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Blow Fly (Kay Scarpetta #12)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  33,205 Ratings  ·  836 Reviews
In Blow Fly, Kay Scarpetta stands at the threshold of a new life after her work as Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner has come to a jarring end. At the close of The Last Precinct, she knew she would have to leave Richmond if she were to find any peace. She feared that she was about to be fired by the governor. More alarming, she was hounded in the media and in the courtroom ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published September 7th 2004 by Berkley (first published 2003)
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Rating details
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Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Book Review
3 out of 5 stars to Blow Fly, the 12th book in the "Kay Scarpetta" thriller and mystery series, written in 2003 by Patricia Cornwell. In this book, Cornwell changes the point of view to third person, which is different from previous books. It was awkward at first, but I am usually good with these types of switches. I found some problems with it, but I wasn't as concerned as several other readers were. What did bug me a little was this felt a bit like the Hannibal Lecter series for
Mikey B.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Good entertainment, good build-up with a dicey ending.

Lots of characters but the book is well compartmentalized – over 120 chapters. Not really a Kay Scarpetta-pathologist mystery. The ending lets one of the(view spoiler) setting up a sequel which I will not read. This book does have references to previous ones, but it didn’t hinder plot understanding.

One loop-hole is of the (view spoiler)
J.C. Wing
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reading through many of the reviews of this book on goodreads it's impossible to ignore the negative feedback Cornwell received after publishing this 12th installment of her Kay Scarpetta series. I will be honest...this review comes after having read this book a second time. I was a devoted Scarpetta reader and many years ago I quit following this series after reading Blow Fly. It wasn't because I thought the book was badly written. It isn't. I have always enjoyed Patricia Cornwell's prose. My p ...more
First Read: January 2006
Re-read: May 2017

When I first read Blow Fly I hated the switch to third person that Cornwell uses in this book for the first time. I disliked the multiple POVs and felt that the whole plot was disjointed as a result. On a second read I found the multiple narrators less of an issue - because I was expecting it this time round - and it was interesting to see how the other characters in Kay's world viewed her and their places in her life. I enjoyed the interconnected plots a
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
This was one of the few Scarpetta books that I hadn't read yet, and I must say that it doesn't live up to the expectations that Cornwell set with the earlier Scarpetta books. Not much mention through the entire book of the actual forensic work or investigation. I am a huge Cornwell fan and this one left me quite disappointed!
Jun 04, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't recognise that I'd already read this when I found it in a charity shop. This is one of the ones where Cornwell's lost the plot completely as far as I am concerned. At the start of the series I liked the books, despite Super Scarpetta's habit of coming home from an exhausting 27-hour day as the world's best forensic pathologist and pulling together a gourmet multi-course meal beginning with making the pasta from scratch. (Who did the shopping / cleaning in the mega mansion?) But at the e ...more
I really used to like Corwell's books but the Scarpetta series seems to have become more and more ludicrous as time has passed. Perhaps that is what other readers want but the whole thing has become rather silly.

Everyone is the best at what they do, everyone has technology from NASA, fast cars and political contacts.The plot wanders far and wide with links to the past and the oddest meaderings of a murderous mind. All fair enough I suppose but to lead the reader through these corridors of fanta
Jan 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2004
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those who follow P Cornwell or the Scarpetta series
Recommended to Sandy by: Christy
Shelves: 2008
I used to really like Patricia Cornwell, especially the Scarpetta series. However, this being the 12th in the series, she's getting a little wild. Cornwell has gotten much gorier and more gruesome in her writing. I think she's reaching rather than telling another story in Scarpetta's life.
Alex Cantone
This one takes about 300 pages to get going; testing my patience, and about a third of that dredging the minds of prisoners awaiting execution by lethal injection in a Texas jail. One of these is Jean-Baptiste Chardonne, of an international crime family; born malformed and covered in hair, who viciously kills women he is unable to copulate with. The only thing missing here is a hunchback. There is a passing reference to Edgar Allan Poe, the writer of choice for malevolent weirdos. One of his int ...more
Feb 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to lionlady by: Gabi
Shelves: shoot-em-ups
The Dr. Kay Scarpetta series is one of my very favorite mystery series. The character development from book to book is quite good, you really get to know them. The bad guys are really bad and, of course, there is one that keeps returning. There's some real good twists. Also, I loved the forensics.
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook

Cornwell makes many changes to the twelfth novel in the Scarpetta series, easily identifiable to series regulars. Scarpetta, now a Florida-based forensic pathology consultant, returns to deal with the endgame presented in the final chapters of The Last Precinct while trying to acclimate to her new life. She investigates a crime down in Louisiana after receiving a call from the local medical examiner, full of questions and no easy answers. Meanwhile, Lucy is forging her own adventure hunting down
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Well, what to say. I guess there's hope for the Scarpetta series, but I've forgotten why I ever liked her. She'd be a major downer to know. And Benton, there's a bore. At first, I was sorry Ms. Cornwell killed him off, but now I'd rather see a more appealing character than him written in, one who doesn't need a fire built under him, than have Benton back to do little more than contribute to Scarpetta's already gloom-ridden persona. I'm sick to death of Wolfman Chandonne too. There could be some ...more
May 08, 2011 rated it it was ok

Why do I keep reading books that are part of a series that I've never read? Because people give them to me and say "this is a really good book!" And maybe it was to people who have read the Kay Scarpetta series from book one, and are really into the personal relationships of the characters, but I have not, and I was not.

There were hints along the way of an actual murder mystery going on, you know ... somewhere in between all the blah, blah, blah, and I kept hoping it would come to the fro
May 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audio, read-in-2009
Pants crapping awful.
Bev Taylor
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
this powerful story of scarpetta's nemesis tightens up the tension and the body count

scarpetta is no longer a chief examiner and has left richmond for florida. her lover benton is 'dead' and she is really struggling

h/e she is soon deep into a case that has colleagues in louisiana profoundly disturbed. something is not right. r local politicians and people of importance trying to cover up something and why has it been brought to her attention by jean baptiste?

then she is horrified to receive a
Fredrick Danysh
May 23, 2017 rated it liked it
On Texas' Death Row a sadistic killer is days from his execution. He has a plan to kill Dr. Kay Scarpetta who is now in private practice. In Louisiana his fraternal twin is killing and butchering women who resemble Kay. Kay's niece and friends work to protect her.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jerry B
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Poor contination of the Scarpetta/Chardonne ugly soap opera...

That we've had to wait a few years since the "Last Precinct" [skipping the wretched non-Scarpetta "Isle of Dogs" and Cornwell's non-fiction book about Jack the Ripper:] made us anxious to devour Kay Scarpetta's return. Alas, Kay is little more than a bit player as first niece Lucy, as head of her own investigative firm, then a resuscitated Benton Wesley (what a rip-off!!) steal most of the scenes. Pete Marino is around for little mor
Jun 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what the fuss was about this book, as I had received quite a few negative comments in regards to saying it was the worst book etc, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I liked the change in perspective because I felt as though Scarpetta was getting a little stale and needed a change. "The Last Precinct" (the novel prior to this one) was the worst one I had read and had I not known it was paramount to the following books I would have thrown it away.

However "Blow Fly" was
Sep 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is by far the best of the later Scarpetta novels.

That annoying grown up Lucy/Kay dynamic is not as central and mind-numbingly repetitive and boring as it is in several other of the later books. (I mean, could that Lucy character be ANY more blandly self-obsessed?)

Despite being built around the ridiculous antagonist from the silly wolfman book set in Paris, this time around he's used to much better and more persuasive effect--for the first 3/4 or 4/5 of the book. Then, as so often happens i
Hali Sowle
It is hard getting used to the third person recitations of these later Kay Scarpetta novels, but they do have one positive aspect, you really are getting to know the mindsets of Lucy, Marino and Benton. Yes, Benton, and I don't think I'm revealing anything by saying his name. The book also introduces at least one new character who will play a part in future novels, and his backstory explains why Lucy really left the FBI. It also brings to a closure many of the previous novels threads, but not ev ...more
Judith Shadford
Dec 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
Sigh. Well, it was airplane reading that lasted a little longer than the flights. Frustrating, because I think Cornwell is capable of slightly better writing. The book is a walking definition of MELODRAMA!
Stuart Malcolm
Sep 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
The worst ending to a book ever. I mean it wasn't great up until then, but it was really like she couldn't be arsed anymore and thought "Screw it, five more pages is all I can be bothered with."
Kelly ...
May 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, mysteries
Dang this one makes me mad. I am going to write a very short review that contains no spoilers -- but I have to say there are two huge issues with this book.

1. On of the main characters is always just over the line with respect to the law. Unfortunately this volume sees her commit murder. Not self defense. Not defense of others. Murder!

2. I quit this series the last time after another main character was killed. Now she brings the character back -- he didnt die at all, and not only that but some o
The Katie
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Isca Silurum
Dec 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
I'm sure it's all down to money with author and publishers.

Reference book and cut and paste writing.

No regard to continuity on the part of author or editor, gets in the way of making money I guess.

Still quick reads and caters for masochistic traits.
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
I have read Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series in order. My appreciation and enjoyment of the series went from a high level to a very high level, back to a high level … and then plummeted. Finally, with “The Last Precinct”, I thought that Cornwell's rut might be over and the series was about to climb back into my favorites. That book felt like a literary “catch-up, catch breath, and prepare to move forward” effort.

I was wrong. “Blow Fly”, the 12th in the series (13 if you count “Winter Tab
Peggy Barker
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Patricia Cornwell holds my undivided attention in 'Blow Fly', as usual, with another page-turning saga. I welcomed the diversion of the typical 'Kay Scarpetta' story plot to the point of her losing her position as Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond,VA and relocating to Florida where she becomes a consultant.

However, had it not been for the strong roles of Lucy, Rudy, Pete Marino and the reappearance of FBI agent Benton Wesley, I don't think I would have rated this novel so highly. I honestly fel
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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,
More about Patricia Cornwell

Other books in the series

Kay Scarpetta (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Postmortem (Kay Scarpetta, #1)
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