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New Release: The Scarpetta Factor

51fX+W4Dh2L._SL160_By Patricia Cornwell
Putnam Adult | 512pgs
Release Date: October 20, 2009

A series of dark and dangerous events ensnare Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta in The Scarpetta Factor, Cornwell’s seventeenth novel in the series. Now working as CNN’s senior forensic analyst, she is grilled on air about Hannah Starr, a young woman missing and presumed dead. When previously undisclosed information comes to light, and a mysterious package arrives at Scarpetta’s home, she realizes this case reaches much farther than Starr’s disappearance. As the investigation becomes more sensationalized and Scarpetta’s viewership rises, her producer pushes her to launch her own show called The Scarpetta Factor. But she fears becoming a media cliché, and that her newfound fame will attract unwanted, or even deadly, attention.

Scarpetta’s long-standing supporting cast, Benton Wesley, Pete Marino and Lucy Farinelli, all return to assist in this puzzling case. Cornwell’s last few installments in this series have been disappointing, lacking the plot twists and unexpected climaxes of her earlier books. Though Scarpetta is one of modern crime fiction’s most popular characters, her imperious manner and supreme self-confidence can make her un-relatable at times. Hopefully this new installment will mark a return to the quality of Cornwell’s first books in the series, where fascinating forensics were carefully balanced with intricate human relationships to craft taut, engrossing story lines.

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