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(Kay Scarpetta #14)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  25,500 ratings  ·  988 reviews
Scarpetta, now freelancing with the National Forensic Academy in Florida, digs into a case more bizarre than any she has ever faced, one that has produced not only unusual physical evidence, but also tantalizing clues about the inner workings of an extremely cunning and criminal mind.

She and her team --- Pete Marino, Benton Wesley, and her niece, Lucy --- track the odd con
Paperback, 453 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Berkley Publishing Group (first published October 25th 2005)
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Angela Freeman I was given this book and didn't know until I started reading it that it was part of a series. I quickly began searching for the previous books. For…moreI was given this book and didn't know until I started reading it that it was part of a series. I quickly began searching for the previous books. For the most part is very series. Start from the beginning is my advice.(less)

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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  25,500 ratings  ·  988 reviews

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Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Book Review
3.499999 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5 stars to Predator, the 14th book in the thriller and suspense mystery "Kay Scarpetta" series, published in 2005 by Patricia Cornwell. With so many books in a series, all about crazed serial killers, each successive one needs to do a lot to step it up. I thought this one would do it, as the book focused on multiple killers and tries to understand patterns using brain research. And parts of it were great. But parts of it were too difficult to
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
I've read every single one of Cornwell's K. Scarpetta series, and they've gotten progressively worse. I used to love these books, they were so GOOD, but now it's like she's just writing anything to get another book out there. Sad, b/c these really were some of my favorites back when she first started writing them. I don't even know if I can bear to read another one, the characters have gotten so bitter and unpleasant.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries
Okay - this was the worst Scarpetta book. I wanted to like it but it seems all the characters have become annoying caricatures. And in addition to that, the story was incredibly confusing. We have an evil criminal called HOG - The Hand of God, suicides that were actually murders, a scientific study Benton is running on the brains of serial killers, problems at the forensic center in FL.... Which is tied up in the end, but not in a satisfying way.

And my biggest gripe = Scarpetta is attacked (not
Sharon Dodge
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
*******SPOILERS AHEAD******

I was horrendously disappointed with this book, though not for obvious reasons. I found the author a very competent one - and if that sounds like an underhanded insult, I don't mean it that way. She's a fine author, and the majority of her characters have subtleties and nuance, especially the older ones, who I became attached to almost instantly.

The problem was the specific story was horrendous. It was a mash-up of every bad crime novel I've ever read, and even the int
Jane Greene
Feb 17, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I used to love the Kay Scarpetta series! In an attempt to revisit an old friend I picked up Predator. I was sad to see my "old friends" had been replaced by a poor resemblance of themselves. I hardly recognized the characters as the story was told in a confusing third party narrative making the people dark, depressing and very impersonal. The constant shift in storyline was difficult to follow. I'm only half-way through the book and I can honestly say I'm not sure what the story line is! For the ...more
First Read: April 2006
Re-read: January 2018

The plot: Predator is made up of several storylines that at first seem unconnected.

- Benton is working on a new project, codenamed PREDATOR that is assessing a killer named Basil. While Benton is interviewing him, Basil confesses to another murder that he says he was never caught for; the murder of a woman in her Christmas themed shop.

- Lucy is dealing with problems of her own (view spoiler)
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-mystery
I've been a Cornwell fan since I read her first book. I've had some complaints about her recent books ("Blow Fly" was probably the worst). This is getting back to her roots, but still the magic of her earlier books isn't there. I hate what she has done with the character of Marino. In earlier works, I kind of pictured Marino as an Ed Asner type, but now he's buff and bald and riding motorcycles and I've lost my picture of him. I also loved the working relationship they had, and now it seems non- ...more
The problem with this genre is that there are only so many ways to kill a person. The only saving grace is when the characters are delineated with depth and originality, which was only partially true in this book. A mildly surprising epilogue saved this book from a worse rating.
Robin Ripley
Nov 01, 2011 rated it did not like it
Remember when you could actually read and enjoy the Kay Scarpetta books from Patricia Cornwell?

Back when the series started, Kay was human, had a sense of humor, enjoyed cooking, did things normal people do. As the series has gone on, it has gotten darker, weirder (not a word, I know), more ominous, just...horrid.

The characters have degenerated into caricatures of their worst selves. The world has become sinister and evil. Honestly, there isn't anything enjoyable about reading these books. Who
Chrissa Vasileiou
Αλλού την έχω αφήσει τη Σκαρπέττα, αλλού τη βρίσκω... Να μου πεις, έχουν περάσει και τουλάχιστον εφτά βιβλία από τότε...
Στην αρχή θέλει τον χρόνο του το συγκεκριμένο, μέχρι να πιάσεις το νήμα που ενώνει όλα τα στοιχεία και σχηματίζει την υπόθεση. Πολλά έχουν διαδραματιστεί στο διάστημα που έχει μεσολαβήσει, οι επιπτώσεις των οποίων είναι ολοφάνερες στους ήρωες. Αυτό επίσης θέλει τον χρόνο του, έως ότου κατασταλάξει μέσα σου. Από τη μέση ειδικά και μετά γίνεται πιο ενδιαφέρον και κυλάει πιο άνετα
Roderick Hart
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Although well into the series of books featuring Dr Kay Scarpetta, this one is genuinely stand-alone, so if the reader has read none of the previous titles there will not be a problem. (This is not the case with all of them. For example, the Last Precinct takes up where a previous title finished and having read the previous book helps a lot).

Continuing the comparison with The Last Precinct, Predator moves much more rapidly and contains several narrative strands woven together with uncommon skill
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
El libro me gustó hasta el penúltimo capítulo. Ese final tan drástico que parece que le falte 1 capítulo hizo que pusiera tan baja las estrellas. Y el final tan abierto! No sé qué le pasó a Patricia en este libro.
SO what is happening with this series? I'm listening to this series as audio books- I could never read them- and sometimes if I miss who is speaking I can't tell the main characters from the bad guys. Why is everyone so angry and annoyed with each other? Kay can't stand Marino, who is suddenly described looking like Paul Teutul instead of a tall Danny Devito, including his new love of motorcycles. Marino may have transformed outwardly, but he is even more upset and depressed. Kay is suddenly bei ...more
Jul 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
It's difficult for me to even grasp what a mess this book was. Some things were so incredibly obvious to the reader (or at least, to this reader) that they could be discerned 200 pages before the characters realized them, and yet other things that readers were curious about for the entire book were never even revealed at all. Plot threads were dropped at random and not picked up again for 100 or 200 pages, and other threads were just dropped altogether for no apparent reason. Personally, I start ...more
Brent Soderstrum
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the 14th book from Cornwell in the Kay Scarpetta series.

This is a book with multiple plot line disorder in which the author tries to save it with emergency triage at the end leaving the book dead on the table with no one to save it.

What a mess. Good luck following the story as it jumps all over the place with all of the characters you are use to (Kay, Marino, Lucy and Benton) plus the victims and killers. The ending in which Cornwell tries to tie it all up is a mess in which not all thin
Mar 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This is huge for me. I have been reading my way through the Scarpettas, and I have finally bumped into one that was a genuinely decent mystery with a plot that made sense!

That being said, does anyone else get the feeling that Cornwell is working through her own issues with her characters? I mention this only because my chief complaint with her depictions of Kay, Lucy, Benton and above all, oh my God above all Marino is that she treats the reader as though their actions and reactions make sense
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
For many years I was a HUGE fan of Patricia Cornwell. And then by the time I read Blow Fly, I found myself increasingly disturbed and disgusted with her books and the self-wallowing of her characters. Gone was the brilliancy and left was the bizarre. I often wondered what was happening in Cornwell's own life and if she was putting her own issues into the emotional and pyschological pitfalls of her characters. I couldn't imagine that she would choose to make them become so unlikeable. Gone were t ...more
Jun 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
I'll never pick up another Cornwell book. I read the whole damn thing waiting for something to happen or a likeable protagonist or ??? Well, anything to make this the best seller that it is.

Nada, nil, nyet, nothing. Stupid to the nth degree.

Now, I love mysteries, which is why I picked up this book. Huge disappointment. Scarpetta (the preseumed MC) doesn't factor in much. She's not very likable anyway, so I didn't care. Who else? That insecure motorcyle guy (I already forget his Italian name)? Wh
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I had a hard time getting into this one as I thought I had missed something in the book. It seemed to do too much jumping around. However, once I did get past the first 100 pages, I got into the book and really did enjoy it in the end. I thought I had missed a book in the series, because Lucy seemed stranger than usual.

This one was pretty graphic, so if you like the cozy read, this is not for you. The forensic and psychological things presented are very interesting to me though.

I just read this
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was like half a book -- something Cornwell sat down and spewed out over a long weekend or so. In general, authors would then go back and edit their work, but it appears in this case that her half-baked manuscript somehow made it past all the editorial gatekeepers, straight to hard copy.

I hate how everyone in Scarpetta's life is so dysfunctional, grumpy, and repetitive. And I hate how Cornwell left us hanging with so many unanswered questions and incomplete plot points (what the heck h
Wanda Hartzenberg
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I give up. No matter how hard I try I simply do not like the authors writing style!
Sep 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
The Scarpetta books, once so wonderful, have been steadily declining in quality and excitement. I could hardly stay awake.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negra
Las novelas de Patricia Cornwell, lo he comentado en otra ocasión aquí mismo, son una excelente muestra del modo en el que se construyen las novelas negras a las que podría denominarse «de corte científico». Es decir, novelas profundamente cerebrales, en las que el protagonista echa mano de todos los avances tecnológicos que hay a su alrededor —parezcan verosímiles o no, aunque nadide duda de su existencia en el mundo real— y en las que, al mismo tiempo, el autor no pierde la oportunidad de enza ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This is the second Scarpetta book I've read, and while there were some interesting aspects to it - especially a multi-city, multi-character weaving of the narrative together - I found the characters to be colder than I was expecting, and more remote. Part of this certainly stems from reading the books out of order, and thus missing what I presume is a natural character development path - but in general, characters should be somewhat likable, or compelling, if I'm going to continue picking up a s ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Davies
Feb 05, 2010 rated it it was ok
Not very interesting. These books are popular, so I thought I'd give them a try, but from the looks of the other reviews I chose the wrong book to start on. Hopefully the others in this series are better, but I must admit that I don't think I'm likely to give them a try. There just wasn't really anything in this that I liked.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the worst book I've ever read. The plot was decent, the twists were all right, and it was interesting enough that I finished it (though that do
Hali Sowle
I was totally unprepared for how terrible this book was. It seems that Patricia Cornwell took everything she had written in the past book and books and thrown it away. The venue for this book is Charleston, Kay moves around more than a military family! Where, as usual it seems she's unwanted. The first thing that gets me is Lucy, sitting a bar getting drunk and picking up, or getting picked up, by a beautiful woman. Whoa... this is the same Lucy who gave up drinking in the last novel because she ...more
Mar 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have read some other Patricia Cornwell books and did not remember them being this bad.
First the writing style was awkward for me. The omniscient point of view was not enjoyable.

Second she tried to hard to create mystery and suspense. "Look I found something?"
"What is it?"
"Let's have a talk about our relationship first and I will tell you what I found."
"BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. Oh yeah that thing I found, I don't know what it means. Hopefully I will figure it out at the end of the book."

Lastly, th
Jul 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
The reason why people fell in love with the Scarpetta series was the science and the solving of shocking homicides through the use of analysis and technology. Same premise as CSI. The characters are terrible, CONSTANTLY being unfairly treated by every external figure (press, colleagues, government, etc.) that the interactions are frustrating and annoying. 300 pages and unbelievably fantastical situations for a series that is supposed to be grounded in fact. I was genuine annoyed when the wrap up ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
I thought there were too many story lines, which was very confusing for me. I still didn't get what did Hog have against those 2 women and little kids to do what he/she did to them. I'm not sure I'll read another Patricia book again anytime soon.
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The Women's Myste...: #14 Predator 1 11 Aug 09, 2013 10:43PM  
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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)
  • 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)
  • Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta, #10)
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