and the more psychopaths you throw at me, the happier of a reader I am. I think I learned some anatomy from this book. :)

The descriptions are vivid, not for the faint-hearted. Hits close to him when it's about a writer being murdered. Almost decapitated.

The MC, Scarpetta, is a challenging character. She's so honest and raw, you have to respect and love her. But she's also got this side of her where I'd be
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Body Of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell is book 2 in the Dr Kay Scarpetta series, I can't believe that it actually took so long to pick up this series and I'm definitely enjoying it so far.
I love the whole build up throughout and even the quick face off with the killer at the end, this book definitely shows a little more emotion between the characters and the growth in friendships between them, it's certainly setting a picture of how you can see this series growing which I'm looking forward to rea
3 Stars

I don't know whether it's the writing itself or the time when it was written (early 90s), but Kay Scarpetta is one silly broad, who constantly makes choices that had me scratching my head in confusion (and frustration). For a character that is so beloved I can't quite find the appeal (yet). And her detective friend (?), Marino, is wholly unlikable, with his gruff, assholish demeanour, and his constant prejudice slurs and harsh judgements of nearly everyone he comes into contact with who i
cam ♥

The first book was good, this one's even better! It amazes me how Patricia Cornwell can make everything look so unclear at first then shows you the big picture when she pieces it all together in the end. This book kept me at the edge of my seat and I have learned to become genuinely interested in every character. Definitely worth reading especially for CSI fans like me!

Quotable Quotes
"Some people simply want company."
"I didn't know what I wanted. Maybe I never had."
"The older I got, the more I w
S.P. Aruna
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-mystery

As a standalone, this book rates 5 stars. As number 2 in the series, it gets only 3


I've already read the first book in the series, Post Mortem, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I found Kay Scarpetta a realistic, sober, and intelligent protagonist, and the forensic pathology parts are fascinating. However, reading this one, (book 2 in the Kay Scarpetta series) I found it so similar to the first book in plot structure, that its formulaic construction is all too obvious, includi
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Cornwell brings Dr. Kay Scarpetta back in the critically acclaimed series to test her wiles in a new and disturbing manner. When a murdered author is found in her home, investigators are left with little to know insight, which bothers Scarpetta almost as much as the slaying itself. Questions grow exponentially while answers remain deftly hidden behind layers of the victim’s past. Scarpetta and the police being piecing things together, discovering a deeper back story related to her current piece ...more
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-author
This series is what I call a "guilty pleasure". Not at all high-brow, but easy to read thrillers with some mystery, and I have to admit that I enjoy the gruesome details about forensic pathology. Being an engineering type, I like to know the details behind things, how things work, in particular when it comes to problem solving or investigative techniques.

I do love the character of Kay Scarpetta; she's a strong, smart woman who is also attractive. She makes me nuts sometimes when she does risky t
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I believe everybody has books that are near and dear to their hearts, like comfort food that they cannot help but love and embrace despite some issues and flaws.

For me, this Kay Scarpetta series on the whole falls into that category. I remember devouring this series up until the 5th book when translated editions came out.
Although it’s been quite a while since I last read this series, this ‘Body of Evidence,’ the second book in the Scarpetta series, confirmed my conviction that I love, and proba
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely enjoyed this one more than I did the first and can see how this series would get better as it goes.

Loved that the mystery kept me on my toes and I didn't quite figure out whodunit until towards the end. Will definitely keep reading these!
Benjamin Thomas
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Each September, I choose one of the many books my mother left behind and read it as a way to honor her. We shared a passion for reading but we didn’t always share the same tastes. But nevertheless, I plunge ahead and usually discover new joys that I might not otherwise have even tried.

This is the second novel in the Kay Scarpetta series featuring the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia and her forays into solving crime cases. The plot revolves around a reclusive writer who has been found murdered
Mick Dubois
I read this book in the Dutch translation but I'll give a short English review as well:
Bery Madison, a famous writer is found stabbed in her own house. Kay Scarpetta en Pete Marino find out that the woman had been stalked. She only returned from hiding out in Key West a few hours before she died. It looks that she opened the door for her murderer. Is it someone she knows? Things become even stranger when forensics finds fibres from various car trunks on her.
Then out of the blue, Kay gets a visit
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
First Read: This is one of her first in this series. I've been reading a lot of the later ones, and there is a different cast of members in this book. Quite nice as her language is a lot better than it gets in later series. Kind of fun to see the trail she forges as the book is beginning. I liked it quite a lot. Recommend.

Second Read: Kay Scarpetta, chief medical examiner of Virginia, gets involved in the case of a brutal stabbing death in Richmond of romance writer Beryl Madison. Then, Madison'
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This is the second Kay Scarpetta murder mystery, and I found it even better than the first one, if only because the killer did not come out of nothing, but was previously mentioned in passing earlier in the book. (Scarpetta observes in this book that murder does not happen in a vacuum; everything is connected somehow. And that is also how murder mystery novels should be.)

It is 1987, a year after the previous book; Kay Scarpetta is still the Chief Medical Examiner for Virginia, Pete Marino is now
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-thrillers
Number 2 in the Dr Scarpetta series.
This mystery takes place over a twenty years, or so, period. At first it sees simple. A young woman's body is found mutilated and the murder is investigated. But as more mutilated bodies keep turning up it soon becomes obvious that thing are not as simple as first thought. To get to the truth Kay and her sidekick, Lt Marino, need to find out what happened almost twenty years ago.

As you read it's hard to imagine how the past and the present will come together

Lackluster, especially after the introduction of Al Hunt (no, not that Al Hunt) and his mentally ill friend Frankie. An utterly tedious denouement, with the reveal of the killer's identity the most soporific moment of the novel. Much dull bloviation about Key West and its gay population. A lost opportunity to make (view spoiler).
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Why read: Reading the series.

What impressed me: Body of Evidence was definitely a topsy-turvy mystery. Not only do you not know what's going on with the victims, you really don't have nay clue who to trust in the investigation either. Kay's not knowing friend from foe in her personal life adds a lot of tension and intrigue to the story. And either Cornwell does much better in this second book with laying off the excessive explanations, or I'm just getting used to her writing style.

What disappoin
Randy Tramp
Feb 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author, Beryl Madison flees Key West when a terrifying message is scratched on her car.

Kay Scarpetta pursues the case of, "Who murdered Beryl Madison and why."

What a great series. The action is exciting, the plot is moving, and the characters are intriguing. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is a likable character. Her high-tech forensic skills enable her to collect a body of evidence.

Even though Beryl is murdered, her life lives on. During the investigation, it's like she's there. I love
3.5 stars. Not nearly as good as the first in the series, but I know this series gets better. I don't think I ever read this one, though. There were some interesting twists in this, definitely not what I would have guessed. A solid entry in the series, but without the crackle of the first, Postmortem. I'll definitely continue with the series. ...more
3.5 stars. Really good.
aPriL does feral sometimes
Dr. Kay Scarpetta, Virginia Chief Medical Examiner is again in the middle of mysterious murders and personal vendettas!

Lieutenant Pete Marino summons Scarpetta to the house of shy fiction writer and murder victim, Beryl Madison. Blood is everywhere. Knife wounds are like that, especially when deep defense injuries are dripping while the victim is trying to run away down a hallway and up a stairway, down another hall and into her bedroom. Oh well. She didn't suffer much pain after bleeding out fr
Apr 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Basic Plot: a writer of historical romances is found murdered, and Kay Scarpetta is on the case again.

I used to teach this installment of the Scarpetta series as the example of the "mystery" genre in a novels class.

Considering the fact that I taught this book, I remember it fairly well, even years after reading it. The pacing was good and there were plenty of red herrings that I used to love to use to torture my students with. If I have any complaints about it, they lie in the fact that the "big
So I liked the book but I think that has more to do with the characters than the actual story. Scarpatta and Marino’s relationship is just too much fun in how much they respect each other but yet can irritate the hell out of each other at the same time.

There were too many similar to the first book that bothered me. The two main things are that yet again Scarpetta’s office is made to look bad with her superiors and the media and the her romantic partner is a main part of the mystery.

I was reall
A solid murder mystery that, thankfully, does not rely too much on the forensic science element to further the plot. Cornwell is a terrific writer, and I enjoy her Kay Scarpetta character more than most detectives from other series. The book is fun and light, never disappointing but never reaching the upper echelons of great storytelling, either. Great for a long airplane ride, but not a book you're likely to remember well a couple years after you read it. ...more
Gregory Stenson
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This was my first Patricia Cornwall and I enjoyed the quality of writing but overall I think the detail was overwhelming and I'm not sure I will be reading another PC just yet. I have to acknowledge that the story did lead you down certain routes and the truth was revealed. There was a lot of dialogue and protracted evidence and technical descriptions which I found a little laborious. ...more
Mark Harrison
Decent but pretty routine addition to the series. Two brutal murders linked together, her ex making an unexpected return, a celebrity lawyer out to ruin her and some small red herring to keep you guessing. Started well and then tailed away. Still - love the heroine so will be sticking with the series.
Dec 06, 2008 rated it liked it
The heroine is Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Chief Medical Examiner in Virginia. Oh, no, you say, another Ouincv. Wrong, corpse-breath. Scarpetta is intelligent, short, (we don't know whether she is attractive or not, a relief) and she doesn't swoon over each drooling Sylvester Stallone imitation that happens by. (That's something I've always wondered about: How does Travis McGee, the blue-Rolls-Royce-truck-driving hero of John MacDonald's colored-titled novels avoid AIDS, since he seems to have the se ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Need to be reviewed.

EDIT: I actually prefer the later books to the early books. I think her writing got stronger.

Mariano was so unlikeable in the early books.

As I mentioned before, I’m re-reading the earlier books in the series since its been years since I did. I would’ve felt lost and confused if I’d picked up where I left off. That being said, I didn’t remember a thing about this book #2!
For me, this wasn’t nearly as good as the 1st one. I was disappointed. I do know Ms. Cornwell’s books (in this series) do get better with each one she writes. They have to, seeing that there are over 15 featuring Kay Scarpetta. That being said, I’ll be reading #3
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Has anyone read this author? 11 48 Apr 08, 2021 06:52AM  
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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,

Other books in the series

Kay Scarpetta (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1)
  • 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)
  • The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)

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