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Scarpetta is back! In this twenty-fifth in the electrifying, landmark #1 bestselling thriller series chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta hunts an ingenious killer who has mastered cutting-edge science for the most nefarious ends.

Forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta has returned to Virginia as the chief medical examiner. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited an overbearing secretary and a legacy of neglect and possible corruption.

She and her husband Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn by civil and political unrest. Just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks where a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine, and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood.

At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret private laboratory in outer space, and at least two scientists aboard are found dead. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House Situation Room and tasked with finding out what happened. But even as she works the first crime scene in space remotely, an apparent serial killer strikes again. And this time, Scarpetta could be in greater danger than ever before.

In this latest novel in her groundbreaking Kay Scarpetta series, Patricia Cornwell captivates readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and forensic detail that she is famous for, proving once again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer. 


Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    Autopsy Reviews

  • Darla

    The return of Kay Scarpetta to Virginia is really good news in many ways. Reading the first part of the book felt like the early days and was a welcome change from some of the more recent series insta...

  • Morgan (not accepting new friends request at the m

    2-1/2*It has been 5 years since the last Kay Scarpetta book came out (“Chaos” – 2016).I was hoping for something to redeem the last several Scarpetta books which were duds.My hope was not realiz...

  • Vickie

    I used to read the Kay Scarpetta novels faithfully but lost interest as I thought the writing style declined over time and felt the last one I read years ago was barely intelligible. I always enjoyed ...

  • Liz Barnsley

    Very pleased I took a chance on Autopsy given my feelings about recent novels in the series, but this one is far more in the form of classic Scarpetta - and indeed she has returned to her roots as Chi...

  • James

    The Kay Scarpetta medical thriller series written by Patricia Cornwell has long been a favorite of mine. I've read all the books in order, and while some weren't fantastic, in general I highly recomme...

  • Scott

    Patricia Cornwell published her last Kay Scarpetta novel, her 24th in the series – “Chaos” – back in 2016. At that time, I was ready to let Kate and her family of supporting characters ride of...

  • Donna

    Chief Medical Examiner Dr Kay Scarpetta returns to Virginia where these books first started many, many years ago. She's surrounded by all of her family - familiar characters for those of us who have b...

  • Pat

    Like others, I really wanted to give Cornwell and Scarpetta another chance. The crossed fingers held loosely until the mid-way mark. The comfortable story arc in familiar Virginia was established: a J...

  • Monnie

    When ace Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is at her best - using evidence to determine all manner of dead body things like what caused the demise and not spending page after page feeling that she's ...

  • Adrian Dooley

    Many many moons ago I read the first 3 books in this series as they were released. My wife is a huge fan so thats where I picked up the early books.Having not read any of the series since then, I was ...