Fans of Patricia Cornwell, the number one megastar who virtually invented the forensic thriller, will rejoice to see her first two novels, Postmortem and Body of Evidence, united in this much-anticipated omnibus volume. Hugely successful when they were first published, these are the two novels that brought Virginia Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta to the book-reading world. They are presented here complete and unabridged.
A serial killer is on the loose in Richmond, Virginia. Three women have died, brutalized and strangled in their own bedrooms. There is little pattern: the killer appears to strike at random -- but always early on Saturday mornings.
When Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta is awakened at 2:33 A.M., she knows the news is bad: there is a fourth victim, and she fears now for those who may follow unless she finds the forensic evidence that can break the case.
But not everyone wants her help. Not everyone is pleased to see a woman in this powerful job. Someone may even want to ruin her career and reputation before she can find the killer.
Body of Evidence
A reclusive writer is dead, and her final manuscript has disappeared...
Someone is stalking Beryl Madison. Someone who spies on her and makes threatening, obscene phone calls. Terrified, Beryl flees to Key West -- but eventually she must return to her Richmond home. The very night she arrives, Beryl inexplicably invites her killer inside.
Thus begins for Dr. Kay Scarpetta the investigation of a crime that is as convoluted as it is bizarre. Why would Beryl open the door to someone who would brutally slash and then neatly decapitate her? Did she know her killer? Adding to the intrigue is Beryl's enigmatic relationship with a prizewinning author and the disappearance of her own manuscript.
As Scarpetta retraces Beryl's footsteps, an investigation that begins in the laboratory with microscopes and lasers leads her deep into a nightmare that soon becomes her own.
All That Remains
A killer is stalking young lovers. Taking their lives and leaving just a tantalizing clue.
When the bodies of young couples start turning up in remote woodland areas, Dr. Kay Scarpetta's task as Virginia's Chief Medical Examiner is made more difficult by the effects of the elements. Eight times she must write that the cause of death is undetermined.
But when the latest young woman to go missing is the daughter of one of America's most powerful women, Kay also finds herself prey to political pressure and press harassment. The killings must stop. Now.
Scarpetta soon discovers that someone is withholding vital evidence, or even faking it. Meanwhile, a cunning sadistic killer is still at large.
Cruel & Unusual
At 11:05 one December evening in Richmond, Virginia, convicted murderer Ronnie Joe Waddell is pronounced dead in the electric chair. At the morgue, Dr. Kay Scarpetta has been waiting for Waddell's body. Preparing to perform a postmortem before the subject is dead is a strange feeling for Scarpetta, but she has been here before. And Waddell's death is not the only newsworthy event on this freezing night: the grotesquely wounded body of a young boy is found propped against a garbage Dumpster. To Scarpetta, the two cases seem unrelated, until she recalls that the body of Waddell's victim had been arranged in a strikingly similar position.
Was Waddell innocent? Is someone else out there, who may attack again?