“Chaos” by Patricia Cornwell

CHAOS

By Patricia Cornwell

Cornwell’s fans will welcome the latest Kay Scarpetta mystery. It starts with a public spat between the ever prickly Scarpetta and Bryce, her Chief of Staff, the day before she’s to give an address at Harvard. Another complication is her apprehension about her sister, Dorothy, flying in to be in the audience. She has no idea why her sister is coming since she hasn’t been to Cambridge to see her in eight years. Maybe she wants, at long last, to be friends?

Scarpetta is stunned to find out someone called nine-one-one about her dust up with Bryce. That, and other oddities, lead Pete Marino, a Cambridge police investigator, to believe that someone is out to get her. When a young woman she has had a couple of passing encounters with ends up dead, she’s called to the scene to investigate. The area is having an intense heat wave. The decision is made to enclose the area of the park where the mysterious young woman met her death, which is also mysterious, and most of the action of the book takes place inside this chaotic crime scene, stifling hot and full of the stench of death. Her spectacularly mismatched FBI husband is involved in the case, causing another layer of tension. Then there’s the fact that Pete Marino may be wanting to become involved with her sister, a thought that horrifies Scarpetta.

Following the twists of the cyber hacking, and delving into the death of the young woman, will give Cornwell fans another great read with their favorite neurotic medical examiner. Have fun!

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