Chaos : Scarpetta

  • by Patricia Cornwell
  • Narrated by Susan Ericksen
  • Series: Scarpetta
  • 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best-selling author Patricia Cornwell returns with the remarkable 24th thriller in her popular high-stakes series starring medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta.
In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, 26-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River. It appears she was struck by lightning - except the weather is perfectly clear, with not a cloud in sight. Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the Cambridge Forensic Center's director and chief, decides at the scene that this is no accidental act of God.
Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie. Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta's conclusions, the threatening messages don't stop. When the tenth poem arrives exactly 24 hours after Elisa's death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved and sounds the alarm to her investigative partner, Pete Marino, and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.
She also enlists the help of her niece, Lucy. But to Scarpetta's surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece. Also, Lucy can't explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information. To make matters worse, a venomous media is whipping the public into a frenzy, questioning the seasoned forensics chief's judgment and "a quack cause of death on a par with spontaneous combustion".

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Another chance, another disappointment.

What disappointed you about Chaos?

I haven't listened to a book by Patricia Cornwell in several years so I decided to give this one a chance. What a disappointment. The same self-centered arrogant star--Kay Scarpetta--who apparently does not have the sense to get out of the hot sunshine! And the same angst ridden cohort of characters. Tired plot lines--cyber-bullying and child abduction. And the occasional references to global warning and the general homophobic population.


Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Ericksen’s performances?

The performance by Susan Ericksen was not at fault. She had terrible material.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

What a waste of my time and money.


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- Lonna

So Disappointing :-(

I used to LOVE the books in this series. This one didn't get started until many many chapters in and only held my attention for short periods. There were some interesting ideas in the book but it was not expertly developed as in earlier novels.

I'm pretty sure the narrator is different and sometimes that kills an otherwise good book, so that could be part of the problem. In this audiobook Scarpetta comes of as a whinny, man-obsessed, home-wrecker and not the strong brilliant professional woman I remember from earlier books. The narrator did a much better job of representing multiple characters without sounding ridiculous like some narrators so I'm reluctant to blame it on a bad narrator.

I really wanted to like the book, but I didn't. Clearly some reviewers enjoyed it, but I'm with the other reviewers who didn't. I don't review many books and I'm doing it to hopefully save some people a lost credit.
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- T.L.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-15-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio