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Port Mortuary (Kay Scarpetta Series #18)

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

Cornwell scores with another winner

Dr. Kay Scarpetta is the new director of the Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts. Working with her at the Massachusetts facility is her niece Lucy and Pete Marino. Kay attends a training fellowship at Port Mortuary in Dover Air Force Base where she is learning ...
Dr. Kay Scarpetta is the new director of the Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts. Working with her at the Massachusetts facility is her niece Lucy and Pete Marino. Kay attends a training fellowship at Port Mortuary in Dover Air Force Base where she is learning the latest technology that she can apply at the CFC. While she is at the Delaware installation, her second in command Jack Fielding runs CFC until he freaks out when a corpse starts bleeding.

Knowing Jack cannot cope with the situation, Kay returns home having finished the course anyway. When she arrives at CFC, she finds the inmates running the asylum. Scarpetta takes 3-D virtual technology x-rays, which shows internal injuries unlike any she has seen before. She has no idea what weapon could have caused such damage. Benton is working a case in which a suspect swore he killed a child, but he believes the confession is false as he thinks the victim's death is connected to Scarpetta's odd case. Soon there are two more deaths seemingly separate cases but Scarpetta makes connections that tie her victim to Benton's case and feels all the deaths are linked but her husband is not talking about the cases as he usually does.

Ignoring that Scarpetta as the director would not have time for bench work and follow-up especially on a new Fed-State-MIT venture; her latest forensic inquiry is a fantastic thriller with the lab work as gripping if not more so as the foot work. Told in the first person by the heroine, readers obtain Scarpetta's perspective on the case, her marriage, her new job, Dover (past and present), and her feeling about Lucy and Marino. The story line retains throughout a fast pace and is action-packed even in the lab as Patricia Cornwell interweaves state of the art technology (we've come a long ways from the Body farm) into a strong whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on November 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

35 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

A Scarpetta Fan Disappointed...

After looking forward to this latest Patricia Cornwell novel, I have to say it doesn't hold a candle to almost any of her previous works. I was missing more of the forensics and could have done with much less of the inner thought dialogue of Scarpetta herself. Suspens...
After looking forward to this latest Patricia Cornwell novel, I have to say it doesn't hold a candle to almost any of her previous works. I was missing more of the forensics and could have done with much less of the inner thought dialogue of Scarpetta herself. Suspense? Not much here. Even the regular characters weren't as interesting as they usually are-Benton, Marino, and Lucy are just side characters to Scarpetta's sleep deprived internal dialogue. I LOVE Patricia Cornwell, and have read every one of her books, but I think she missed the mark on this book.

posted by mainegrl on January 17, 2011

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  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Couldn't even finish!

    I can count on one hand the number of times I couldn't finish a book because it was so awful. This is one of those times. I actually got to page 411 before I finally couldn't stand any more. The novel didn't flow well at all and was very disjointed. The technical details were overwhelmingly boring (and I work in the medical field). I am glad I borrowed this book from a friend rather than waste my money.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    almost incoherent plot lines

    I now remember why I stopped reading Cornwell's books 5 or 6 years ago. This book is simply boring. The dialog is ridiculous, and the characters aren't much better. Scarpetta has no management skills and her leadership ability is zero. I wouldn't follow her next door, much less hire her to manage a department. Lucy is a sociopath and Marino is a clown. These people refused to speak to each other as adults, ignored pointed questions, were churlish and irresponsible toward each other. Benton treated Kay as if she were a second class citizen instead of a beloved wife and forensic expert. Don't bother with this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    Worst Cornwall book ever.

    Scarpetta series have really declined over the years. This is the worst of all of them. I've faithfully read her books for years, but I couldn't even finish this one. What a disappointment. It really is a lousy book. Would not recommend to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Really Disappointed

    I have read every Patricia Cornwell/Kay Scarpetta series books written. If I had read this one first,I would not have read another. It took me 2 months to finish it while all the others took less than a week. It was such a departure from her very successful approach that I wonder what she was thinking. I agree with the other reviews that the forensics and development of the other characters was totally missing. I will hesitate before I buy her next one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

    Disappointing

    I have read every one of Patricia Cornwell's books and I am a huge Scarpetta fan, but I have to say this one just didn't do it for me. I missed all of the forensic discoveries and suspense which are normally part of the story arc. True, it was told from Scarpetta's point of view, but most of the time she was just angry, exhausted and feeling like she didn't understand what was going on. To be honest, that's pretty much how I felt too.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2011

    don't waste your money

    This is by far the most boring book I have read of Patricia Cornwell. Talking in the first person was so annoying. I had to force myself to finish.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Really Disappointed

    After reading the reviews i was hoping Cornwell had returned to her original writing style. And I was truly disappointed. Though the book promises all new technology, and that part was interesting, it was a dud. The book would be half as long if she didn't keep repeating and re-explaining kay's feelings, which made it B-O-R-I-N-G! I'm done. There must be new authors that i haven't read. Kay needs to retires and live happily ever after with Benton. Go Fishing. Take care of the dogs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    I am not even going to finish this one

    I don't know if it's because I haven't read any of her books lately but I don't recall her previous books coming off as so self centered. This book turned me off of Patricia Cornwell. The writing centers on how important Kay S is, as if everyone's world would stop spinning if she weren't in it. I have to believe this is how the author thinks of herself,too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    I was a big/longtime fan of this series. What happened? this st

    I was a big/longtime fan of this series. What happened? this story defines robotics, has practically no story-line to speak of, the folks who populate this work are so disfunctional I don't recognize them anymore. I am so sad....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    Don't waste your money

    Port Mortuary is so overly dramatic with never ending, ridiculous inner dialogue that I finally stopped reading. This book is a complete waste of your money and time. With so many other great books available, steer clear of this one. I would have rated it negative stars if I could.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Lame

    This is the worst Kay Scarpetta book I've read. The writing is horrible and all over the place. The fact that the plot line was carried over to the next book, Red Mist, is just ridiculous.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    Skip it

    I was so excited when this one came out.. had been waiting and waiting... but was very disappointed! I'm a huge fan, unfortunately this one was a sleeper... forced myself to finish it just to be in the know how for the next one... Let's hope it is better... I have faith it will be!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    probably worst scarpetta book

    3/4 of book was same - whining about stuff. main villain underdeveloped. seems like this one was about publishing deadline vs. story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Boring

    Glad I rented this from the library and did not buy it. Very hard to follow. One of her worst books ever.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2011

    Wish I had those hours of reading back.

    Disappointing! Painfully slow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2011

    Huge Disappointmen!!

    It seems Ms. Cornwell has lost her touch on this book. It was TOO LONG, and way too technical, like who needs how to check out a helicopter pre-flight check.

    The 1st person was very disjointed, and did not glide into the different times, as Africa, and the military etc.

    I believe the next book should get back to solving the mystery, and have all the characters work together, including Lucy and her cool techno toys which are fun to imagine.

    Looking forward to #19, and hope it is like the first in the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2011

    Bored to Tears!

    I love the Dr. Scarpetta series. But this, was an absolute chore, getting to the end of this story. I listen to audio books in bumper-to-bumper traffic, driving to meetings. Maybe it was the voice of the narrator or her style of reading the story. The way the story was told, Scarpetta is a neurotic, filled with paranoia.

    This story I could have passed on. Cornwell should give me a refund on this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    Not recommended.

    The characters seem to be spiraling into a darker place. If you are not depressed before reading, you may be after. Unless the writers can find at least one happy person not needing a good psychiatrist I cannot see reading this series. I have bought and read all of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    Do Not Recommend

    I was very disappointed in this book. It was confusing, the characters were poorly defined, the plot was contrived and contained too much technical verbiage. The Scarpetta books have lost the entertainment value that originally drew me as a fan - they have become dark and the characters even darker. Too bad - this book was all talk and no action.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2010

    I agree too pricey.Just bought Nook may return it!

    Enough already.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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