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Point of Origin

(Kay Scarpetta #9)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  58,543 ratings  ·  722 reviews
A farmhouse destroyed by fire
A body amongst the ruins

Dr Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner and consulting pathologist for the federal law enforcement agency ATF, is called out to a farmhouse in Virginia which has been destroyed by fire. In the ruins of the house she finds a body which tells a story of a violent and grisly murder.

The fire has come at the same time as ano
Paperback, 440 pages
Published 2000 by Time Warner (first published July 6th 1998)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,543 ratings  ·  722 reviews

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Jan 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Book Review
3+ of 5 stars to Point of Origin, the 9th thriller in the "Kay Scarpetta" mystery and suspense series by Patricia Cornwell. I enjoyed this book a lot, especially given the focus around Lucy and Benton. Cornwell gives such depth to her characters, you can't help but love and hate them at the same time. They feel incredibly real, and almost as if you've met them before. The suspense is at an all time high in this book. It's a very psychological book, especially given the two
Aug 14, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same. Dedicated "with love to Barbara Bush". The way Scarpetta keeps oggling her naked niece's body gets more and more disturbing, esp. since I doubt Cornwell will make a real f/f incest case out of this. Poor Benton has his "still surprisingly supple" body dutifully admired, and pale feet like her niece.
The blurb as usual proclaims not only that she does it best and has bad imitators, but that this one is "her best and bleakest" (don't get up my hopes - or maybe that just means the
Mar 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mysteries
Number Nine in the Series. Ok, you've read a series of mystery books before. Is it ever a good idea when the same serial killer shows up for the third time (at least)? And the killer just happens to be the former lover of the lesbian niece? Desperation thy name is Cornwell.
Just arrived from Germany through Bookmooch.

One you've read one book by Patricia Cornwell, you won't find anything different or so original in the following books.
Brent Soderstrum
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This is #9 of Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series and if you have read the previous 8 this one should be very familiar. Now Temple Gault is dead (I think) but Cornwell once again brings back Gault's partner in crime Carrie who also once had thing with Kay's niece Lucy. Carrie it seems has escaped from the loony bin in New York and is determined to get even with Kay, Lucy, Weston and Marino. Add to this the arson/slash murders that have been taking place all involving pretty people and you have the b ...more
 Li'l Owl
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite series many, many years ago.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Cornwell’s main series begins in 1990, when the internet was new and her computer whiz niece, Lucy, was little. I enjoy watching computers advance through software and hardware capacity that I remember, Lucy grow-up into an F.B.I. agent, and Pete Marino build true friendship with them. F.B.I. profiler Benton Wesley is also family. This approach to their team is why I am willing to read violent crime cases of a chief medical examiner; notably the first woman chief in Virginia. I do not r ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, kay-scarpetta
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book was so bad that I can’t even bring myself to go into any details because that would mean reliving this atrocity. Halfway through I removed all of the unread books from this series from my TBR list. I looked ahead to see if any future books looked better and found that 14 books later the same characters are still having the same problems and literally nothing has changed. Also the main character has a REALLY unhealthy attachment to her niece that just gets more disturbing with each book ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
This one was TERRIBLE. So far, her later books are a lot better. I don't expect much from my guilty pleasures, but I would like some entertainment and not sigh and facepalm so much.

Better review to come.
Hillary Woody
Dec 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recently someone handed me a bag of paperbacks and asked if I wanted to borrow them. Well, of course, I did. But I answered without really looking. And when I did look, I noticed that approximately 6 of the 8 books were Jodi Picoult. And those’ll be great in a week or so when I get on a plane, but in the meantime I needed something else. It was the middle of the night—no bookstore or library open—so I picked one of the non-Picoult’s: Patricia Cornwell’s Point of Origin.
Point of Origin is one of
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Scarpetta returns in an explosive thriller sure to send fans rushing out to read it. When a fire at a horse farm leaves a mysterious body in the rubble, Scarpetta is tasked by ATF to investigate. All fingers point to the farm's owner, whose known to Scarpetta from past media encounters. Could the body and the fire be the work of someone with a larger agenda? Meanwhile, an old nememis escapes from prison with the goal of wreaking havoc on Scarpetta's life. The story comes to a head when paths cro ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Patricia Cornwell is the master of suspense and she delivers another helping in Point of Origin. Kay Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia is back and faced with an evil from her past. In collaboration with her niece Lucy, Detective Pete Marino, and Profiler Benton Wesley, Scarpetta takes on the case of a deadly fire that turns into a plot even more sinister. Well written as always, Patricia Cornwell has delivered another thrilling tale of murder,deceit and mystery. Another page turner i ...more
Nicky Mottram
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Audio version of this book 📚- Really enjoyable listen , one of the better ones in this series
Glen Stott
Nov 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
When I finally finished this book I was so annoyed … … well, let’s just say in my defense, I was able to catch the book on its first bounce off the wall. Anyone who writes a book deserves at least one star. Cornwell knows a lot about fires and autopsies. Most of the book is about those. The protagonist, Kay, does a lot of autopsies and investigates a lot of fires, many by way of flashbacks. None of them even pretend to have anything to do with the storyline. Cornwell likes minutia. If she were w ...more
Aussie Reader's Challenge: 2019 Annual Series Challenge - Read book #7, #8, #9 and #10 in the Kay Scarpetta Series

Aussie Reader's Challenge: 2019 Winter Challenge - Women's Equality Day is 26th August so read a book with a strong independent woman

I first read this book about 20 years ago and I am reading it one last time before I send it off to the second hand book shop to find a new forever home (or just a home where it will be read and past on).

This was more of the same - but this is unfortun
This book is what I consider the last good Scarpetta novel; all the books that follow it (The Last Precinct, Blowfly, Predator, et al) are hardly worth the paper they're printed on.

The plot centers on the suspected arson of a media magnate's home which resulted in the death of one female and several prize horses. A new villain enters the picture (Newton Joyce), and he's aided by serial killer Carrie Grethen, newly escaped from prison. There's a subplot involving Benton Wesley, Scarpetta's FBI p
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
OK, so this is as far as I got when I read this series as it was released. I quit reading because I was downright angry at Patricia Cornwell. She KILLED him! Yep, it was a good plot twist. Yep, it built tension, suspense, empathy. Yep, it proved that I care about the characters. But it really pissed me off. So, I am trying again, and even though it didn't shock and surprise me this time, it did still anger me.

Here's why: In my opinion Kay, Lucy, Benton and Marino are all too "hard." Their lives
Dec 03, 2011 rated it liked it
i liked carrie being back, but . . . i wanted resolution!

the whole thing with benton is really annoying me. i hear the series takes a turn for the better after The Book of the Dead and it's not like i'm going to be putting down these books any time soon, but man, i just don't like them very much right now.

i also find it fascinating that cornwell has written such a strong, smart homosexual character in lucy, while being a lesbian herself. i wonder why she didn't come out earlier? i mean, i know
Lisa  Carlson
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: crime novel junkies
Recommended to Lisa by: reading the entire series
Shelves: fiction
For anyone who has started reading this series from the beginning as I have been doing; Scarpetta is constantly transforming herself as she investigates a deadly fire involving humans and animals. I felt this novel revealed a more human Scarpetta; she comes face-to-face with the loss of someone dear, a reference to O.J. Simpson, eats at Burger King with her niece and speaks openly about homosexuality which has been building over the last few books and unless I missed it before Lucy's last name i ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: electronic
another one bites the dust -queen
this sparks my curiousity -tesla trooper
Elen Sentier
Dec 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Hmm … well … Cornwell and Scarpetta are such a curate’s egg for me. The books are readable and so far I’ve always finished them but, for me, they could be much better. My biggest problem is that Scarpetta doesn’t grow; she’s stuck in her ways and terrified of change … as such she gets damned boring! Lucy’s new boss Teun McGovern says this of her in this book, “You’re awfully straight and narrow, aren’t you, Kay?” and so she is. Cornwell makes her say in response to this that this isn’t how she s ...more
AC Squared Book Blog
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is really what I've been needing from this series. I really needed some sort of end to this craziness that Kay has been dealing with. Not only for her, but especially for Lucy and even Marino. This house fire was insanity and I love that the book started out with such a bang (almost literally.) I did feel soooo bad for Benton though, him and Kay just can't catch a break. 

One of my favorite parts of this book was how much we got to see Lucy and she really opened up to Kay in this book.
John Devlin
Aug 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
(2.6)Full disclosure: These books diminished in quality but I was stuck w/a 4 e-book bundle of stories 11-14 so I'm determined to get there and get my money's worth.

My problem w/these books and those like them is the dichotomy that the better the characterizations the more I feel sorry for the main character and her never ending sea of trouble and anguish. The type of crime stories just treadmill on and on and the poor character has to suffer through many near death experiences, the violent deat
Baz MW
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Point of Origin takes Scarpetta down a different path.
Scarpetta in recent books has become down, depressed and quite unlikeable.
A series of bizarre events bring about some unexpected and tragic circumstances that bring out strength in our protagonist that we haven’t been used to of late.
Point of Origin is just what the series needs to engage the reader back toward Scarpetta’s intelligence and strong, unfaltering character.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That's it! I'm done with this series, I can't continue along this road any further.
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This was so good, but so sad. Definitely one of my favorites in the series so far.
Tom Swift
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a great series.
Michelle Kemp
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another great story. You are kept wanting to hear more
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Second time through this series. I love the suspense and the way Cornwell weaves the storyline. Some of the technical jargon is overly explained for my taste, but I can see how it could be needed for others. I continue to recommend this series to those who enjoy crime dramas.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Challenge Fac...: Kay (Brigidsmomma), Sherri & Tiffany - Kay Scarpetta Series 16 12 Nov 11, 2015 07:05AM  
The Women's Myste...: #9 Point of Origin 2 12 Aug 12, 2013 01:25PM  
Litterary Devices? 1 30 Mar 05, 2012 04:21PM  
Gault, Carrie, Lucy, Bentley, et al. 11 44 Jan 23, 2012 01:06AM  

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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)
  • Black Notice (Kay Scarpetta, #10)
  • The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)

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