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(Kay Scarpetta #13)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  27,763 ratings  ·  830 reviews
Dr. Kay Scarpetta, now freelancing from South Florida, returns to the city that turned its back on her five years ago. Richmond, Virginia's recently appointed chief medical examiner claims that he needs Scarpetta's help to solve a perplexing crime. When she arrives, however, Scarpetta finds that nothing is as she expected: Her former lab is in the final stages of demolitio ...more
Paperback, 401 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Berkley (first published September 2nd 2004)
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MsEleanorMae I've read many Patricia Cornwell's - some I've not added as being read (until I reread). They are very easy to dip into in any order. The author adds…moreI've read many Patricia Cornwell's - some I've not added as being read (until I reread). They are very easy to dip into in any order. The author adds in just enough background information to get you up to speed. Try listening to one - even better.

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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,763 ratings  ·  830 reviews

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Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book Review
3.5 of 5 stars to Trace, the 13th book in the Kay Scarpetta thriller series, written in 2004 by Patricia Cornwell. Trace is midway in the series which has about 25 books as of 2017 when I'm finally writing this review! I'm trying to catch up on all my favorite series, finish writing reviews and then read the latest books which are still in my TBR pile.

Trace is a solid story, as we come to expect from Cornwell, but it has a few issues, too. It's a very emotional book, not only beca
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
This is the book, I would say, where the characters complete their transformation from interesting people with issues you can relate to, to characters who are doing things that are so screwed up you don't even want to watch anymore. And now I remember why I stopped reading this series.
Dec 02, 2007 rated it liked it
Although I'm a big fan of Cornwell's Scarpetta series I had great trouble getting into this book.

Scarpetta goes back to Richmond after 5 years to help solve the case of a young girl found dead in her bed. She is called by the new Medical Examiner who reveals himself to be a less than competent man with a few skeletons in his closet. At the same time Benton is in Aspen trying to help a member of Lucy's team who was attacked in Lucy's house, having had to cancel the vacation plans he had with Scar
Dec 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
What is up with Patricia Cornwell? Her last book, "Blow Fly", sucked and this was not much better. Same problems as the last - huge unexplained plot holes, third person perspective, undeveloped minor characters. And what's worse, the last book ended with a cliff hanger that she ignored in this one and she just started a different track! Very Irritating! Her books used to be really tight with no holes, everything wrapped up nice and neat, and she always continued the story line until the bad guy ...more
John Wiswell
Aug 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Crime fiction lovers
Throw some sexual deviation and a few murders in there and I guess you'll have something that can sell, even if it's not worth writing. The killer this time is Edgar Allan Pogue, tragically child-like, suffering from familial trauma, like a thousand other postmodern murderers. Cornwell's insistence on present tense narrative is grating, and the ridiculous self-gratification of her main protagonist always being right and slighted anyway is done without humility or charm. The book is as bleak as a ...more
First read: March 2006
Re-Read: July-August 2017

The plot: Cornwell weaves two separate plots together in Trace. The first is from the perspective of Kay Scarpetta as she is called back to her old office in Virginia to help out on a case that the current chief medical examiner doesn't want to deal with. A fourteen year old girl named Gilly Paulsson is found dead in her bed with no obvious signs for the cause of death.

The second plot is from the perspective of Kay's niece Lucy, who has called Bento
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
I just don't know. This is the second Scarpetta book I have read (admittedly out of order), and there's something I'm just not getting.

This one begins promisingly enough, with Kay and detective Pete Marino heading back to Virginia to help solve the mysterious death of a 14 year old girl. We meet some creepy people- the new chief medical examiner, for one, and our real bad guy, Edgar Allen Pogue.

"Trace" centers around trace evidence found at three seemingly unrelated crime scenes. One of these,
Elaine Roberts
Dec 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
I love the Scarpetta character, which is based on a real medical examiner. Generally, Cornwell produces the Scarpetta books with taut and compelling writing. But in this novel, the characters have become caricatures of themselves. Marino is more unpleasant than usual. As a former detective, he is a useful foil and clearly in love with the lovely Kay Scarpetta, but became unacceptably irascible and unlikable in this book.

I know authors can't hit a home run with every book, especially in a long-ru
Jun 17, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
OH MY GOD PLEASE STOP BOOHOOING ABOUT YOURSELF. The entire tone of this book was just so pity party that I couldn't even finish it. I had to put it down about a third of the way through. Where did the strong woman, who valued her mind and knew her capabilities go? I understand character developement, but why must the protagonist be such a WIMP?
Sarah ~
Jul 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
ما حداني لشراء وقراءة هذه الرواية هي حبي لكل من يكتب في الطب الشرعي..
وخاصة روايات المبدعة ..
كاثي رايكس .. وبطلتها د. تمب برينان ..

ولكن باتريشيا كورونويل لن تصل لمستوى كاثي رايكس..
لا أعني أن الرواية لم تكن جيدة ..
ولكنها لم تكن جيدة بشكل كافي بنظري...
فلا شيء يضاهي د. تمب..
ولا مغامراتها ...

Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
As I recounted in my review of the book after this, Predator, I checked that book out of the library thinking it might be the one about which I'd read a review saying that finally the Scarpetta series was improving again, but after realizing what a piece of tripe that work is, checked out this one instead, as I'd initially been going to do.

It started out more promising than Predator - for one thing, it began with an actual mystery! - but quickly got bogged down in Lucy's personal problems. Back
Jerry B
Jul 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Cornwell and Scarpetta should just gracefully retire !!

Patricia Cornwell is not on a good roll. Her atrocious non-Scarpetta "Isle of Dogs" was hardly redeemed by the weak return of Kay and Lucy in "Blowfly", wherein Scarpetta barely put in a cameo and Lucy took center stage (disguised as Wonder Woman), while poor Pete Marino was cast as little better than a bum and Benton Wesley was resurrected from the dead of all things.

At least in "Trace", half of the story is about Scarpetta, and though gro
Mahoghani 23
Pete & Kay didn't do it for me this time. As much as I enjoy reading the Kay Scarpetta series, this one was downright bizarre.

Kay is requested by the new Chief Mecical Examiner, Dr. Marcus but everything is quite sketchy. She's there to assist in finding out what happened to Jilly Paulson and nothing is what it appears to be.
1. The child's mother appears or acts like she's mentally out of her wits; all along she's playing S & M games and uses Pete Marino as one of her subjects.

2. Every
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Dr. Scarpetta returns for her (lucky) 13th installment, with a case that has her return to Richmond to assist the Chief Medical Examiner. Newly liberated Marino accompanies her and they receive a less than warm welcome. A girl is deemed to have been murdered, but the circumstances surrounding it do not match up with what the mother is telling authorities and no one can determine what's been going on. While receiving the persona non grata treatment, both Scarpetta and Marino determine that someth ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated
I found this book while I was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago. It had just been released and I couldn't wait to get it in paperback so I got the brand new hardcover. I just couldn't wait to see if she will redeem herself in this book. After completely changing the style that she writes the Scarpetta series and being severely disappointed in her latest (Blow Fly) this is her chance to win me back. So far I'm not even halfway through but I'm not impressed. It's the same choppy story as the last one, ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the reason I needed to start a goodreads account in the first place. To keep track of my ridiculous Patricia Cornwell addiction. I can never remember where I left off in the series and then halfway through a book I'll remember I've read it. Plus, I go through spurts of reading her, which complicates memory matters. So note to self: you've read this. In addition, this book was actually really good comparatively. Her first novels were ridiculously cheesy but now that I think about it, I'm ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
أحب دائماً أي مسلسل تلفزيوني يحمل عبارة


بغض النظر عن اسم المدينة ففي هذا النوع احترام لعقل المشاهد دعك عن الاثارة الموجودة فيها .. على عكس مسلسلاتنا التي تعج بالمشاكل والسخافات وبالطبع قبل أن أنسى (البويات) ومن غيرهن

قراءة رواية الأثر كأنها مشاهدة ممتعه لعدة حلقات من تلك المسلسلات وبأسلوب يختلف عن اسلوب كاتي ريكس المليء بغرور وعنجهية الرجل الأبيض


Here's the goods - this is my first Scarpetta and am fully convinced, one hour in, that I should have started at the beginning to get into character because I am finding this ugly.

So this can go, and I may try it again once I have the earlier numbers under my belt...

Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
I've always been a huge Patricia Cornwell fan, especially of her Kay Scarpetta series. This book unfortunately was very dissapointing to me. It didn't seem to have much of the forensic investigation or murder investigations in it. In fact, all the murders had been commited by the start of the book. It's definately a take it or leave it book.
Kathy Davie
Apr 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-forensic
Thirteenth in the Kay Scarpetta forensic mystery series and revolving around a freelance forensic pathologist. Trace involves a return to Richmond, Virginia, which had thrown Kay out on her ear five years ago.

My Take
I didn't care for the screenplay feel of the writing, although it wasn't actually that obnoxious. I simply dislike feeling as though the writer is providing instructions to the characters.

What a self-officious prick! I loved how Kay took Marcus down. Idiot. I don't know what Virginia
Brent Soderstrum
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is Cornwell's 13th Kay Scarpetta novel and quite frankly this one is better then the past 6 or so. No Temple Gault and company. No Wolf Man. Instead we have Edgar Allen Pogue (come on...that is pretty lame). Regardless of his name, EAP is the proverbial meek quiet employee who worked for Scarpetta till something went wrong and he is tipped over the edge of insanity bent on hurting Scarpetta.

Kay is currently living and working in Florida when she is called by the current Medical Examiner to
Mar 08, 2019 added it
Shelves: new-in-2019
A very unusual book. I didn’t much like any of the characters, but I was intrigued about the solution to the mystery. I can see that Kay Scarpetta has a professionalism and integrity that commands respect. But she doesn’t attract me as a character; also, she loves her niece, Lucy. The others—Marino, Benton, Eise, Rudy, the abominable Dr Marcus—are all hard to like. And Lucy: I must confess, I was more for than against the killer’s desire to have her removed from the world. Perhaps predictably, t ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: seerijas
Lasāms krimiķis, bet šeit vairāk uzmanības izmeklētāju un laboratoriju darbam, intriga par vainīgo diezgan minimāla. Manuprāt, visām Skārpetas grāmatām ir tāda viegli depresīvi ikdienišķi nomācoša pieskaņa.. Skumju brīžos jāizvēlas kāds jestrāks gabals.
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soft
a bit tame after the events of the previous books but the added criminal insight is still refreshing

p68: rudy didn't used to lecture her.

p284: lucy had to get a flight physical right away because her medical certificate expired in two days.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dad-s-books
A thriller that isn’t even close to thrilling. The ending is anti-climactic, the characters are unbelievable and stupid, and the plot is...I won’t even waste my time (at least, any more of my time than was already wasted on this stuff).
Dec 06, 2008 rated it liked it

Trace by Patricia Cornwell is a Scarpetta Novel. Patricia Cornwell writes this story in three settings like: South Florida; Richmond, Virginia; and also in Aspen. The story mostly takes place in Richmond, Virginia, in modern time. It’s written in third-person omniscient, but the story mainly revolves around Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Everyone calls her Scarpetta. The story starts when Scarpetta returns to Richmond after five years to help on a case.

I like this book because it is about solving cases and
Reshma Nizam
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
A good kind of read.. but somethings are vague... something is left half said, half described, some incidents are hard to link to each other, you have to think back and work it all out.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
After going through some continuous heavy reads, I wanted a something fast paced where I didn't have to get involved much with the storyline. I picked this off my 13 year old cousin's shelf and was sorely disappointed from the first chapter!
It is my first PC novel but I don't think I was unfair in expecting something unputdownable, since books with such themes are expected to be so. However, I found myself coming up with new excuses to take breaks from reading this book and by the 100th page, w
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Dr Scarpetta is portrayed once again as a superb analyst of both the human body and the enivronment in which she and her subjects reside. Marino continues as her foil but brings about a more germane touch to the human side of life as opposed to just the scientific world of forensics (which are as ever full of intriguing detail). We have three parallel stories evolving in this book. Scarpetta and Marino investigate the death of a young girl. Scarpetta's niece Lucy is in a world that to me seems u ...more
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The Women's Myste...: #13 Trace 1 6 Aug 09, 2013 10:43PM  
  • The Complete Patricia Cornwell Companion
  • Death du Jour (Temperance Brennan, #2)
  • Monster (Alex Delaware, #13)
  • Without Consent (Dr. Anya Crichton, #2)
  • P is for Peril (Kinsey Millhone, #16)
  • Entombed (Alexandra Cooper, #7)
  • Critical (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #7)
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)
“rain slowly slides down the glass as if the night is crying.” 163 likes
“Life brings with it strangeness and surprises and upsets” 8 likes
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