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Kay Scarpetta #3

All That Remains

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In Richmond, Virginia, young lovers are dying. So far, four couples in the area have disappeared, only to be found months later as mutilated corpses. When the daughter of the president's newest drug czar vanishes along with her boyfriend, Dr. Kay Scarpetta knows time is short. Following a macabre trail of evidence that ties the present homicides to a grisly crime in the past, Kay must draw upon her own personal resources to track down a murderer who is as skilled at eliminating clues as Kay is at finding them ...

373 pages, Hardcover

First published June 11, 1992

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About the author

Patricia Cornwell

185 books16.2k followers
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, and Macavity awards as well as the French Prix du Roman d’Aventure prize – the first book ever to claim all these distinctions in a single year. To date, Cornwell’s books have sold some 100 million copies in thirty-six languages in over 120 countries. She’s authored twenty-nine New York Times bestsellers.

Patricia’s novels center primarily on medical examiner Kay Scarpetta along with her tech-savvy niece Lucy and fellow investigator Pete Marino. Celebrating 25 years, these characters have grown into an international phenomenon, winning Cornwell the Sherlock Award for best detective created by an American author, the Gold Dagger Award, the RBA Thriller Award, and the Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contributions to literary and artistic development.

Fox 2000 bought the rights to Kay Scarpetta. Working with producer Liz Friedman, Marvel’s Jessica Jones and fellow Marvel EP and Twilight Saga scribe Melissa Rosenberg to develop the film and find Scarpetta a home on the big screen.

After earning her degree in English from Davidson College in 1979, she began working at the Charlotte Observer.

Cornwell received widespread attention and praise for her series of articles on prostitution and crime in downtown Charlotte. From the Charlotte Observer, Cornwell moved to a job with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia – a post she would later bestow upon the fictional Kay Scarpetta.

When not writing from her Boston home, Patricia tirelessly researches cutting-edge forensic technologies to include in her work. Her interests span outside the literary: Patricia co-founded of the Conservation Scientist Chair at the Harvard University Art Museums. She appears as a forensic consultant on CNN and serves as a member of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital’s National Council, where she advocates for psychiatric research. She’s helped fund the ICU at Cornell’s Animal Hospital, the scientific study of a Confederate submarine, the archaeological excavation of Jamestown, and a variety of law enforcement charities. Patricia is also committed to
funding scholarships and literacy programs. Her advice to aspiring authors: “Start writing. And don’t take no for an answer.”

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Other areas of expertise & interests
Forensics | Forensic Technologies | Ballistics | Weapons | Explosives | Pathology & Autopsies | Crime | Historical and Unsolved Criminal Cases | Jack The Ripper | Helicopter Piloting | Suba Diving | Archaeological Excavation Experience |

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5 stars
22,735 (34%)
4 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,216 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 18 books3,536 followers
April 23, 2017
The "Kay Scarpetta" mystery series by Patricia Cornwell was one of the first adult mystery book series I began reading. I also started these very young, around 13 or 14, which may not be the best thing for young adults if they don't have a strong sense of right/wrong and a stomach to handle really gory stuff. All That Remains is the third book in the series about a forensic medical examiner in Virginia who helps solve brutal crimes.

What I love about the early books is the relationship between the detective, Pete Marino, and Scarpetta, the medical examiner. It's love/hate, and as the series grows, their relationship gets very volatile and intense. In the early books, like this one, you just want to hate Pete but you know he's got a heart in there. He represents a typical cop of the 1970s / 80s, who is starting to change his philosophy on women being involved in his jurisdiction. And he's of course in love with her but can't do anything about it.

In this book, young couples are brutally murdered. And the psychopath behind it all is playing games with Scarpetta. All her serial killers end up wanting to get to Scarpetta, to impress her, because of how methodical and intelligent she is.

Cornwell's writing is intense. And she describes everything about the blood and guts during the autopsies, finding the victims and conveying what the murderer is likely doing to his/her victims.

As the title suggests, this is all about "what remains" of the body to be able to figure out who is the culprit. Every page leads you to revelations, and you want to close your eyes and pretend you're not reading about the gore, but you can't help needing to keep reading it.

Scarpetta is so complex. Sometimes you love her. Sometimes you really want to lock her in a closet until she learns how to play a little nicer. But she will always evoke some huge reaction from the reader.

If you can handle the creepy-factor and the explicit language (vicious, usually not too sexual), you have to read a couple of these books to see how hard the author works to make each one unique and a very complex mystery.

She was one of my faves, and I stopped around 17 or 18 in the series to give myself a break. I'm close to going back to finish it up. And she's still writing more!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
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Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,564 reviews263 followers
August 10, 2022
“A haze had dulled the sky, and a plane was a silver needle pulling a white thread beneath the sun.”
― Patricia Cornwell, All That Remains

3.5 stars.

This was the first Kay Scarpetta book I have read. I may read more.

There is a serial killer murdering couples.I like a good mystery as much as the next person and it seems that the Scarpetta novels are quite popular.

A lot of this novel, is typical thriller territory. But I thought the writer did a great job on establishing the dark and moody atmosphere.

I found this to be a dark and disturbing but very interesting and well plotted mystery. I took to Kay right away and did get swept up in wanting to know who did it and why.

What made this book unique to me was the fact that rather than going the typical route, psychological profiling comes into the equation. For me that guaranteed I would read to the end.

That is one thing I really liked in this book . The Psychologist aspect was fascinating. It sort of felt like the reader is right there watching Kay put the pieces of the puzzle together.

I come from a family of psychologists and counselors so it was really interesting to read about the pasts of some of the victims from a psychological perspective.

That aspect, the Psychologist profiling, to me, made the book very original and it stood out from the typical thriller in that way.

I enjoyed this book and will perhaps be reading more Scarpetta mysteries. But the reason I only rated a three is because I’m just not a series person. I did enjoy this book though.
Profile Image for Janete on hiatus due health issues.
654 reviews262 followers
August 24, 2021
2,5 stars. Some good moments but too much talking and not enough action. And IMHO, the conclusion seemed to me kind of a soap opera. Scribd.com's English text, and translation for Portuguese + audio in English from Google Translate. Continuing the Project Learning English by myself.
Profile Image for Baz MW.
117 reviews14 followers
April 25, 2017
This was another very easy read in the Scarpetta series.
Non-Scarpetta readers be advised, you do not need to start from the start. Each book is standalone and you can read them in any order.
This is another great book in the series by Cornwell. Some awesome settings with some great chilling scenes. Any crime and horror lover would enjoy this and find it very easy to fly through. High 4 stars
Profile Image for The Girl with the Sagittarius Tattoo.
2,075 reviews264 followers
September 14, 2021
It's come to my attention that I've read roughly a gajillion series to various stages of completion, thanks to my short attention span and having too many interests. I've decided to tackle this situation series by series, starting with what I think are the ones that have been unfinished the longest.

*This is very much an experiment. We'll see how it goes.*

So here we are, starting off with Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series. This juggernaut was hugely popular in the 1990's, when I was a UF co-ed looking for a good murder mystery. At the time I was living in Gainesville, Florida, and the town was riding high on our repeated SEC football championships under head coach Steve Spurrier...

Hmm. It's so ironic I never read this particular novel at that time, but back then you were stuck with whatever books were physically sitting on the library shelf. All That Remains apparently wasn't one of them, which brings me to the fact that I never used to care about reading series' in any kind of order. Yay.

In this one, the police discover an abandoned vehicle on a rural road. A check of the plates shows it's registered to Deborah Harvey, daughter of Pat Harvey - the Drug Czar. Turns out Deborah and her boyfriend Fred Cheney were returning from a weekend at the beach and never arrived home. Months later, Deborah and Fred are discovered deceased, missing their socks and shoes - the same as three other couples found murdered in recent years. Although the police have this case well in hand, Mrs. Harvey doesn't waste time flexing her political influence to get every resource involved. In a case of too many chefs in the kitchen, the FBI, CIA and local agencies step on each other's toes as clues emerge and Pat Harvey increases the pressure.

This novel reminded me why I got hooked on Scarpetta in the first place - and the No. 1 thing that always annoyed me: How does the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Virginia have enough free time to personally investigate a crime? Aren't there autopsies she ought to be doing? There are also plenty of information leaks (from a sadly obvious source) and interesting twists (if perhaps unnecessary). Overall, this was a very good plot and not terribly outdated-feeling for a 1992 publication.
Profile Image for Rob.
511 reviews103 followers
October 23, 2020
Number three in the Dr Scarpetta series.
Hard to put a handle on this book. Thriller, mystery, who done it, really all of the aforementioned.

For a number of years young couples have going missing only to turn up 4 or 5 months later, dead. Because on the period of time it takes to find the corpses there's not much for Dr. Kay to work on, mostly just bones. As a result, these murders are still open. The most recent murders involves a high powered functionary's daughter and the daughters boyfriend. The mother of the dead girl is demanding results and she wants them now. Dr. Kay S. wants to give the mother any information she can but the FBI is asking Dr. Kay to do nothing until the FBI give her the go ahead. The mother becomes more and more frustrated at the lack of information coming to her and starts accusing the CIA, FBI and the Coroners Dept of a cover up.

Dr. Kay's level of frustration is also going through the roof so decides to do a little investigation on her own, with Pete Marino help.

As is expected with Patricia Cornwell's books, the plot is tight, the pace is fast and the characters are well drawn. And enough of ,who done it, to keep most of us glued.

I was not very satisfied with the end. To much speculation and to many unanswered questions.

Recommended. A highly entertaining read.

Closing note. I have often wondered why the literary world accepts the term (Who dunnit) when it should be (Who Did It) :D
Profile Image for Jess☺️.
459 reviews79 followers
November 15, 2020
All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell is book 3 in the Dr Kay Scarpetta series, These book are such an easy and enjoyable read they keep you flipping pages and wanting to know more, also once you've finished one book you need the next ASAP.
It's the same recipe for each book so far an evil twisted killer, the long build up and a exciting ending, this one has a little more emotion as the final victim is a character who we have meet from the beginning book.
I love the character building through out each of books and that one more little piece of them we get.
It's a great series so far but it could be a great stand-alone too 📓
Profile Image for cam ♥.
32 reviews38 followers
November 9, 2016
The ending may not make your jaw drop as expected. There was a certain point that did shock me, but I was expecting a little more from this one. However, I found myself more interested with its characters, because of how greatly they have developed and how they have faced all of their predicaments— both personal and professional. Hoping that the next books are better!

Quotable Quotes
"It’s difficult to be sensible when you want the best for your children. Especially when you remember your desires when you were their age, your insecurities about the way you dressed, your physical appearance."
"Personal problems can definitely ruin your career. They can, if you let them. But if you survive them, they can make you stronger, more effective."
"Nights, Sundays, and holidays were not to be spent working behind a counter or eating a burrito on the road. Those hours were for family."
“When people are angry, their behavior can be extreme. They can make big mistakes."
"Because you feel betrayed doesn’t mean you truly have been."
"I would do it because I have self-respect and because I don’t want anyone to take care of me. I simply want to be cared for, and there’s a very big difference between the two."
"People were just as cruel to animals as they were to each other."
"No one can ever be sure of anything."
"We take risks when we allow ourselves to love."
"Things will either get worse or better, but they won’t stay the same."
"The irony is that people don’t really give a damn. They’re too preoccupied with themselves."
“Make sure what you’re doing is for you."
"Don’t hang your future on a hope that may not be there."
"Family members tend to stick together in matters like this, even if they don’t get along."
"I’ve always wanted things to be easy. They almost never are."

March 27, 2016
23/3 - I just finished watching the last episode in season 10 of Bones on Foxtel and considering the fact that Channel 7 is only halfway through season 11 I don't think Foxtel will be getting its hands on it for some time, possibly not until next year even. Coming to the realisation that I might have to wait 12 months before I see a new episode of Bones sent me into almost immediate withdrawal, but then I looked at my to read list for March and had the epiphany of what's the next best thing after Bones? Scarpetta!! that's what! What early Scarpetta lacks in up to date forensic details it makes up for in realism. I've read the first five books a number of times, but this is the first one where I don't actually remember whodunit or why, which will make for a nice surprise when it's revealed. To be continued...

25/3 - The cover is chilling, but it annoys me that it doesn't accurately represent the crimes from the book - yes, there are dead women (and men) found in the woods, but not one of them is described as wearing a skirt and they're all described as being fully clothed and partially skeletonised. So even if one of the women had been wearing a skirt, by the time she was found her bare leg would be nothing but bone and what was left of her flesh, the rest of which had been eaten away by animals, insects and bacteria. I know I'm over thinking things, but details like that bother me.

I had forgotten how early on in the series Scarpetta gets caught up in the politics of murder and I was surprised by the climax of the investigation. The killer was revealed way before the actual climax, but I didn't guess/remember how it was all going to end until I read it. The whole way through the book I found myself looking for clues or hints of some of the big events that I know are coming in later books, but unlike in tv shows (I still have Bones on my mind and that's the first thing that popped into my head when it comes to the little hints and sideways glances that gave the viewers hope about Booth and Bones getting together) I couldn't see anything that would lead me to guess what's going to happen (no spoilers) over the next few books. Still a five star read (YAY! I was worried I was going to find myself disillusioned after so many years between reads). I loved this so much I went straight into Cruel and Unusual.

2016 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A Murder Mystery
Profile Image for Louie the Mustache Matos.
915 reviews62 followers
May 11, 2022
All That Remains is a Patricia Cornwell novel, #3 in the Kay Scarpetta series. Scarpetta is a Medical Examiner for the Virginia Commonwealth who tends to investigate the cases before her with the help of a police detective, Pete Marino. The relationship between the two adds an air of authenticity to their investigations seeing as Scarpetta gets often targeted by the killers. Implicit in the bombastic relationship is an affection that may be more than what it seems from afar. In this novel, a serial killer has kidnapped couples and months later their remains are found discarded in the forests usually by hunters. Cornwell is really great about conveying the minute detail involved in forensic medicine and the significance that each possible clue may imply. Because one of the victims kidnapped is the daughter of a minor political figure, there is more depending on Scarpetta’s ability to find the serial killer before the bodies are recovered.
Profile Image for Laura.
743 reviews266 followers
December 20, 2016
This was a reread from over ten years ago, so it felt almost like new to me. I can always count on this series to keep the pages turning and the interest high. The ending was a little too......not pat. Maybe a little far-fetched? Convoluted. But definitely a worthwhile read. Looking forward to getting caught-up with this series. I think the next one will be a reread too and then I'll be in new territory.
August 14, 2017
I was zooming through, enjoying this very well but the end fumbled. Violence isn't my kind of content but Patricia Cornwell has an engaging pace. A good author can peak our interest in nearly anything. I liked a lot in this story. However as we were revving up to the crux, an extra twist disturbed momentum that was better without it. Other elements did too. “All That Remains”, 1992, was sure to score four stars but received three.

A person I liked died and it wasn't clear why, nor was a detail about the crimes that was discussed a lot. A victim's Mother often pops up in reaction to confidential information and we accept that she has high security clearance. However her arrival at the end needed to be explained. If the other person's presence was unrelated, was the Mother's timing a coincidence? That detracted from the power of the closing scenes. I also wonder: was it safe to meet with a depraved person or was he only in murder mode in planned scenarios?

I prefer Kay over the moon in a romantic life. I was disappointed Patricia fabricated a rift with Mark; meagrely giving readers renewed promises later. Doesn't she think a happily-partnered person can make exciting mysteries? I was sorry Pete Marino's marriage was under stress but by contrast, his thread brings out the most loveable sides to him. It is a pleasure to see his friendship grow with Kay and I like her friendship with Abby. They are my favourite parts of the series, bolstered by the author's focus on advancing her mysteries. There is no time-wasting chat among officers, bosses, nor any superfluous points of view; successful tactics for fiction. Despite being tragic and gory, Patricia's mysteries sweep me along. I have already started her sequel.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,530 reviews790 followers
February 19, 2020
A serial killer is killing couples, leaving one tantalising clue. When the daughter of one of the elite goes missing, Scarpetta and co. find themselves under immense scrutiny and pressure on all sides. The Scarpetta 'method' of investigations of serial killer cases while be judge and often troubled by concerned parties in authority works really well in this book!

The Kay Scarpeta series 'blows up' in this volume as the formula works perfectly. The strength of the book may have something to do with it being based on the Colonial Parkway Killer, a suspected serial killer who was thought to have murdered 8 people in Virginia in the '80s.
Profile Image for Susan.
15 reviews5 followers
June 5, 2009
The book makes a good start and PC actually went so far as to develop some of the characters. I thought this book was going to be different from the first two...I was wrong.

She did the same thing she did in the other two. She has a great plot and some interesting characters, but they really seem to go no where. Then she proceeds to lay the murders on some guy we never meet and there is no explanation for the murders.

All we get from the book is the killer is caught or killed (usually), speculation from Kay Scarpetta, and then she just kind of shrugs her shoulders and drives away.

This book ended horribly for me. I actually thought it was just the end of a chapter, not the end of the book. When I turned the page and saw that it was the end, I actually said, "What the hell...?" out loud. It was that much of a disappointment.

Even though I have more of Patricia Cornwell's books in this series, I WILL NOT be reading them. As far as I am concerned, it was and would be a complete waste of my time.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lobstergirl.
1,698 reviews1,227 followers
December 3, 2017

The setup seemed promising: young lovers on road trips disappear, their cars found abandoned, and months later their bodies are found by hunters in the woods. But Cornwell did nothing interesting with this, and as in her previous novel Body of Evidence has the killer parachute in at the last minute. Who the *&^% cares about a killer introduced in such a way? The only way to maintain narrative tension in a whodunnit is to be wondering which of the characters you already know dunnit.
Profile Image for AnnaBnana.
518 reviews11 followers
February 4, 2009
I chose this book as one of the mysteries I'm reading for my Adult Pop Lit class, so this is long because I need to remember for discussion...

I was compelled to keep reading this book, so I think that's saying something for good pacing and interesting plot and characters. It mostly stands up to Van Dine's 21 rules for mystery writing.

There was a love interest for Dr. Scarpetta, but it's not at all central to the story. Because this book is a bit more of a forensic mystery, the conclusion was a little unexpected, given that I don't actually know any more about forensics than what I've learned on SVU and Forensic Files. :) Cornwell gives just enough descriptive detail about her crime scenes and about what the detectives know about the crime themselves. What was a little extra compelling was that there was sort of a mystery within a mystery because Scarpetta was kept in the dark on some of the investigation. So--it was not only about solving the crime but also about figuring out what she knew and didn't know and what was accurate info and what wasn't. It kept me reading and I don't really seek out mysteries, so that's good.

There was a bit of breaking of Van Dine's 21 mystery-writing rules--there was a bit of wonderment surrounding cigarette butts left at the scene. Also, the perpetrator of the crime is supposed to be someone who plays a more or less prominent role in the story and I didn't necessarily feel like that was the case. I wished that the killer had been introduced earlier so I would have had more of a chance of guessing who it was. Once they had a suspect, even when they thought it might not be him, it was still pretty obvious to me that it must be because there were only a couple of chapters left in the book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Olga.
166 reviews31 followers
August 31, 2012
Conditioned by my previous experiences with detective novels whenever I begin a Scarpetta book I expect a straightforward mystery, and every time Cornwell crafts a story that's everything but. Oh, there is a mystery alright, but there is also a very strong human element and the more I get to know Kay Scarpetta and her circle the more clearly I see it. It is possible of course that this human element is becoming more prominent, with every consecutive book being more about the people than the crime, the crime being a catalyst for this humanity to manifest itself and provide a macabre backdrop for it. And you know what? I like seeing something more layered than an cold investigation into disappearances and deaths, I like seeing characters stretch themselves, doubt themselves and their friends and colleagues, struggle through life's problems and emerge changed, even just a little bit. I like seeing relationship develop through the mundane things, and Cornwell delivers that every time. In case you're wondering what it is I'm talking about: here Kay doubts her friendship with Abby Turnbull, the reporter she first met in Postmortem, because Abby isn't being particularly straightforward about her involvement in Scarpetta's latest case. It is also in this book that she realizes that the more she works with Marino the more she likes him, despite his unkempt appearance and irritating behavior, and a true friendship begins to emerge. And last but not least there are the frustrations of finding herself in the middle of basically a face-off between the FBI, the DA's office and higher echelons of government. Cornwell uses these situations wonderfully to develop her characters and since they are so significant in the story they become the stage of power plays and the really dramatic scenes.
Politics is big in this book and Cornwell explores the effects of it on people's lives with her usual delicate but firm touch. The potential of a cover-up in her daughter's murder case pushes a prominent politician over the edge and the question of whether she ruined her own career or was helped along the way is a major point of contention in this book. There is also the matter of whether being a public figure at a time like what this politician's family is going through is a blessing or a curse and the reality that there is more than one answer to this question. The fact that Cornwell raises these issues and that everything filters through Kay, the protagonist, makes her a complex individual who navigates a personal and professional maze every day and knows that things are much less straightforward than she would like to see, a person who regularly thinks about life and people, and not just on a simple day-to-day level.
My only concern with this novel is that if Cornwell continues along the path she is on the politics will grow to dominate the story and while it is a fertile field for character development I would hate to see it happen - politics tend to make things convoluted and much talk about views and positions on issues is not something I enjoy in my fiction. I think she struck a nice balance in this book and hope the next novels don't veer off into a lot of talk and little action.

Read more of my reviews at Bibliophile's Corner
Profile Image for Katie Fitzgerald.
Author 3 books196 followers
January 5, 2019
This third book of the Kay Scarpetta series is even better than the first two. I listened to the audiobook read by C.J. Critt, which I'm sure contributed to my enjoyment of the story. I especially enjoyed the relationships in the book: Kay's friendships with Marino and Abby, her potential romance with Mark, and even the enmity between Kay and a murder victim's mother and between Kay and the FBI. (I wished there had been more of Kay's niece, Lucy, but the few moments that were included were enough to assure me that she'll be around in future books.) The case itself was intriguing, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, frustrating dead ends, and interesting interviews with witnesses. I'm looking forward to getting more into this series this year.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
342 reviews14 followers
November 2, 2022
In this installment, Kay is brought in on the case of a missing couple. There have already been a handful of missing couples that later turn up dead. Through her investigation and with the help of her detective friend Marino, she discovers a much earlier case of a couple murdered young women that may be the work of the same serial killer. There are lots of aspects to this case, especially since the latest female victim is the daughter of the current drug czar for the US government. I found this story to be a real page-turner and I can highly recommend it to those who enjoy this series.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,086 reviews362 followers
July 15, 2017
3 Stars

This was another easy and engaging murder-mystery by Cornwell.

In this 3rd instalment, medical examiner, Kay Scarpetta, becomes embroiled (yet again) in a murder case in which several young couples have been kidnapped and murdered in the woods of Virginia by an unknown assailant.

Once again Kay is joined by cop Marino and FBI profiler Benton while working the case. Unfortunately, I'm still unfeeling towards this cast of characters, but fortunately I enjoy the mystery plots enough to continue reading this series at a leisurely pace.
Profile Image for Audrey.
453 reviews573 followers
October 26, 2022
I'm rereading my way through the Kay Scarpetta series and really enjoyed being back in her world.

I did a combo of reading + audiobook and that really worked for me.

Such a massive fan of this series and will keep on recommending it. Kay is such a dynamic character and all of these books mesh medical thriller + police/FBI investigation + personal life and it's done so well!
Profile Image for TheMadHatter.
1,252 reviews32 followers
December 31, 2017
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars.

I finished this last night and it will become my last (and 106th) read for 2017.

I remember first reading this when I was in my 20s and thought Kay Scarpetta was really old. Twenty years later, when Kay and I are MUCH closer in age and I think "wow....she wasn't old at all" Ahh perspective :-).

I do love this series, which is why I embarked on the re-read (they are over 20 books in the series now). SPOILERS COMING........................................................................................ The thing that annoyed me with this one though, is that Forensic Science doesn't save the day, but a random act of Kay sitting in her car in the parking lot of a bar and recognises a dodgy car. The probability of this event is SOOOOOO low that I just went "Really Kay?".

Also, there is no way, like in Agatha Christie mysteries, you could even take a stab at who did the crime as they don't appear until the very end.

I still liked it though. Such a nostalgic read for me. Vintage Scarpetta is the best! I am very eager to continue my re-read of the very young and spunky Scarpetta :-)
Profile Image for Mochacocafan.
7 reviews
April 10, 2010
Pros of this book:

-The protagonist is not in any way, shape or form a Mary Sue
-she's....somewhat good at her job
-there is blood and no over-romanticizing death
-they're realistic
-the plot makes sense
-there are no LOLWHUT / DOESNOTCOMPUTE moments
-the details are interesting


-the swearing and slang feel unnatural for every character
-there are some dumb, overused stereotypes
-I get the sense from this book that every killer is an idiot
-the killer is an idiot
-the main character is incredibly flat, and I don't get the feeling that Dr Kay Scarpetta is intelligent, really
-there is no real emotion or even a bit of poetry in the books
-the main character is kind of boring
-the main character makes stupid, irritating mistakes, and doesn't introspectively think
-there's no philosophical/moral dilemmas, really
Profile Image for Marijan Šiško.
Author 1 book64 followers
January 15, 2018
Ocjena ostaje nepromijenjena i naklon drugog čitanja. Lagano štivo, ali jednostavno nije moj cup of tea.
Profile Image for Calzean.
2,591 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2021
20 years old when crime novels did not have DNA, cameras everywhere and mobile phones with GPS tracking to solve crimes. The book has aged okay being s a precursor to many more books in the series and a plethora of CSI type TV shows that proved the popularity of forensic crime novels.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,864 reviews421 followers
September 26, 2016
'All That Remains' is third in the Dr. Kay Scarpetta murder mystery series. She is Chief Medical Examiner for the state of Virginia, and besides doing a lot of autopsies, she solves murders!

Scarpetta usually begins her days thus:

"Saturday, the last day of August, I started work before dawn. I did not witness mist burning off the grass or the sky turning brilliant blue. Steel tables were occupied by bodies all morning, and there are no windows in the morgue. Labor Day weekend had begun with a bang of car crashes and gunfire in the city of Richmond."

I suspect autopsies are a touch boring for her, although she always treats the bodies with respect and does her best to ease the grief of the families and satisfy the requirements and legal regulations of her job. But I think it is the bodies which come in from unsolved murders that bring some spark into her day. She definitely prefers the company of dead people and policemen over that of her family, a sister and mother, except for Lucy, her niece, who she loves very much. The ex-husband has been out of her life for a few years, and she is still hurting over her last boyfriend, a secretive FBI (or maybe not) agent who she still feels betrayed her.

Four couples have been done to death! At first, no one knew 'The Couple Murders' were linked, but when forensic evidence and body position commonalities were noticed at all locations where the bodies were found, a Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) regional team is assembled, consisting of Richmond homicide detective Pete Marino, FBI Special Agent Benton Wesley, and of course, Dr. Scarpetta. The case has been going nowhere for two years, but this is going to change. The news story of the latest couple found murdered isn't going to be on the back pages of newspapers. Deborah Harvey, the dead woman, is the daughter of Pat Harvey, the National Drug Policy Director, appointed by the President of the United States. The reporters are swarming, the politicians want answers, and the FBI is going into panic mode.

These are fun murders, people! Don't judge me. After some of the heavy and sad books I've been reading, a Scarpetta novel as formula as this one feels like a breath of fresh air on a summer's day.
Profile Image for ✨Susan✨.
873 reviews174 followers
February 13, 2015
Kay Scarpetta is a medical examiner who has been trying to solve a case concerning a serial killer for many years. No evidence is ever found at the murder sights and she cannot find cause of death for any of the victims. The story started out interesting and the characters were believable, however, about three quarters of the way through the mystery became convoluted. To many what if's and conjectures with not enough evidence to support some of the theory's. I was going to rate it a four because most of the book was pretty good with the exception of the end, but the recording needs to be cleaned up. An echo ran through out, slight but still present.
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