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Publisher's Summary

It is the week before Christmas. A tanking economy has prompted Dr. Kay Scarpetta - despite her busy schedule and her continuing work as the senior forensic analyst for CNN - to offer her services pro bono to New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In no time at all, her increased visibility seems to precipitate a string of unexpected and unsettling events. She is asked live on the air about the sensational case of Hannah Starr, who has vanished and is presumed dead. Moments later during the same telecast she receives a startling call-in from a former psychiatrist patient of Benton Wesley's. When she returns after the show to the apartment where she and Benton live, she finds an ominous package - possibly a bomb - waiting for her at the front desk.
Soon the apparent threat on Scarpetta's life finds her embroiled in a surreal plot that includes a famous actor accused of an unthinkable sex crime and the disappearance of a beautiful millionaires with whom Lucy seems to have shared a secret past.
Scarpetta's CNN producer wants her to launch a TV show called The Scarpetta Factor. Given the bizarre events already in play, she fears that her growing fame will generate the illusion that she has a "special factor", a mythical ability to solve all her cases. She wonders if she will end up like other TV personalities: her own stereotype.
The Scarpetta Factor, the 17th in the series, finds the familiar cast of characters together again in New York. Marino is working for the NYPD; Benton Wesley uses his forensic psychological expertise at Kirby and Bellevue; and Lucy continues to dazzle with her expertise in forensic computer investigations as she works yet another case with New York prosecutor Jaime Berger.
Flesh and bone: investigate more of Kay Scarpetta's forensic cases.
©2009 Patricia Cornwell (P)2009 Penguin
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Lee on 10-22-09


I've found since the "death" of Benton Wesley that the books have taken a very dark turn. There doesn't seem to be any joy in them at all. Even when they win there is no sense of triumph. Any sense of happiness seems to be out of obligation rather than emotion. I'm not buying this version of Marino at all. He has had such a sense of honor and duty in previous books that to accept this version is a stretch. There needs to be a book of healing to bring the characters back to life.When I started this book, I thought this could be the one but was disappointed to find I was wrong.NO healing began until the last 4 pages.

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57 of 59 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Cleo on 10-29-09

oh, for the good old days....

I used to absolutely love Kay Scarpetta stories. I couldn't get enough and eagerly awaited each new book - but the last two....well...they wouldn't have hooked me. This one is better than Scarpetta but no where near as good as the earlier books. The characters have gotten "thin", have lost a lot of their personalities, and it now seems that technical details are included just to show off the authors knowledge when they don't add to the story at all. Yeah, I'll listen to the next one, but with the spirit of hope more than eager expectation.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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