Fiction · Mystery · Page-Turner · Thriller · Ying L

Postmortem | by Patricia Cornwell

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
(G.K. Hall, 1994, 422 pages)

After reading Body of Evidence, I decided to read some more from Patricia Cornwell. This is the first in the Scarpetta series. Dr. Scarpetta, Chief Medical Examiner for the state of Virginia, receives a call from Richmond homicide detective, Pete Marino. They meet at the murder scene of a brutally strangled woman and discover little evidence that would be helpful. They realize the murdered woman is the fourth victim in a string of mysterious rape and torture cases. The only clue they have is the shiny powder residue left on each victim’s body, which eventually leads them to the killer. The book is fast-paced with really good plot twists.

Having started in the middle of the series, it was interesting to read the background on the main characters, their personal/work issues, and to meet some of their family members. The relationship between Dr. Scarpetta and Detective Marino is intense and intriguing. It was amusing to read about the dial-up modems and main frames that were the norm 20 year ago. If you enjoy a good thriller with a medical twist and don’t mind some forensic details, you should check out Postmortem.

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